It is perhaps the biggest cricket crisis Australia has ever faced. With memories of the ball-tampering incident still fresh, the national team on Tuesday collapsed to the biggest-ever defeat in ODI cricket – going down by 242 runs after England had posted a record 481/6 at Trent Bridge.
Australian cricket fans perhaps can’t be blamed for finding it extremely tough to support a side that is repeatedly making headlines for all the wrong reasons. As if the ball-tampering incident, which saw skipper Steve Smith, opener David Warner and young Peter Bancroft being banned for varying periods, was not bad enough, the team recently crashed to its worst ODI ranking – sixth – in 34 years. And it is highly unlikely that the five-time World Champions would recover anytime soon.
England absolutely decimated Australia at Trent Bridge after being asked to bat by Tim Paine. Paine would later term the day as ‘my hardest day’s cricket ever.’ It was an emotion perhaps shared by every single supporter of the national cricket team back home. “Bad and sad times for Australian cricket. The fall out from the ball tampering fiasco will reverberate through Australian cricket for years to come,” wrote one netizen under a match report published by Sydney Morning Herald. “I sympathise with Justin Langer and Tim Paine it’s going to be tough to teach the team to win again.”
For a side that had mauled England in the last edition of Ashes, Tuesday was a grim reminder of just how heroes have fallen from grace. The fact that the same English side went down to Scotland just ten days back made many question how the current crop of Aussie cricketers would fare against the minnows.