“Once you get the baggy green you don’t want to give it back, do you? I’m proud as punch to be wearing Australian colours.”
It was an innocent sort of statement made to ABC radio by Chadd Sayers, Australia’s newest Test cricketer, after the first day of the fourth Test at Johannesburg.
Sayers is the kind of straightforward character who does not worry too much about symbolism. But after a week in which Australian cricket’s reputation has been dragged through the gutter by the ball-tampering actions of three players, it was significant to hear him express pride in wearing the fabled cap.
That pride is exactly why Australians were so incensed when the sandpaper scandal of Cape Town was unveiled, and those currently wearing the caps at the Wanderers want to be part of a future, not tarnished by the troubled recent history.