The Australian 1999 World Cup campaign was heading for disaster before a crisis meeting over a highly controversial alcohol ban had turned.
The nation suffered consecutive defeats between New Zealand and Pakistan at the start of the tournament, while tensions caused by the fall of Shane Warne's Caribbean axis two months earlier were on the rise.
Burning those flames was a team ban and a curfew, which Captain Steve Waugh and trainer Geoff Marsh presented in an attempt to raise the team's standards.
But the policies have diminished like a balloon, leading to a mini-revolt among the players, as revealed The miracle of 99, a special four-part series of Fox Cricket podcasts.
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"Maybe that 1999 World Cup team went a little too far to drink (ban)," said Allan Border, who was a breeder at the time. "When you're not playing well and you're not allowed to relax, it's not a good combination."
Among those who were dissatisfied with the ban was Adam Gatschrist, the groomers' snow groomer, who – like many of the players – had become accustomed to training hard and enjoying a drink later.
"We were not looking forward to spending an evening out and a bit of fun," said Gilchrist. "That's how I always played …"
With the ban on not washing with many players and the results on the field of Australia without any benefit, it was time for someone to stand up.
It is here that senior member Tom Moody entered, convening a crisis meeting with Marsh to raise the issue.
"(Moody) was probably more of a companion to Geoff Marsh than a relationship with a team member – because they had played a lot of cricket together for Western Australia," said Gilchrist.
"Fortunately, Moods went to Swampy and just said" Look, I'm not sure that's the right answer. "
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"We came out with a relaxed curfew, if you wish, or rules. They are more committed to treating us like adults and giving us responsibility. We had to do it."
Teammate Brendon Julian also recalled that the message to the team changed tone after the meeting.
"At the end of the day, I think he was thrown out the door," Julian said. "& # 39; You know what, you just need to be ready to play & # 39 ;.
"I don't want to talk about personality … It was more than being able to enter, to concentrate … Because it's not doubtful that we had the talent to win the World Cup. We weren't simply taking advantage of all these possibilities."
Australia immediately returned to winning, crushing Bangladesh with seven wickets with 181 balls remaining in its next game. The demolition was followed by convincing victories against the West Indies and India.
Indeed, Australia has not lost back to the tournament, with one equalize against South Africa in the semifinals, the only match left that did not win.
"Probably the revocation of that ban has seen some guys relax a little more and have fun. This gives better performance," said Border regarding the crisis meeting.
Despite the initial ban on making his mark, fast bowler Adam Dale gave Waugh credit for his role in changing it.
It was a decision that changed the course of the tournament, Dale believes.
"Thanks to Stephen's leadership, the group really felt comfortable talking about things and airing," he said. "If we had a leader who didn't allow any feedback, we might not have changed that rule and we wouldn't have won the tournament.
"On Stephen's credit, he led that change. Big Tom Moody, Gilly and all the guys discussed collectively and a decision was made. The story will show what happened."
Veteran journalist Robert Craddock – who at the time was reporting on the tournament – said that players could drink alcohol at mealtimes after the meeting.
"I am quite convinced that if Steve Waugh had not abandoned the alcohol ban, Australia would not have won the World Cup," Craddock said.
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