Australia’s cricketers prepared for Sunday’s crucial World Twenty20 clash with South Africa by getting their competitive juices flowing as they watched a live telecast of the AFL grand final.
Young pace bowler Pat Cummins and fielding coach Steve Rixon were among the Swans fans who sat nervously through the closing stages of Sydney’s 10-point win over Hawthorn.
The cricket squad watched the game on a big-screen TV at their hotel on Saturday morning Colombo time.
Wicketkeeper Matt Wade proudly celebrated the win by his cousin, Melbourne utility Jeremy Howe, in the AFL’s mark-of-the-year competition.
The team had an optional training session on Saturday afternoon.
Australia have lifted their world ranking from No.9 at the start of the tournament to No.6 following group-stage wins over Ireland and West Indies and Friday night’s nine-wicket victory over India in the Super Eights.
Another win on Sunday against the Proteas (2000 AEST) is likely to be enough to allow Australia to qualify for the semi-finals, although Bailey’s men also have a third Super-Eights clash on Tuesday night against Pakistan.