Mixed feelings as Aussies fly home
Simon Katich has said he would not have gained "any satisfaction" from playing a weakened Zimbabwe side, but Justin Langer is "very disappointed" about the cancellation of Australia's two-Test series.
The pair, both Test specialists, arrived home on Sunday with quite different feelings about the whole experience. "Personally, I'm very disappointed because I went there to play cricket," said Langer.
He did not accept the theory that Test cricket's standards would have been sullied had the series gone ahead. "There's been a lot of Test cricket played ... and not all of it has been against Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram.
"There's been a lot of cricket over time that's been against lesser oppositions, so I think you've still got to make runs. I don't think you can ever say they're cheapened runs in Test cricket."
Katich thought otherwise. "I don't think I would have got any satisfaction out of playing a second-string side," he said. "If their best players aren't playing the meaning of Test cricket is reduced. You want to be challenged and, judging by the way the games went against Sri Lanka, it was pretty obvious that it was going to be a lopsided affair."
Cameron White, who described his maiden Test tour as a "bizarre stay" and an "eye-opening experience", saw it as an opportunity lost.
"I probably wouldn't have played anyway because of Warnie," he said. "But it would have been good for me to see how everything went and how an international Test match is played, even though the opposition mightn't have been the best ... I just wanted to learn as much as I could."
The non-one-day-playing trio all returned to Australia on Sunday, while Shane Warne was back playing for English county side Hampshire, thus ignoring the former England captain Tony Greig's plea for them to hang around in Zimbabwe and help out.
"Their threat to come straight home shouldn't implemented," Greig had said on Friday night. "Australian cricketers have a responsibility to make sure Zimbabwe cricket doesn't disappear off the face of the earth. If they really do care about Zimbabwe cricket, as they say they do, they should take time out to stay there and see what they can do to help these younger cricketers get the idea of what the big time's all about."