Congrats to Pakistan who convincingly won the final against Srilanka. Pakistan, who fell agonizingly short in the last world cup and have been through so much problems as a country in the last two years, have pulled off a great victory. One might have felt sad for Srilankans, but Pakistan deserved to win the match and the cup. They peaked at the right time and thanks to Afridi who won the MOM award in both semi-final and final.
Afridi quite literally represents everything for a 'pakistani team'......He is a great talent (team) who has underperformed on many occassions previously, but has the calibre to beat any team anywhere in the world on his (their) day. This goes on to prove the age old notion that form is temporary, but class is permanent.
I went to watch a few of India's matches. Saw the first match in Nottingham where they won against Bangladesh, though not convicingly. Manikutty also had the first experience of watching a cricket match live again at Trentbridge where she saw Srilanka beating Westindies and India beating Ireland.
A photo by Manikutty
Crowd support for India was tremondous where ever they played.....
Indian fans performing for the live telecast
Most of the sponsors were Indian companies.....
I was also at Lords last sunday only to see India being expelled from the world cup by a fighting English side. I must say that there is nothing more beautiful in cricket than at 'Lords' (the home of cricket) on a sunny day, packed with full capacity of passionate supporters.....It was literally a 'sea of Blue'.....But alas the Indian team let the fans down again in a big tournament! They lost all the 3 super-8 matches and left for home dejected. Who is to blame? The loosers were again the Indian supporters. The BCCI, team management and the team recieved hefty cheques as usual. It would have been wonderful if the players had shown a bit of the passion like their supporters and gone out of the tournament showing their grit and determination rather than being kicked out in such a cowardly and cheeky manner....
Support for India just outside Lords stadium
The most visible landmark in Lords...the mediacentre....Inside Lords it was all 'Blue', felt as though the match is played in India.....
The famous pavilion where millions of Indians have the memory of Kapil dev and team lifting the worldcup in 1983....
The T20 have given a few messages:
1. Twenty twenty is here to stay; though it may not affect the test cricket significantly, it will take away the sheen from one day internationals, who will definitely suffer
2. There are no under dogs or favourites in a T20. Anyteam can win or rather any one can loose as is being exemplified in this year s IPL where the bottom 2 teams from last year( Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers) went on to play the final
3. T20 is not just about hitting out or slogging every ball...there needs to be a clear planning, partnerships and perfect execution of the process to gain the upperhand.
4. Who said T20 will spell the 'death' of bowlers in cricket? infact it was the 2 teams with the best bowling resources (MMM ie Murali-Mendis-Malinga for Srilanka and AAA ie Aamir-Afridi-Ajmal along with Gul for Pakistan) that went on to play the final.
5. T20 will also totally change the way, the world views cricket. From 10 or fewer nations it will spread to many countries and it is only a matter of time and its not if, but when cricket will become a regular feature of Olympics.