Australia’s “Love Café” duo serves a winning brew

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During an unprecedented cultural cleansing sparked by the Cape Town ball tampering scandal, Cricket Australia, Calif., Was smart enough to substantiate their claims with a homemade web series about their men’s team’s journey across the subcontinent. and the UK for almost 18 months. Striving for “elite honesty,” Australia encouraged its cricketers to show their vulnerable side by portraying them as a humble group, far from the deceptive two-faced avatar in which they were caught. Justin Langer plays the main character, elaborating on Steve Smith’s quirks and his stellar mood. watched Marnus Labushagne follow him wherever he went, discussing Payne with Tim to keep the jokes from turning into insults, and mumbled about “making Australians proud of the Australian cricket team.” But guess who also played a key role in the eight-episode moral recalibration of Australian men’s cricket? Adam Zampa and Markus Stoinis and Love Cafe.

If you’ve watched The Test, you’ll know that Love Café is about two close friends obsessed with hand-grinding and brewing rare coffee beans. Interest in Love Café dwindled after several cricketers such as Andrew Ty, David Warner and Labushagn bought machines to set up their own coffee clubs, but Kane Richardson, whom Mitchell Stark once called the “third wheel” between Zampa and Stoinis, continues to resent “coffee snob” Zampa for never inviting him to his cafe. “Everyone tastes the same to me,” Richardson scoffed at Zampa’s fetish for buying the finest and most expensive beans in an interview last year, adding that Fast Travel to Warner’s room does it for him, otherwise “ he tends to bite off your ear. … What Richardson misses in the interview – on purpose, of course – is that Zampa also agreed to get a whiskey glass tattoo on his left wrist as part of a deal with Richardson at his weekend bachelor party. “I always took a couple of bottles of whiskey with me on tour,” Zampa told the BBC last year. “Some boys started doing it too. We have a whiskey club. At night, people bring different bottles. Some people like the Japanese. I like the Scottish Highlands. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Stark are starting to enjoy it, and a few more guys are starting to play around. “

But wait. It’s not just about clubs of coffee or whiskey in bio bubbles. It’s much deeper. For decades, Australia has practiced the overtly toxic notion of elite camaraderie, which believed in stifling the morale of teams arriving well ahead of the tour, threatening to break their fucking hands by refusing to step back from their moral stance. It is, however, a very different Australia, led by the very humble Aaron Finch and run by coffee lovers, fanatical vegans and a PETA campaign activist in Zampa who still prefers film cameras to DSLRs. “I really don’t consider myself a cricketer,” says Zampa. “I consider myself a fairly cultured person.”

“Too close, isn’t it?”

There’s honesty, the unabashed display of bromance – holding hands, kissing, painting nails and sharing spring rolls on the red carpet with the Allan Border Medal – things most Australians haven’t seen on the cricket team. So when a giant screen in Sharjah showed Zampa running his fingers through Stoinis’s hair during the 2019 ODI against Pakistan, Langer couldn’t hide his disapproval. “These are two of the rarest people I’ve ever met,” Langer later says in Trial, but Finch doesn’t like to beat around the bush. “Sometimes they’re too close, don’t they,” asks Finch.

However, Stoinis does not shy away from polite questions. “Fortunately, the cameras didn’t turn on later because …” he says, chuckling at a press conference after that match with Sharjah. “It’s hard to explain, we love each other,” says Zampa in The Test. And when the same question is asked shortly before Big Bash 2019, Zampa kisses Stoinis on the cheeks. It was like watching Starsky and Hutch overdose on bromance.

Perhaps a change is finally taking place. Perhaps Australian cricketers are gradually becoming more real. And what is most remarkable about this twist? Watching these same guys approach the main action. Because let’s face it, World Cup success may be in their DNA, but Australia hasn’t had the right men for the final run for some time. They were in dire need of a finisher and a spinner on the wrist. An example is the 2019 World Cup one-sided semi-final against England, where they were sacked for 223 despite having 157 points after their 35th match. Any good ODI side should have added at least a hundred more runs, but Australia lacked depth. And they were practically replayed within the 16th over when Steve Smith – who rarely plays bowling anyway – was dragged across the ground by three sixes at the 21st crossing. Nathan Lyon also missed 49 runs in five overs, making this semi-final the last time he played white ball cricket.

Getting due

Zampa appears with his quiver of leg fractures and variations, including a very deceiving bug. With more wickets (12) than any other spinner in Super 12, career best (5/19 against Bangladesh) and lowest economy (5.69) so far, Zampa can be said to have finally arrived. although he has been here for many years. really long time. He was Australia’s most successful bowler at the 2016 T20 World Cup. What is 6/19 for the Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2016 IPL? It was also Zampa. “The great thing about Zamp is that he is very honest,” says Stoinis. “The night before he took his five wickets and felt that he was not playing well. This is the quality of a good player when you understand your game and understand exactly what you are doing. “

It’s not easy to break into a limited overs league dominated by Shane Warne and Brad Hogg, but Zampa came to the T20 World Cup with purchases in South Africa, England, New Zealand, West Indies and Bangladesh. However, doubts remained. “I’ve always been underestimated,” Zampa tells cricket.com.au a day after finishing 4-0-22-1 against Pakistan in the semi-finals. “Even at the age of 15 or 16, when he was growing up in the country, there was always a city guy who was better than me, or there was always someone who twisted his leg more than me. Even after this tournament there will be another streak and I will be underestimated again. ” Then he pauses. “I love it”.

Stoinis is another interesting story. For a long time, he saw more failures than successes. His career was considered over when Stoinis did not bother the scorers in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals. But he bounced back better and better, finishing the 2019-20 Big Bash as top scorer (705 runs at SR 136.62) with a 147 * highest, still the highest individual score in BBL history. “You are definitely drawing on your past experience,” Stoinis tells cricket.com.au. “I played T20 cricket a lot and I kind of got this scar. I have failed in situations and have been told that I cannot complete the game; we’ve heard all of that before. I think you need to go through all kinds of material and build up that scar, stand in the middle in a pressure situation. That doesn’t mean it will always work, but I think I definitely noticed how I think about the situation that has grown over the past couple of years. “

Ricky Ponting noticed the same after Stoinis finished the 2020 IPL season with 352 runs and a hit rate of 148.52. “After spending a lot of time with him over the last couple of years, what I saw at the IPL tells me that he is five times the best player he was 12 months ago,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. A hamstring injury at the IPL limited his chances of improving last year’s show, but Stoinis didn’t let it undermine his confidence. “There is no doubt that I felt a little pressure,” said Matthew Wade after winning the semifinals with 17 goals of 41. “And Stoinis said,” We will get this, we will get this. ” Deep down, I thought, “I hope you do this because I don’t think I would hit anyone here at the moment.” But as long as he is near, I am sure that we can catch up with everything. ” This happened to Melbourne Stars teammate Stoinis Haris Rauf, whom he picked as the six and four in the 17th break to bring the score down to 37 from 18 before Wade took over.

Australia will be hoping that more will come from Stoinis and Zampa. It will make this history after Cape Town forever.



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