Aussie flagbearer says Comm Games will unite Australia

Australian flagbearer Mark Knowles believes the Commonwealth Games is a chance for the nation to unite after being torn apart by cricket's ball-tampering scandal.

Hockey captain Knowles, who will lead the Kookaburras in his fourth and final Games, said he was honoured to carry the flag in Wednesday's opening ceremony.

But in the aftermath of Australia cricket's cheating saga in South Africa, Knowles hoped the public would come together behind the Games team.

"As a young man in Australia we're trying to be role models. We're trying to be elite in what we do every day, but we also need to inspire that next generation," he said on Tuesday.

"I'm extremely sad - I feel a little bit empathy for some of the people involved and for sportspeople in general.

"What I think the Commonwealth Games does is it's an opportunity to bring Australia back together. We're a sport-loving nation that gets behind all of their people."

Knowles, who won Olympic gold in 2004 followed by three Commonwealth triumphs, said the Commonwealth Games wasn't about winning or losing.

"This is about a personal best, about supporting people who have failures or disappointments. We all want to win, and I really hope we all do," he said.

"But I think even most of know that it doesn't always happen."

The 34-year-old was a surprise selection as Australia's flagbearer over local favourite Sally Pearson on Monday night, but insisted the world champion hurdler would remain supportive of the team.

The opening ceremony will be held at Carrara Stadium on Wednesday night.

"I read a little bit in the last couple of days of potential candidates. For me to be even in that category was amazing," Knowles said.

"If Sally or anyone else was named, I would have been extremely proud to walk behind them.

"I haven't seen Sally this morning but in my past encounters with Sally at the medal unveil and previous Olympics, I know she'll support Team Australia whether she's carrying the flag, walking the baton or doing something else."

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