Celebrating Australia players.
Australia will aim to follow up last year's ODI World Cup triumph with T20 success in the Caribbean. Image by AP PHOTO
  • cricket

Legacy moment awaits as Australia hunt last ICC trophy

Scott Bailey June 1, 2024

Nick Hockley has described the next 18 months as legacy defining for Australian cricket, as the nation puts itself on the brink of owning all five ICC trophies.

Australia will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Oman on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) in Barbados, as part of a long road to the tournament’ finals.

In a soft opening to the tournament, the 2021 champions then face England before further group games against Namibia and Scotland before the Super Eight stage.

Legacy has become a buzz term in Australian cricket in recent years, with an aging playing group and questions over where they will be ranked in history.

But in this month’s tournament, a rare opportunity exists.

Australia already hold the women’s ODI and T20 World Cup trophies, while the men won the World Test Championship mace and ODI World Cup last year.

That leaves the men’s T20 trophy as the only world title not held by Australia’s senior teams. 

No nation in history has ever held all five simultaneously, even when considering year-end Test rankings before the Test Championship began in 2021.

“It’s pretty unprecedented,” Cricket Australia CEO Hockley told AAP.

“It’s a testament to the strength of the whole system. All the way through from pathway, states and territories, to the quality of the domestic competitions.

“And then more directly the player leaders, coaches, selectors. We’ve got really settled groups in both the women’s and the men’s programs.

Australia players celebrating a Test win.
 Skipper Pat Cummins leads Australia’s celebrations after their World Test Championship Final win. Image by AP PHOTO 

“You’ve got to add on to that retaining both the Women and Men’s Ashes away. The other one is the Commonwealth Games as well.”

For Hockley, the test of Australia’s position in world cricket goes beyond this month’s men’s tournament in the Caribbean.

Australia’s women defend their T20 World Cup crown on the spinning wickets of Bangladesh this October, where India are expected to loom as a significant threat.

Both sides also have home Ashes series against rejuvenated England sides in the next 18 months, while the men will try and win back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this summer.

“I think it does put them among the best (with a big 18 months). This has been a really, really, successful era,” Hockley said.

“To hold all trophies, including the World Test Championship would be an would be extremely difficult thing for anyone to do.

“There are some really meaningful opportunities coming up for both these sides. Particularly with India going for their third Test series win on Australian soil.

“Between this World Cup, this upcoming summer and the return Ashes, I do think they’ve got an opportunity to go down as one of the greatest.”

Australia’s players aren’t as interested in talking about legacies, with the men having largely put the discussion to the side after last year’s Ashes.

But they are well aware of what is at stake in a tournament that also looms as David Warner’s last in international cricket.

“That discussion comes post these tournaments,” opener Travis Head said about legacies.

“It’s not something we talk about. Looking back at the ODI World Cup, sights were on the next game.

“It wasn’t until we won it everyone was like wow, we’ve done something pretty special.

“The make up is there (to win it). Let’s see where we get to. It would be a huge achievement if we’re able to do it.”

David Warner.
 David Warner smashes a boundary during the recent home T20 series against West Indies. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS 

Australia’s men were shock winners of last year’s ODI World Cup, but this event comes with even more of the unknown.

While Australia and England are almost certain to progress out of Group A, any number of teams loom as genuine contenders.

India and New Zealand are expected to join Australia in their Super Eight stage based on predetermined seedings, along with either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.

Pakistan, England and South Africa then loom as threats on the other side of the draw, while hosts West Indies are always a wildcard.

AUSTRALIA’S T20 WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN:

GROUP STAGE

June 6: v Namibia in Barbados

June 9 v England in Barbados

June 12 v Namibia in Antigua

June 16 v Scotland in St Lucia

SUPER-EIGHT STAGE (Likely opponents based on pre-determined seeds qualifying top-two of their group)

June 21 v Sri Lanka/Bangladesh in Antigua

June 23 v New Zealand in St Vincent

June 25 v India in St Lucia

SEMI-FINALS

June 27/28 in Trinidad and Tobago/Guyana

FINAL

June 30 in Barbados

*All dates AEST