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ICC World Cup: Aussies are a charmless bunch of bullies, writes Michael Jeh

World champions Australia should not wonder why they are also despised by many, writes Michael Jeh

Brisbane: "You know what? They deserved it." Was Brad Haddin talking about cricket's new world champions and their clinical dissemination of New Zealand? Was he wondering why so few people have a genuine love for the Australian cricket team, despite clearly being the best-drilled outfit in the world?

New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott (left) gets mocked by Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and bowler James Faulkner after being dismissed for 83 runs in Sunday's World Cup final at Melbourne. Substitute Pat Cummins is on the right. Pic:AP/PTI
New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott (left) gets mocked by Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and bowler James Faulkner after being dismissed for 83 runs in Sunday's World Cup final at Melbourne. Substitute Pat Cummins is on the right. Pic:AP/PTI 

Was he referring to the fact that yesterday's newspaper headlines in Australia were all about the sledging and the alcohol-induced hangovers rather than the brilliant catch he took to swing the match decisively in Australia's favour?

In fact, he was actually passing comment on why this charmless bunch of bullies, lacking in grace and humility, replete with skill to burn, felt the need to give the Kiwi batsmen a 'send-off'. What was Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott's crime? They turned up to play a game of cricket and they tried their best. For that, they apparently deserved to cop a cowardly send-off.

He went further by revealing what those nasty NZ boys had done to deserve his foul-mouthed spray. "They were that nice to us in New Zealand and we were that uncomfortable," Haddin said.

Beer is poured on the World Cup trophy by an Australian team member in the dressing room on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images
Beer is poured on the World Cup trophy by an Australian team member in the dressing room on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images  

"I said in the team meeting: 'I can't stand for this anymore, we're going at them as hard as we can.' "It was that uncomfortable. All they were was that nice to us for seven days. I said, 'I'm not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the final I'm letting everything (out).' "

So there we have it then. For goodness sake, whatever you do, don't be nice to an Australian cricketer. He's likely to view that as a call to arms, an insult that can only be avenged with invective and vitriol. And they wonder why all the 'neutrals' cheer their own team and anyone that is playing Australia!

In Australian cricket, they have always spoken proudly of it being a man's game, a tough game, a hard game. How tough? How macho? When somebody is dismissed and their innings is over, give them a send-off. They are so tough that they pick their targets carefully. Despite hiding behind excuses like "heat of the moment" and "frustration", they always managed to steer clear of abusing Brian Lara or Sachin Tendulkar. Clearly, neither player ever frustrated them!

Shane Warne
Shane Warne

The post-match interviews and celebrations did nothing to help rebuild the image of this brilliant, unlovable and arrogant team. Shane Warne's post-match interview was schoolboy stuff, repeatedly asking them about the inevitable binge-drinking session that was to follow.

Just what our young children needed to hear from their heroes...repeated references to getting "pi**ed". The captain told a huge crowd in Melbourne that he was hungover. Apparently the coach was spooning the World Cup and couldn't speak whilst James Faulkner was naked but Josh Hazlewood was a nightmare because he wouldn't get drunk.

That's what we got from the senior statesman of the Australian cricket team, the world champions, the heroes to so many young, impressionable children. Gibberish. Foul language. Drunks.

Alcohol kills 15 Australians a day. Haddin doesn't care. They probably deserved it! They keep invoking the spirit of poor old Phillip Hughes. What spirit? The alcoholic stuff you mean? The one that abuses a batsman when he is down and out? Imagine the reaction if someone had given Hughes a send-off when he was felled? Mock outrage would have flowed as freely as the tears for their "brother".

Let the poor boy rest in peace for goodness sake. His memory does not need to be linked to these charmless gorms who have not the foggiest idea of what it takes to win (or lose) with grace.

Australia are world champions. They deserved it. They should not wonder why they are also despised by many. They deserve it. One team won the World Cup, the other merely played cricket. There's a world of difference. You know what New Zealand? You deserve it.

Michael Jeh is a Brisbane-based former first-class player

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15 Comments

  • Kashi mallya01-Apr-2015

    the important thing as that present day Indian heroes like Rohit Sharma and Virat kohli do not follow in the foot steps of the Aussies especially if they keep on losing-it does not suit them and for those who say the" Aussies deserve it"-do you think the Aussies care if they are sledged or not given respect at post match interviews when on the field they continue to thrash the hell of the opposition??I think the Aussies were more worried playing against Dravid-laxman-Sachin-Kumbe -obviously!

  • David02-Apr-2015

    The awful sledgers could not win if they did not attack the opposition team in such a disgraceful manner. I think the Kiwis won. The aussies will always be losers to me with such terrible attitudes.

  • Lorenzo Giccominato04-Apr-2015

    Good article. Good points about send offs/alcohol. Sportsmanship? I think NZ

  • JS31-Mar-2015

    Alcohol kills 15 Australians a day. Haddin doesn't care. They probably deserved it! ... Imagine the reaction if someone had given Hughes a send-off when he was felled? Mock outrage would have flowed as freely as the tears for their "brother". This is an incredibly dumb paragraph. You're obviously very passionate about the issue, but you needed to calm down and write more maturely. This reads like a child wrote it, and isn't going to change anything as it's so easily dismissed.

  • Raj31-Mar-2015

    Truely Said... Australians do not deserve any respect....

  • jones01-Apr-2015

    Terrible and distasteful article.

  • James H01-Apr-2015

    He was being sarcastic when he made those comments, how thick is the writer of this article.The Australian team sledges, its a tactic, get over it.

  • Rid01-Apr-2015

    Of course you are right. However I guarantee most people in all cricketing countries would live with it as long as their team wins. Look at India's love for Kohli, he acts the same way. Yes they act like idiots at times , but winners,, especially regular winners are never popular with those that get beaten.

  • Andrew01-Apr-2015

    What a rediculous article and sore losers commenting! Australia is the best side by far, a side of champions!

  • jimbob01-Apr-2015

    This article is rubbish! Surely people aren't naive enough to believe that the Aussies don't get sledged massively when playing in other countries back yards. It happens, it's the game of cricket and the Aussies are the best at the moment. True (Aussie) cricket fans are well impressed with the current squad, their attitude and their achievements.

  • rohit01-Apr-2015

    and for gods sake michael don't talk about phil hughes like you know him, you clueless idiot

  • Daya Kudari31-Mar-2015

    So true! There is the difference between a winner and a champion. Though they win it all, Oz do not have the spirit of champions.

  • Michael gee01-Apr-2015

    Anyone want to tell me what was said? You have no idea do you? I didn't see the NZ batsmen getting too upset about it. Oh and if we're going to lambast players for sledging what was said to David Warner as he walked out to bat? Oh but that would ruin the goody two shoes image of the Black caps wouldn't it?

  • Ramachandran NN31-Mar-2015

    They all ran away never waiting to shake hands with the last batting pair. It happened in the match with NZ and also with India. Contrast that with the gesture of Kiwis who shook hands with Michael Clarke when hewas out in the last ODI innings of his career. Brendon Mccullum took the lead to do it. Australians arenot only poor losers but poor winners too. They want to win at any cost and they mock at all as ifnone comes near their standard.

  • Ben01-Apr-2015

    Michael, truly a naive article. Haddin was joking. Where is your sense of humour?

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