Black Caps and Australia eye more trans-Tasman clashes

  • Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson celebrate Black Caps semi final win. (Source: ONE News)
    Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson celebrate Black Caps semi final win. - Source: ONE News
Sunday's 'dream' World Cup final may have not gone New Zealand's way but it could have major long-term benefits for the game in this country.
The hype around the match, which broke attendance records, was largely created by the tournament itself but it also proved that trans-Tasman clashes between the Black Caps and Australia can be marketed once again with great success.
A number of commentators pointed out the much-needed revival Brendon McCullum and his men provided for a sport that was in a state of 'decay' before their recent run ahead of and during the World Cup.
And despite the one-sided nature of the final, there's no denying the Black Caps have gained plenty of respect in Australia. So much so that away from the field, Australian cricket officials are considering closer ties to New Zealand and a regular one-day international series.
"There's a great rivalry, there's a great respect between the two nations," said Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.
"I think the opportunities for us to play each other more often - we can look at more closely."
Before getting soundly beaten by seven wickets in the final, the New Zealand team had pulled off two of the most exciting wins in the tournament, squeaking past Australia in pool play and South Africa in the semi-finals, finishing both games with thrilling sixes.
New Zealand co-hosted the tournament, and its victories came in front of delirious home crowds. Schools across the country embarked on cricket-related projects, with some allowing students to watch the games live on school television sets.
The team's aggressive style of play, in particular by McCullum who made a habit of charging fast bowlers and smacking them all over the field in the opening overs, caught the imagination of many around the world.
Coach Mike Hesson believes all signs point toward another successful campaign at the 2019 edition of the tournament.
"We've got a really young and talented group. There's the odd old-stager that's added a lot to the campaign but we've got a young crew," he said.
The team arrives back in Auckland today and while it may not get the victory parade many had hoped for, it is sure to get a huge welcome nevertheless.

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