The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
It’s only Ozzie Down Under

Heard the Aussie chant' ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi Oi’'. Well, I was’nt very popular this week after I invented my ‘Curry, Curry, Curry...Hot, Hot, Hot’ chant.

The Aussies are competitive, to put it mildly. They do it everywhere. In an attempt to control competitiveness in sport primary schoolchildren are now encouraged to play sport without any official score being kept of the game. Guess what the kids talk about when the grown-ups are out of earshot'

While this attitude has produced many world beaters (Lleyton Hewitt puts it: “You have to rip my chest open and pull my heart out on the court if you want to beat me.”), it also makes Australians bad losers!

We, adopted Aussies, who also happen to be genuine followers of sport, are pleased that Ricky Ponting and his lads have made it to the final. If they hadn’t, our free-to-air World Cup television coverage would have ended abruptly, coinciding with the end of the team’s campaign.

If the Aussies are not in it, “who gives a rat’s bum'”

Kerry Packer’s Network Nine, the free-to-air channel, which monopolises cricket broadcasting, has only aired matches featuring Australia in this World Cup.

For the India-Kenya semi-final we were limited to the ABC radio commentary, interrupted constantly by news bulletins. Shades of keeping up with the BBC’s Ashes Series on my transistor during my youth. The reason for this backward step is that TV coverage of the World Cup semi-final (not featuring Australia!) commenced two hours into the match, once the general Aussie viewer was asleep.

Oh, and by the way, it doesn’t matter if you have cable television, for then you can only watch a “replay” of the match the next morning.

Aussie sport chauvinism is what it is all about.

The interest has grown for the final. Callers on talk-back radio have aired concern about what could happen if Saddam Hussein were to be caught or assassinated on Sunday in the midst of an Adam Gilchrist batting blitzkrieg.

Would televisions and radio stop their World Cup final broadcast and switch to news on the war'

Mind you, the war is very high profile because of Australia’s direct and prominent involvement.

With India (read Tendulkar) now being perceived as a ‘real’ threat to their World Cup defence, media experts predict that more people will want to watch the cricket than the war.

I had asked a journo friend: “Would any Australian newspaper carry on its front page a photo of Sourav Ganguly holding the World Cup if India were to beat Australia in the final'”

Does it snow on Ayers Rock'

I assured him there would be many newspapers on the sub-continent that would carry a photograph of Ponting holding aloft the Cup.

Email This Page