Australia are about to take on West Indies in the ICC Champions Trophy Final. Now that they are there, I hope they win, of course, but in the great scheme of things, it would have been much better if the team had ‘lost’ their game against India so the locals could have had something to cheer about and the Australian players could have had appropriate preparation for the Ashes.
Because I can not think of one Australian cricket fan in a thousand that would consider this ODI game to be more important then the Ashes.
No offense to the West Indies, who have played some super cricket in this tournament, and their resurgence is something that cricket fans around the world have been waiting a long time for. It’s just that there’s other things happening in November that are on Australia’s mind.
What would have been better for Australia? Playing in this final, or having Glenn McGrath playing for NSW in the Sheffield Shield this weekend? You don’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure that one out!
Of course, Cricket Australia is as much to blame for this fiasco as anyone. They really did not have to have a triangular tournament in Australia this summer; the five Tests could have been spread out until early February, and then a 5-match ODI series vs England would have been the ideal warm up for both sides before the World Cup. That would have been just ideal from a cricket point of view.
Sadly, it would not have been ideal from a corporate point of view.