Australia have beaten England again, this time by getting Sir Steve Redgrave, the five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist, to speak to the team first. Redgrave, the Englishman, was staying in the same hotel as the Australians in Barbados and the team management, which is always keen for outside ideas, asked if he would talk to the side as it chases a third World Cup title in a row.
"He spoke about the expectation of being a favourite, continually raising the bar, having the attitude of being a winner and preparing to win consistently," an Australian team spokesman told AAP. "He said everyone would be looking at Australia because they had an aura about them."
Redgrave spent almost an hour with the group on a night when the Courier-Mail reported England had wanted him to speak to them. He is also expected to address Michael Vaughan's squad, which beat Bangladesh on Wednesday to stay in the race for the semi-finals.
"There are obviously a lot of parallels with the Australian team and Redgrave, who was basically never beaten in important competitions," the spokesman said. "He also talked about dealing with adversity and national expectation."
Australia have won their opening six World Cup games and have not lost a match in the tournament since 1999, when Steve Waugh reversed a form slump to lead the team to victory at Lord's. Ricky Ponting's next match is against Ireland in Barbados on Friday.