Xenophobia. Pauline Hanson asked for a “please explain” over a decade ago. Here is its latest example: Australia’s indifference to the Brisbane Roar’s absurd mark of 36 consecutive matches in the A-League without defeat.
Oh yes, the excuses have come thick and fast. The record includes 13 draws, the A-League is weak, penalties were needed to win the Grand Final.
It’s as if the Roar - a team which is as majestic as it is consistent - should be embarrassed they now own such a precious jewel in our sporting history.
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Fair’s fair. We’ve dished it out to Ricky Ponting on several occasions over the summer, but it’s now time for a backflip. Because love him or hate him, Ponting is responsible for arguably the most incredible winning streak in the history of Australian sport. And for the next 24 hours at least, that streak is still alive.
As of last weekend, Australia has gone 31 World Cup matches without defeat. The closest we’ve come to a loss since we came good halfway through the 1999 World Cup was that famous tied semi final against South Africa. The chaos. The confusion. The sheer joy of seeing South African nerves turn to mush.
Ponting is the one man has been there through all 31 matches. In fact, he was there long before then, making a respectable 45 in the 1996 final loss to Sri Lanka. And here he is 15 years later, much-maligned and in decline, but still, for now, the man with a record the envy of every World Cup captain.
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