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by Alastair Symondson & Cricket World Thursday 19 March 2020
The Baggy Greens have always been able to field an extremely talented side – producing players that have achieved excellence. As of 2017 there were 24.7 million people living in the country. Their population is dwarfed by India, but the Aussies still have managed to enjoy greater success than their rivals on the field. No team has won the 50-over World Cup more than Australia, who have lifted the trophy on five occasions. India and the West Indies are next on the list, winning the tournament twice.
The Aussies have also held on to the number one spot in the world rankings longer than any other side in the Test format, a run which lasted a staggering 74 cumulative months. Players of the ilk of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Steve Smith, Allan Border and Steve Waugh have defined the game in their respective eras. Creating talent is what Australia does in abundance.
It highlights how dominant the Aussies have been in the sport compared to the rest of the world and how seriously competitive their people are. It’s across the board - whether it is rugby, football, rowing, cycling and athletics, there always seems to be an Aussie team or individual rising to the top. It’s a country that never seems to settle for second best.
It doesn’t really matter what they turn their attention to; there’s always a game to be won. Even in the case of online pokies in Australia, the nation has showed its preference. Over 600,000 Aussies play the game every year, proving how much people down under love their games. In fact, pokies in particular are a big part of the industry in Australia, where up to 70% of all revenue for casinos is recorded through pokies - also known as slots games in some other countries. In a way, it’s no surprise Australians have taken to the activity in another mode of getting their competitive juices flowing to the maximum.
Academics have studied the Australian people to find out why a comparatively small nation is so good and so competitive in their sporting and gaming activities. The simple response has been that it has been ingrained in the identity of the country. Sporting and gaming activities have been a crucial part in the formation of Australia, and remain ever-present in daily life. In fact, it seems that 92% of Aussies are interested in at least one sport, and 2.3 million volunteer time for sport each year. Perhaps nothing is more popular, though, than the Boxing Day Test, which is an annual event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and usually sells all 96,000 seats.
There is not a nation which is more tenacious than Australia – there will almost always going to be in the hunt for success in a variety of sporting and gaming arenas. They are non-stop and are determined to make winning titles, money and medals a significant part of the culture down under.
©Cricket World 2020