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Inside the Aussies’ T20 World Cup celebrations

Etched into folklore: Aussies inflict final heartbreak on hosts

The location was new, but the celebrations were familiar as Australia’s T20 World Cup champions toasted their sixth title in style in Cape Town on Sunday evening. 

The Aussies remained at Newlands Stadium until the wee hours of Monday morning, hours after sealing a 19-run win over hosts South Africa and lifting the trophy in the early evening. 

Once the formalities were over and the song had been sung, the players and staff retreated to the dressing rooms where the party properly got underway. 

There were a few interruptions as players fulfilled media commitments, crossing back to Australian television and radio after fans woke up to news of their latest victory. 

As one would expect, Freed From Desire got a strong run – at one point with the lyrics changed to ‘Moons is on fire’ in honour of player of the final. 

Then, just after 11pm, the Australians ventured back outside to the middle of the ground, where they formed a circle, trophy in the middle, as they carried on a tradition that has become the centrepiece of their World Cup celebrations in recent years. 

It started with a balmy evening in Antigua in 2018, when Australia toasted their return to the top of the world long into the night in the middle of Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. 

That continued in the vastness of the MCG in 2020, long after the 86,174 fans had departed the venue, and once again in the cool chill of an April evening in Christchurch in 2022 after Australia won back the one-day World Cup. 

Coach Shelley Nitschke gets a champagne shower // Getty

“We stayed at the ground for most of the night to be honest, it was a pretty incredible venue to spend some time at,” Lanning told cricket.com.au the morning after Australia’s victory.  

“It was just about chatting with each other, going through some moments throughout the tournament, reflecting a lot, and just having some fun.  

“You’ve got to try and savour these moments as much as you can.  

Darcie Brown, Laura Wolvaardt, Megan Schutt and Tahlia McGrath share a moment after the final // cricket.com.au
Darcie Brown, Laura Wolvaardt, Megan Schutt and Tahlia McGrath share a moment after the final // cricket.com.au

“I know we’ve been really successful over the past 10 years, but you never know when your next World Cup final might be, you might never get another chance.  

“So we really just wanted to soak it all up, enjoy spending time with each other and our families as well. We certainly did that and enjoyed it.” 

On Monday morning, Meg Lanning made her way to a lookout point at Small Bay Beach in Bloubergstrand, which looks back over Cape Town’s city centre and Table Mountain. 

‘We stuck together’: Lanning recaps campaign, celebrations

There, in blustery conditions, she showed off Australia’s trophy once again. 

The Aussies then had an afternoon to themselves to relax and soak up the tournament, before they go their separate ways, either back to Australia or on to India for the inaugural Women’s Premier League. 

“It’s starting to sink in now,” Lanning said.  

‘Pretty darn special’: Aussies revel in latest global triumph

“It was a very special day yesterday, the atmosphere at Newlands was incredible.  

“Obviously, the crowd were more cheering for South Africa, but just to be part of that atmosphere and event was really special. 

“For the group to be able to win another World Cup, they’re never easy to win and there’s always ups and downs and challenges along the way, and the way we’ve been able to get through those tough moments and when we’ve been under the pump, we’ve stuck together as a team and really had each other’s back, that’s one of the things I’m most proud of.” 

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alyssa Healy (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

Australia’s T20 World Cup 2023 fixtures

Feb 11: beat New Zealand by 97 runs

Feb 14: beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

Feb 16: beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets

Feb 18: beat South Africa by six wickets

Semi-finals

Feb 23: Australia beat India by five runs

Feb 24: South Africa beat England by six runs

Final

Feb 26: Australia beat South Africa by 19 runs