Thu, Apr 5, 9:30am by Head Editor
Australia’s national Cricket team have arrived home from a 7-week tour of South Africa, a tour that can only be described as the worst in the 140-year history of Australian Cricket.
Not only did the side lose their first Test series in South Africa since the Proteas were reinstated as a Test nation in 1991, but the visitors also lost their captain, vice-captain and opening batsmen, after the trio were involved in a ball-tampering scandal that can only be described as disgraceful.
The skipper Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, have been handed lengthy penalties. The latter has been given a nine-month ban, while the first two will have a year to stew over their poor choice.
Wicket-keeper Tim Paine was handed the captaincy in the fallout, and immediately put his stamp on the position, initiating pre-match handshakes with the opposition and also ensuring that the two teams met up for a drink post-game.
The new skipper’s first match in charge didn’t end well, with the Aussies slumping to the second-worst defeat in history. The margin of 492 runs was also South Africa’s largest victory in terms of runs.
The next assignment for the new-look Australian line-up is a 5-game One Day International series in England against the old enemy, beginning on June 13.
The series is set to provide us with not only an indicator of how the green and gold are faring in the 50-over format, but will also give the squad a great chance to prove themselves and get some experience in English conditions before next year’s World Cup, which is to be held in the Old Dart.
That tournament runs from May 30 to July 19 and amazingly, the Aussies are still top pick for next year’s showpiece in England, listed as a $4 shot at Sportsbet to defend their crown, ahead of the host nation, who are at $4.33 and 2011 winners India ($5).
The team who just handed Australia defeat in the longest format, South Africa, are next at $6 ahead of 2015 runners-up New Zealand ($8) and 1992 winners Pakistan ($11).
The team who beat Australia in the 1996 edition, Sri Lanka, are at $21, just behind the winners of the first two tournaments, 1975 and 1979, West Indies, who are $15.
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