05 May 2014

Number 1 in Tests again

This is quite likely to be my final article and it comes at a fairly good time.

As of last week The Baggy Greens regained the number one Test rank spot. Due to an ICC regulation in their rankings (as odd as they may seem) we pipped South Africa to reclaim number one. A magical feeling!

It's been a patience game, let alone a period of just one year where we endured some heavy lows.
In a nutshell these included; losing 4-0 to India (in India mind you), a disastrous team culture as a result of on and off-field dramas, assignment of a new coach after sacking another prior to an Ashes series, making drastic team changes after the homework ordeal and team culture being tainted, and then losing away to England with a 3-0 scoreline- not indicating just how close it was.

Finally, we regrouped against all odds and thumped England 5-0 at home, saw some of our veteran players find elite form, our new coach gained respect from both players and supporters alike, and then we took down South Africa in South Africa with some terrific cricket. I'm still mighty proud.

We were number one ranked in Tests when I started this site in 2007/08. We dropped to number five, dark days. I kept blogging, kept writing, and continued to back the team against all odds, even attending a training session with my mate Dan Stapo, to chat with the boys and show support after their shock loss against South Africa at Newlands in 2011.

Now, I write this from Australia having been through the highs (personally the Ashes and Australia Day ODI wins in Adelaide) and lows our team has endured and we're back to number one in Test ranks, with the top rank in ODIs too - although improvement is a necessity in this form with the ICC World Cup at home next year. Oh yeah, did I mention we also have the Ashes in our possession!

Furthermore, women's cricket has seen massive growth and interest from both the supporters (who will always matter most - often forgotten) and the media. Our Southern Stars have also just recently won the Women's ICC World T20 title for the third time in a row. Epic.

So, all in all I know all too well the battle continues to maintain our stronghold on the rank. The battle continues too as Test cricket itself will continue to be tested not just on the field but in changing global times too. I am content though and mighty proud of what our team has achieved upon reflection. It's special to know I was there against all odds, shoulder to shoulder with many other Australian cricket fanatics, loyal ones both here and around the globe.

I'll still be at the games, still suffering sleep deprivation to watch the away games, but for the time being with all the boys have achieved, I feel my writing has served its purpose at The Baggy Green Supporters Blog.

Long live cricket, and keep supporting Australian cricket!

This footage never gets old - except the censorship part.


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Shaen said...

Thank Ian. Number ONE again!
It seemed a long time in the wilderness didn't it.
The lads did it though...and so did you Ian. Thanks.

Ian said...

Thanks Shaen!

Your support and interest in my writing has been inspiring and thanks again for the care for Australian cricket.

Looking forward to the future challenges our boys face. Cricket has a very tough future ahead as a sport.