So there you have it. Australia are world champions – something most of us predicted months ago. I haven’t looked back at the history books, but I’d be surprised if any country has won a world cup so easily.
The Aussies were streets ahead of any other team in the tournament and thoroughly deserved their title. You tend to get exactly what you deserve in professional sport: the Aussies got their day of national celebration, whereas England …. well, exactly.
As a miserable pom it’s tricky to know how to respond to Australian sporting triumphs. Some of us become all bitter and try to find fault with the Aussies (no matter how inappropriate). No doubt some will question the moral fibre of individuals like David Warner, or criticise the Canary Yellow’s penchant for needless sledging, but honestly what’s the point? It just comes across as sour grapes.
Others will try to argue that the Aussies were lucky or cheated – maybe the bails didn’t come off when the ball cannoned into Steve Smith’s stumps because Tubby Taylor had left chewing gum in the groove?
All these excuses are obviously nonsense. The Aussies won because they have the fastest bowlers and the biggest hitters – with a couple of proper test batsmen acting as cement. Power to them.
I’m afraid there’s only one thing all decent Englishmen we can do in situations like this: be excellent losers and congratulate the Aussies on their success. We can’t win anything ourselves, so we might as well be gracious and classy in defeat.
And of course, the Aussies would much prefer it we became bitter and twisted – so let’s follow Mike Brearley’s advice and always do exactly what the enemy wants least (wink, wink).
Please join me in endorsing the following statement …
We are in complete and utter awe of your world conquering cricket team. You are a living embodiment of true class, and we look upon you with admiration and envy.
Your players are all fine gentlemen. They are athletes of considerable talent, skill, grace, daring, strength and character. One might call them contemporary supermen.
How we admire the transformation of the Australian nation – from convict colony to one of the pillars of western civilization: a shining beacon of modernity, dynamism and sporting eminence.
It surely won’t be long until the great nation of Australia – the lucky country – takes its rightful place as the sixth permanent member of the UN Security Council.
And if it doesn’t happen soon – or if the nasty Chinese and Americans insist there’s no room for you – then perhaps us antiquated British folk should do the decent thing and step down.
Momentum is with you, Australia. How can a country like ourselves – a nation clearly past its sell by date – resist seemingly inexorable anthropological forces?
Us Brits may not be able to play cricket (or rugby, or football, or hockey, or swim very fast) but we recognise greatness when we see it.
Therefore, without further ado, our Queen shall not only grant you full independence, but also (in an unprecedented move) swear fealty to your own Australian queen …. you know, the one who sang Especially For You, The Locomotion and all those other songs we couldn’t get out of our head. She has a far nicer bum than our queen anyway.
We should be so lucky to call you, our former servants, ‘master’.
The English Nation.