ANZAC cricket clash confirmed
The spirit of the A.N.Z.A.C. day sporting clash will be kept alive yet again this year after New Zealand's local cricket captain challenged the Australian team to a match.
Held on April 25 every year, A.N.Z.A.C. (which stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) is a day designed to honour those who have served in war.
It is marked in Samoa last year with a traditional ceremony. But another tradition in both countries is for sporting clashes to take place on the day.
This month's game, a yearly fixture becoming a regular tradition, will be hosted by the Samoa International Cricket Association (S.I.C.A).
"We are out to halt the [Australian team's three wins in a row] and bring to an end [to their] self-proclaimed dynasty,” Sanjay Chandra, the captain of the New Zealand team said.
”We have a fairly similar squad from last year and we have been training hard in the nets and out in the [pitch].
"I’m confident we will arrive Friday better prepared for this battle compared to the last few years. We have also enlisted the services of Rod Brown as Manager/Team Motivator. Rod has been part of many successful New Zealand cricket teams over the years in this fixture and is helping to instill that ‘Crusaders like’ winning mentality into our squad."
S.I.C.A's collaboration with the New Zealand and Australian expatriate communities in Samoa, once again play host to the annual ANZAC day cricket match between the two countries.
The friendly rivalry on the field has underdogs New Zealand team seeking to secure an upset by claiming the trophy from the defending champions, Australia.
When asked whether the Australian team will repeat history and win again this time around, Justin Kelly the captain of the Australian side, said they were confident leading into the game.
“We are the underdogs for sure but we like that. We are confident we will prove our rightful place,“ he said.
The Australian team has had a shortage of players in the last past few years, however, the team continued its winning streak, something he attributed to the team's winning secret.
“Preparation and participation and the team members getting together, just buying into the goal of the task at hand [...] or it could be just plain old good genetics, “ he said.
“Take it easy on the Australian team, we are weak and wounded, but do not underestimate the under-armers.
"We are coming for you."
Kelly's reference to "under-armers" refers to a famous 1981 incident in which the Australian team's bowler denied New Zealand's batsman the opportunity to win a close game by bowling the ball to the batsman in an underarm fashion in the game's final delivery. The then-legal but hugely contentious move continues to be the source of ribbing and sporting myth between the two countries some 40 years on.