‘Pretty odd’: Why Australia’s World Cup champions won’t get a traditional celebration

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Australia’s victorious cricketers will have to wait for a reunion to toast the World Cup triumph together on home soil, as the international schedule denies them the full public celebrations afforded to their predecessors.

The legendary status of Australian greats Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and others was cemented by a series of ticker-tape parades and receptions after their major overseas victories in the 1980s and 1990s.

Allan Border greets a fan at the ticker tape parade held in Sydney after the 1989 Ashes win.Credit: Jack Atley

But Australia’s current world champions are scattered after their recent triumph.

Pat Cummins and a group of multi-format players and staff returned home on various flights over the past 24 hours. Cricket Australia is planning to reunite Cummins with the World Cup – currently still in India – and other major trophies in Sydney early next week.

But a Twenty20 series in India means the likes of Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and Adam Zampa are still overseas for some time yet, before the daily grind of the home summer splits the players off into different formats and tournaments.

There also plans for a celebration of sorts with the public when the Test squad convenes in Perth on the weekend of December 9-10 for the first Test of the series against Pakistan.

Mark Taylor and Ian Healy on parade after the 1995 West Indies tour.Credit: Tim Clayton

White-ball specialists Maxwell, Zampa and Josh Inglis are unlikely to be available for any function as they will by then be on duty with their Big Bash League teams.

By the time the ODI team next plays together, against West Indies in February, the group will start to break up through resting, retirements or T20 franchise commitments. Head, player of the match in both the semi and the final, quipped in the aftermath that he was “already looking forward to the reunion”. Save for Allan Border Medal night in late January, it may take that long to reassemble the group.

“A few of the guys are still celebrating over in Vizag,” Alex Carey said on arrival home in Adelaide. “I was on the plane with Mitch Marsh to Melbourne and I think everyone probably wanted a few more days together.

“We’ve all split off our own different ways, there’s T20s coming up, some guys are on aeroplanes at the moment getting home as well. I think once we all settle back down and catch up again in Perth or wherever it is, it’ll be nice to talk about it and reflect on it a little bit more.

Steve Waugh with Shane Warne after the 1999 World Cup win.Credit: AP

“It’s probably pretty odd scheduling now that you look at it, to win a World Cup and a few days later you’re playing again, but the guys over there no doubt will perform really strongly. I think they’ll play pretty fearless cricket.”

Think of a signal moment in the contemporary history of the Australian men’s cricket team and there will be a big public celebration to match.

In 1989, Border’s Ashes tourists packed out George Street in downtown Sydney for a ticker-tape parade. Similar scenes unfolded for Taylor’s victors in the West Indies in 1995 and Waugh’s World Cup winners in 1999.

The ’89 and 1993 Ashes tourists were also guests of honour at the MCG for the VFL and AFL grand finals of those years.

More recently, the Sydney Opera House forecourt witnessed a major public celebration of the 2013-14 Ashes victory, and Fed Square was packed for recognition of the 2015 World Cup victory down the road at the MCG.

Other teams have enjoyed similar moments, whether England’s open-top bus parade through London following their drought-breaking Ashes win in 2005, or the joyous return home to Mumbai for a young Indian team led by M.S. Dhoni after claiming the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Carey, who lost his place in the ODI team after the opening loss to India in Chennai, expressed confidence that his Test spot was safe ahead of the home series against Pakistan, starting in Perth in mid-December.

“I don’t feel like one-day and Test cricket overlay,” Carey said. “We’ll wait and see when Test selection comes out, but looking forward to getting out there Tuesday and having a hit with the red ball for the Redbacks and then see what happens.

“You never want to get dropped in any format and unfortunately after the first game I didn’t get back out there, but I thought I held myself around the group really well.”

The Pakistan squad has already experienced one setback, with the fast bowler Haris Rauf withdrawing from the Tests in order to fulfil his contract with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League – the PCB will need to hand over a no objection certificate to the paceman.

“We spoke to the captain and coach, and we said we view Haris Rauf as an impact bowler,” chief selector Wahab Riaz said. “We weren’t demanding more than 10-12 overs a day.

“The only issue is when you say you’re available for Pakistan, especially at a time when our three main high-pace bowlers, who can bowl over 140 [kph] other than Haris are unavailable. At some point, you need to sacrifice to play for your country. Haris was committed to us, and pulled out after two days.”

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