Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2015 Contents There was a time when everyone
knew their neighbours intimately,
popped around often for a cup of tea
and a gossip, collected your mail and
fed your dog when you went away.
India and Sri Lanka seemed about
that close when they met in the 2011
World Cup final; in the previous five
years they had scheduled 39 ODIs
against each other. They were co-hosts
in name and nature.
Australia and New Zealand have
slipped into the modern neighbourly
way, nodding politely when they hap-
pen to run into each other on the street,
but never visiting each other s house.
In the past five years they have met
in not a single ODI outside of ICC
events. It hasn t always been that way:
in the previous five years they played
23 such one-dayers against each other.
They have drifted apart, Australia
more interested in the big-ticket cam-
paigns against India, England and South
But then, it had always felt like New
Zealand prized the Chappell-Hadlee
Trophy far more than Australia. In
2006-07, Australia didn t even bother
sending their captain or vice-captain
to the series in New Zealand, and
Michael Hussey led them to defeat.
Of course, there is nothing new about
such goings on---or non-goings on.
Australia did not deign to play a full
Test series against New Zealand until
1974, a full 44 years after New Zealand
were admitted to Test cricket. The
underarm incident and the might of
Richard Hadlee sparked a 1980s rivalry,
but it is now a decade since the teams
have played a Test series of more than
In the eyes of the Australians, the
rivalry has died off. When the teams
met in the Champions Trophy in Eng-
land in 2013, they forgot to put the
Chappell-Hadlee Trophy up for grabs
as they had done when they played in
the 2011 World Cup. It was dusted off
for their World Cup meeting in Auck-
land this year, and New Zealand won
a low-scoring thriller.
And yet, when New Zealand arrive
later this year for Tests in Australia,
they will use a pink ball and play day-
night cricket, and will not be granted
the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. No
extra motivation is required for a World
Cup final, but if New Zealand need it
they have it.
On Sunday they can prove they
belong in front of a packed MCG.
"We re probably seen as the little
brothers from across the ditch and we
do quite well in other sports to com-
pete," New Zealand fast bowler Tim
Southee said yesterday.
"Australia have had the wood on us
in cricket over the last few years but
we re slowly starting to even that ledger.
"As a kid growing up it was always
Australia that you wanted to play
against, or if you re playing against
someone in the backyard it was New
Zealand-Australia. There is a massive
rivalry in whatever sport you play and
in New Zealand you always want to
have one up over the big brothers."
Ask an Australian cricketer what fea-
tured in their backyard games when
they were kids and it would likely have
been an Ashes imitation, or Australia
against the golden era West Indies. The
11 Australians who will take the field
tomorrow have probably dreamt about
playing in a World Cup final, but
against someone like India, or South
New Zealand, with its near identical
flag, its non-Australian-passport-
stamping ways, its population smaller
than Sydney---it has hardly been viewed
as a big threat by Australia s cricketers.
In rugby union, yes. In netball, some-
times. But not in cricket. They should
remember that New Zealand won the
most recent Test between the teams,
and the most recent ODI, and the most
recent T20 (in a Super Over).
"I think in times gone by we probably
haven t played to our potential or been
as consistent as we should have been,"
"In the last two years we ve slowly
gained a little bit more respect around
the world because of the brand of crick-
et we ve played. We respect Australia.
"They re a quality side, they re not
No 1 in the world for no reason. I m
sure they ve gained a little bit of respect
for the brand of cricket we ve played
over the last couple of years.
"I guess that opinion has changed
a little bit over the last couple of years
in the way that we ve played and the
sides we ve beaten."
Sides like, say, Australia, when given
the chance. Beating Australia in a World
Cup final would be the ultimate
respect-earner. Yesterday, the Cricket
Australia chief executive James Suther-
land said that the co-hosts had "dared
to dream" that they might meet each
other in the final.
"We knew it was probably a long-
odds chance, but here we are a couple
of days out and the two host nations
are playing each other," Sutherland
"Congratulations to New Zealand
on making the World Cup final. They ve
been unbeaten throughout the tour-
nament and are certainly deserving of
Sutherland s tone was not patron-
ising, though seeing the words in black
and white they might look that way.
Viewing the Australia-New Zealand
fixture list of the past five years they
probably appear even more so. The
World Cup final might change that.
Perhaps Cricket Australia should
remember what all Australian TV
soapie fans know: everybody needs
Neighbours need to get to know each
other. And next door is only a footstep
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
ing group from the Cricket
World Cup semifinal be-
tween Australia and India
have been selected to reprise
their role in the final at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground
tomorrow (Today TT time).
The International Cricket
Council (ICC) said yesterday
that Kumar Dharmasena of
Sri Lanka and Richard Ket-
tleborough of England
would be the on-field um-
pires for the final between
Australia and New Zealand.
The third umpire will be
Marais Erasmus of South
Africa and the match referee
Ranjan Madugalle of Sri
Lanka. All four officials
worked the Sydney Cricket
Ground semifinal yesterday
which Australia won by 95
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
Same officials to handle Cricket World Cup final as did semi
T&T and West Indies
struck 86 for Preysal
Phoenix in an 86-run
win over Moosai in
the T&T Women's
50-over league, on
"We're proud to
make the final but
it's going to be
tough against New
ahead of the World
Cup final (11.30 pm
tonight T&T time)
New Zealand may be the
"little brothers from across
the ditch" but they are
heading to the MCG and
keen to remind their hosts
of the local rivalry...
Time to have the
One more to the rack?
New Zealand claimed the
earlier in the tournament.
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