#CWC15: Allan Border urges Aussies to embrace challenge of home pressure

Allan Border, the first man from Australia to lift the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1987, has been looking back on that success, and also back to 1992, when he led the side in a failed defence of the title on home soil.

Border became the first Australia captain to lift the ICC Cricket World Cup when his side beat England in the final in 1987 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, but the team failed to defend the title on home soil five years later when, despite being much-fancied, it did not reach the semi-finals.

And ahead of this Saturday’s Australia versus England clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground he urged the Australian team to embrace playing at home rather than worry about any perceived pressure.

“Everyone’s talking about playing at home and that it’s a very difficult situation with extra pressure and expectations playing in front of your own crowds,” he said. “My advice would be to embrace that and go out of your way to embrace the fact that you are playing at home in front of your own crowd because it will help you.

“In tight situations where the crowd is in your corner it will make a difference,” he continued. “So embrace that and don’t let it worry you that the extra expectation will be there. You know it’s going to happen, the pressure is there on all the teams, particularly the host nations, so embrace that challenge.”

“I can’t remember picking up the papers in the morning and saying ‘Oh no we’ve lost another game’ and thinking that the pressure was building up. I just felt disappointed that we weren’t playing anywhere near our best cricket, regardless of what the media were saying,” Border continued when reflecting on the 1992 World Cup. “We knew we were a better cricket team than what we were showing.

“It is a double edged sword because you’ve got that support, yet the crowd expectation is that you are going to win.

“You know that is going to be the case so you embrace it, you welcome that challenge and I think this Australian side has been up to those challenges over the last couple of years and returned some great performances, so I don’t think this is going to be any different in this World Cup.”

THE FULL ALLAN BORDER INTERVIEW

James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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