Sydney: Former Australian captain and cricket legend Allan Border hopes that the series between India and Australia will signify the beginning of the sport’s road to recovery after a spate of recent problems that have threatened its survival.
The cricket is plagued by a long list of challenges, such as security concerns, racism, the rising prominence of franchise-based limited overs and, most seriously, the spot-fixing scandal uncovered last month.
The eyes of the cricketing world will be on India, hoping that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy can restore Test cricket’s integrity, credibility and passion.
“This series takes on a greater significance given the battering cricket’s been copping over the last little while. It’s a series that’s grown in status over the years,” an Australian newspaper quoted Border, as saying.
“It’s always been very competitively played. But the status of India and their influence over the game over the past five or 10 years, and the fact that they’re now the No.1 Test-playing nation, suggests that it’s an important series but also a chance for cricket to re-establish itself,” he said.
“I think this tour will be about the best things in cricket once again becoming the focus rather than the negative stuff,” Border said.
Commenting on tensions during recent Australia-India matches, he said: “You hope it will be played in good nature. Australia plays the game aggressively and I don’t think we make excuses for that. It’s just the way we are and the way we play our cricket. But we do play it fair and in the right spirit. I don’t think that will change much on this tour.”