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Thanksgiving – Stickability

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

With the world cup in full swing and Australia a good chance of a show in the finals, it is easy to forget there was once a time when cricket in this country was really down for the count. In December 1984 our then captain Kim Hughes resigned, unable to sustain the weight of past players sniping and armchair critics. Backing into the limelight ever so cautiously was the new appointee Allan Border. It was a poisoned chalice if ever there was one, the sporting equivalent of landing at ANZAC Cove. Yet all Border’s experience up to that date indicated a stubbornness that if not equal to the task, was going to give it a bloody good shake.

Allan Border

Border came into the Australian team at a funny time, one of the few establishment players who would have given the Packer run Australian World Series Cricket Team selectors a headache. In 1982 he and Jeff Thomson led a rearguard action against England which almost cheekily stole the MCG test match off the tourists. In 1983-84 the West Indies were clobbering opponents, and nowhere more so than on their home turf in the Caribbean. As the Australian batting line up collapsed around him, Border held on to score 98 and 100 not out in consecutive innings of the second test. The West Indian wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon, who probably stood in the field and witnessed less centuries than most of his peers, said it was one of the saddest sights of his career that AB hadn’t been rewarded with the milestone of a ton in each innings.

The early fit of the crown was not a good one. Border gave every indication of wanting to concentrate on his own job of batting and treating the captaincy as an add-on. Then, in spite of his continuing to make good runs, often alone, the mounting losses started to gnaw away at him. In New Zealand in 1986 he tossed his cards on the table and threatened to resign if the results didn’t improve. The fields stayed barren for another 18 months until a totally unexpected sign of spring – Australia’s winning of the World Cup in India in 1987.

From that point on Australia went on to climb Mount Everest, with Border only just missing out on the final summit of a defeat of the West Indies. He retired from Tests in 1994, whereas the Windies weren’t defeated until early 1995. As a soother for his wounds though he did get to take part in Queensland’s first ever Sheffield Shield win – a just reward for stickability and endurance if ever there was one.

For all those people who stick around through thick and thin in the direst of circumstances and tough things out; widows or wives who have had a husband abandon home; family and friends who have stuck by a sick loved one; the Australian diggers in all theatres of war; we salute your resolve and say thank you.

Previous thanksgiving article: Light

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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