Agar blows away all the negativity

Aussie hero

Agar blows away all the negativity

The name “Agar” was trending on Twitter. Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan admitted even he was cheering for an Aussie. And commentator Harsha Bhogle said it helped him fall in love with cricket all over again.

Yes, 19-year-old Ashton Agar’s defiant 98 in his Test debut brought out all the superlatives, nearly matching the long list of records he set in the first Ashes Test on Thursday. The clock was ticking a few minutes before midnight and a newday Friday on Australia’s east coast when Agar fell two runs short of a century.

No matter. The youngster was immediately hailed a hero, featured as the lead item on all breakfast television programmes in a country where all-encompassing sporting accomplishments lately have been rare.

The previous best for a No 11 batsman was Tino Best’s 95 for the West Indies against England last year. “I’m feeling your pain lad ... records are to be broken,” Best tweeted.

“Must say we number 11 batters, in Agar and myself, love this English bowling attack.”
The once all-powerful Australian cricket Test team has been struggling recently. English pundits have been tipping a 5-0 series win over Australia. But one fresh face quickly turned around the flood of negativity.

Agar, with his parents John and Sonia cheering from the stands, had barely walked — smiling all the way — to the pavilion before other plaudits began pouring in.

Vaughan, the former opening batsman, who captained England in 51 Tests over a five-year period, got caught up in Agar’s incredible batting performance.

“Never ever thought I would say I am disappointed a Aussie got out but I really wanted Ashton Agar to get a 100... #Ashes,” Vaughan tweeted. Minutes later, Bhogle said he was moved by Agar’s exploits. “You think you have seen it all and then there comes a moment so fresh, so touching that you fall in love with cricket all over again,” Bhogle tweeted.

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