July 2, 2009

Australian cricket

The un-Australian prime minister

Brydon Coverdale



John Howard must be spitting out his tea in disgust at the comments of his successor as Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Howard is the ultimate cricket tragic and his green-and-gold tracksuit will no doubt be his outfit of choice during the upcoming Ashes series.

While Rudd is also a cricket fan, he this week teetered dangerously on the edge of being labelled un-Australian – one of Howard’s favourite terms – when asked in a radio interview who was his favourite athlete. Rudd surely would say Don Bradman … surely. Or at least an Australian icon from another sport.

But this was Rudd’s response: “I can't go past Garry Sobers. There you go." Rudd cited Sobers’ unbeaten 254 for the Rest of the World at the MCG and his six sixes in an over of county cricket. “I thought, this guy has got the gift, the gift of the gods about him," Rudd said. "So there you go, he's not an Australian. Garry Sobers."

It's almost grounds for impeachment. At least Rudd knows he’ll always be welcome in Barbados.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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