Tasmania, new powerhouse of Australian cricket
Sydney: Tasmania is clearly the current powerhouse in the sport in Australia, leaving behind New South Wales known as the gateway to the national cricket team.
On Tuesday at Lord’s, Tasmania with just two-and-a-half percent of Australia’s population will boast three members in the Test side for the first time in Ricky Ponting, Ben Hilfenhaus and Tim Paine.
None of them are out-of-towners, all born and bred in the Apple Isle even if Sydney-based Ponting doesn’t spend so much time in his home state these days, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Not only is Australia’s skipper from Tasmania, but also the side’s No.2 coach Troy Cooley and two of the four national selectors.
Wicketkeeper Paine, who makes his Test debut against Pakistan at Lord’s on Tuesday, said Tasmania’s performances on the domestic scene had made it hard for them to be overlooked for higher honours.
“The last few years we have started to win some titles down there and I suppose with more team success there had been more individual success, so we are starting to build a good group down there,” the SMH quoted him, as saying.
“There were three or four guys playing for Australia A last week, so it is good that the Tassie boys are starting to be recognised. We are fighting against it but these days the way that cricket has become, we have guys from other states and other states have guys from Tassie,” Paine said.