Australian players sheltered behind dark glasses Monday at a public reception the day after their victory over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final.Captain Michael Clarke carried the World Cup trophy and, as the players mounted the stage in front of thousands of fans at open-air Federation Square, they smiled wanly and waved to the crowd.
Clarke was asked what the over-riding emotion was on the day after Australia had achieved its fifth World Cup and he grinned and said: "We're all a bit hung over to be honest."
It had been a late night, and an even earlier morning. Australian newspapers and websites ran photographs Monday of coach Darren Lehmann and players, still in their team uniforms, holding the trophy on a hotel balcony as the sun rose over Melbourne.
After speeches from the Australian deputy prime minister and other government dignitaries on Monday, Clarke told fans how vital their support had been in the team's victory. He said the Australian side had embraced the pressure and expectation of playing at home and had executed their game plan calmly and efficiently throughout the tournament, culminating in its seven-wicket win Sunday night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The players then left the stage to mingle with the crowd, signing autographs and posing for photographs.
New Zealand will have its own, more muted celebration on Tuesday with a welcome home parade in downtown Auckland. The parade was planned before the outcome of the final was known but with the understanding it would go ahead whatever of the outcome of the final.
For more, read the AP news story.
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Text from the AP news story, Bleary-eyed Australians celebrate World Cup Win, by Steve McMorran.
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