GLENN McGRATH hopes the Aussies are partying like it’s 1999 at Edgbaston today.
The legendary bowler was part of Australia’s World Cup-winning side in England 20 years ago.
And McGrath will never forget their nail-biting semi-final – at the same Birmingham venue his country’s current crop meet England in another last-four clash.
Australia tied that legendary match with South Africa after Allan Donald was run-out in the last over – and they went through to the final thanks to finishing higher in the Super Six table.
And McGrath, 49, told SunSport: “Without a doubt, it’s one of the most memorable games I’ve ever been involved in.
“I’ve been to the gym a couple of times this week and each time they were playing a replay of that semi-final and it was down to the final ten overs and the old heart-rate was going up!
“To get an amazing finish like that was incredible. There’s a lot of amazing memories I can share with my team-mates.
“Even 20 years on from that game, it feels like it was yesterday.”
One thing that has changed from 20 years ago is the form of England, who were knocked out of their home tournament in ‘99 in the first group stage.
And in a role reversal from his heyday, McGrath admits Aaron Finch’s Aussies have had to play catch-up after watching the way Eoin Morgan’s men approach the one-day game.
It kills me to say it, but the way England go about their one-day game is something I’ve enjoyed for a little while. They have been setting the standard.
Glenn McGrath on England
He confessed: “It kills me to say it, but the way England go about their one-day game is something I’ve enjoyed for a little while. They have been setting the standard.
“That old way of playing one-day cricket, where you play hard for the first and last ten overs and just consolidate in that middle 30-over period, is a thing of the past.
“Now it’s about going hard for 50 overs, see what you can do and really back yourselves – and that’s the brand of cricket England have been playing for a long time.
“India have followed suit and Australia have learnt their lessons too and are playing a similar brand of cricket.
“England have led the way for a while but other teams have caught up.
“I have been impressed with the way the Australians have played.
“They have got the team to win it – it’s just how they handle those big moments.”
McGrath reckons his old team-mate Ricky Ponting, who was also part of the ‘99 side, will have had a big influence on Australia in his role as assistant coach to Justin Langer.
And he said: “For someone of Rick’s class, experience and ability to be working with the team, it gives the guys a lift and they love having him around.
“With what he has achieved, they will draw on his wealth of experience, especially those young players. That is a massive bonus.”
As far as England are concerned, McGrath has been impressed with the impact of Barbados-born quick Jofra Archer.
But he insists the pressure is all on the hosts, who have never won the World Cup and came into this tournament as the favourites.
McGrath added: “I am impressed with the way Archer goes about it his business.
“He impressed me when I’ve seen him play out here in the Big Bash.
“He’s got good pace, he just seems to do it so easily and he is a natural athlete.
MORE CRICKET WORLD CUP STORIES
“England are a quality one-day team. They have the players to be able to back themselves and give them freedom, with the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler.
“But they have the added pressure of being the favourites and playing in front of a home crowd. There is a fair bit happening there.
“I’ll be keen to see how they handle that pressure.”
*Glenn McGrath is the latest sports personality to join forces with online financial trading broker ThinkMarkets to promote sport to disadvantaged young people and provide opportunities to a new generation of financial gurus