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Aussies celebrate

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Thousands of cricket fans have turned out to greet the Australian cricket squad at the Sydney Opera House after their 5-0 Ashes clean sweep.

Cricket fans started arriving from early this morning to make sure they had the best seat in the house to congratulate the team.

On what should have been the final day of the fifth Test at the SCG, many fans who travelled to Sydney still got the chance to celebrate Australia's Ashes whitewash.

Only opening batsmen Chris Rogers was absent as Michael Clarke's men were presented at a reception attended by the Prime Minister.

Tony Abbott welcomed the players to the stage, lauding their "improbable achievement".

"You were the improbables because no-one expected you to win," he said.

"You have been the unchangeables — the first team in 100 years to be unchanged through a whole series."

Coach Darren Lehmann thanked the cricket supporters for their loyalty and played down his role in the team's emphatic victory over England.

"The players deserve all the credit. They have done a lot of hard work," said the former Test batsmen.

"Winning the first one at the Gabba was important and we gained confidence and went from strength to strength.

"The pleasing thing is the way they play — nice, aggressive hard cricket - the Aussie way."

Lehmann said the team was hopeful of carrying the winning momentum into the upcoming series against South Africa.

Clarke told the crowd the return of the Ashes urn is the result of his team's hard work.

He paid special tribute to wicketkeeper and vice-captain Brad Haddin, who made 493 runs throughout the series.

"I have certainly seen throughout my career that there is tough times," Clarke said.

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