Thursday, February 3, 2011

Team: Australia National Cricket Team

The Australian cricket team is the national men's cricket team of Australia. It is the joint oldest team in Test cricket, having played in the first Test match in 1877. The team also plays One Day International cricket and Twenty20 International, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season  and the first Twenty20 International, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games. The team mainly draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian Domestic One-Day Series and the Twenty20 Big Bash.

The Australian team has played 730 Test matches, winning 341, losing 192, drawing 195 and tying two. Australia is ranked the number-one team overall in Test cricket in terms of overall wins, win-loss ratio and wins percentage. Australia is currently ranked fifth in the ICC Test Championship behind India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka, and led the Test rankings for a record time of 73 months from 2003 to 2008.

Australia have played 751 ODI matches, winning 464, losing 255, tying eight and with 24 ending in no-result. They have led the ICC ODI Championship since its inception for all but a period of 48 days in 2007. Australia have made six World Cup final appearances and have won the World Cup a record four times in total; 1987 Cricket World Cup, 1999 Cricket World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup & 2007 Cricket World Cup.

The team is currently undefeated in 29 consecutive World Cup matches. Australia have also won the ICC Champions Trophy twice – in 2006 and in 2009 – making them the first and the only team to become back to back winners in the Champions Trophy tournaments. The team has also played 39 Twenty20 Internationals,[7] making the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010 before losing it to England.

For Test matches, the team wears cricket whites, with an optional sweater or sweater-vest with a green and gold V-neck for use in cold weather. The sponsor's (currently Vodafone) logo is displayed on the right side of the chest while the Cricket Australia coat-of-arms is displayed on the left. If the sweater is being worn the coat-of-arms is displayed under the V-neck and the sponsor's logo is again displayed on the right side of the chest. The baggy green, the Australian cricket cap, is considered an essential part of the cricketing uniform and as a symbol of the national team, with new players being presented with one upon their selection in the team. The helmet also prominently displays the Australian cricketing coat-of-arms. Adidas currently manufactures the whites, with the Adidas logo being displayed on the shirt and pants. Players may choose any manufacturer for their other gear (bat, pads, shoes, gloves, etc.).

In One Day International cricket and Twenty20 International cricket, the team wears uniforms usually coloured green and gold, Australia's national colours. There have been a variety of different styles and layouts used in both forms of the limited-overs game, with coloured clothing (sometimes known as "pyjamas") being introduced for World Series Cricket in the late 1970s. The sponsors' logos (the Commonwealth Bank for ODIs and KFC for Twenty20s) are prominently displayed on the shirts and other gears.

Eighteen different grounds in Australia have been used for international cricket (Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals). Five were only used once, during the 1992 World Cup, while three (all in Tasmania) only hosted games during 1980s World Series Cups. The main six used are:

    * The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne, Victoria (first used for Test cricket in 1877).
    * The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney, New South Wales (first used in 1882).
    * Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, South Australia (first used in 1884).
    * Brisbane Cricket Ground (commonly known as 'The Gabba') in Brisbane, Queensland (first used in 1931).
    * The WACA Ground (commonly known as 'The WACA') in Perth, Western Australia (first used in 1970).
    * Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Tasmania (first used in 1989).

Other grounds which have been used for Test cricket are:

    * The Brisbane Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, Queensland (hosted two Tests between 1928 and 1930; no longer used for cricket).
    * Marrara Oval in Darwin, the Northern Territory (hosted two Tests against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2003 and 2004).
    * Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns, Queensland(hosted two Tests against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2003 and 2004).

Grounds which have been used for One Day Internationals only are:

    * The TCA Ground in Hobart, Tasmania (used for one ODI in the 1985 World Series Cup).
    * The NTCA Ground in Launceston, Tasmania (used for one ODI in the 1986 World Series Cup).
    * Devonport Oval in Devonport, Tasmania (used for one ODI in the 1987 World Series Cup).
    * Harrup Park in Mackay, Queensland (hosted one ODI during the 1992 World Cup that was abandoned after two balls[15]).
    * Eastern Oval in Ballarat, Victoria (hosted one ODI during the 1992 World Cup).
    * Manuka Oval in Canberra, ACT (hosted one ODI during the 1992 World Cup and another in the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series).
    * Berri Oval in Berri, South Australia (hosted one ODI during the 1992 World Cup).
    * Lavington Sports Ground in Albury, New South Wales (hosted one ODI during the 1992 World Cup).
    * Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria (hosted several ODIs, including all of Melbourne's games in 2006 when the MCG was unavailable due to the 2006 Commonwealth Games – the only indoor stadium used for cricket in Australia).

The team song is "Under the Southern Cross I Stand," which is sung by the players after every victory and "treated with reverential consideration and respect" within the team. The official lyrics are as follows, though when it is sung by the players, the word "little" in the last line is replaced by "bloody" or an expletive.

    Under the Southern Cross I Stand
    A sprig of wattle in my hand,
    A native of my native land,
    Australia you little beauty.

The authorship of this "Under the Southern Cross I Stand" is credited to former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, who was apparently inspired by Henry Lawson's 1887 poem, "Flag of the Southern Cross". Marsh initially had the role of leading the team in singing it, and on his retirement he passed it on to Allan Border. The other players to have taken on the role are David Boon (when Border took over the captaincy), Ian Healy (on Boon's retirement), Ricky Ponting (on Healy's retirement), Justin Langer (when Ponting took over the captaincy). The role currently belongs to Michael Hussey, who took it on when Langer retired in January 2007.


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