Monday, April 30, 2007

World Cup 2007 comes to an end

Here we are. ICC World Cup 2007 came to an end on Saturday evening (28th April 2007) at Barbados. The final was played between the tournament favorites Australia and the Asian tigers Srilanka. Yet another rain hindered match which ended up being restricted to maximum of 38 overs each side. Once again the team which played first won the game convincingly and the match had almost no element of excitement from start to finish. Except for the fact that if Sangakkara had hit McGrath for a few more sixes it would have been some turnaround for the match but it was the day of Australia from the start till the end.

Australia remained unbeaten in all of its 29 matches. All the matches were won convincingly by them and they proved once again that they are just world class keeping in mind the number of upsets which happened in this cup. Minnows Ireland defeated Pakistan the same day when Bangladesh defeated India. The day after the defeat, people got literally enraged and it was a furore all over the country. It came to such an extent that we had to even watch the clash between India and Bermuda which could have been easily forgotten. I remembered getting a forward which had names of India and Pakistan already in the Super 8. Both the teams could not make it to the Super 8. The other major upset of the tournament happened in Super 8 when Bangladesh defeated South Africa and proved that they are the next Asian Tigers. Nevertheless one win was not sufficient for Bangladesh to get into the Semis which already had some of the best teams waiting.

The host West Indies again put across a dismal performance with just managing to win 2 out of their 7 matches in the Super 8. The team which once upon a time had stalwarts like Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards was reduced to dust within no time by the likes of Shane Bond, McGrath and others. England ensured that they continue their pathetic form and put up a performance which can be said as a little better than Bangladesh. None of their batsmen were in form leaving Kevin Pieterson. Ross Taylor really could not get his form back. Flintoff got himself into trouble after some charges were filed against him.

The surprise package of World Cup 2007 was nevertheless Ireland. They were the team which proved that if there is a will to win anything is possible. Its quite possible that all that happened because of team Ireland may be a chance but surely they did bring some welcome change in the World cup.

India's performance was probably one of the worst one in the recent time. The series against WI and Srilanka was a warning sign in terms of the form of the key player but of no avail. Most of our top batsmen collapsed. In the entire tournament India played three matches out of which two were not with the test playing nations even. But again India keeping up with the tradition of records ensured that this world cup 2007 does not go without. India scored 413 against Bermuda which is the highest ever total in World Cup till date. All our batsmen played an excellent innings in that match. It was unfortunate that we all had to even view that match. Bangladesh thrashed India badly with the opener Tamim Iqbal hitting the top Indian bowlers all across the fence. India was trailing at 159/9 when the tailenders came in took charge of the score and added about 32 runs to take the score to 193 which was a modest total to defend keeping in mind the strength of Indian bowling. The match against Sri Lanka was a nightmare and it really put each of the television viewers into a sorrow state. Muralitharan proved that he can be a match winner once again. Solid performance by the Sri Lankan team in the world cup must say better than the rest of the sub continent teams.

The final was a treat to match only in terms of the batting by Adam Gilchrist. He really rocked that day and it was proved again and again that it is his day today. Rock solid batting by Australians together with some tight bowling by Nathan Bracken and Michael Clarke turned the match towards Australia very easily. McGrath took one wicket and ended up as the Man of the series which he truly deserved. There cannot be a better ending than that for an illustrious career lead by this bowler. All across the newspapers and internet websites people were talking about watching McGrath bowl for the last time on an international arena.

A good number of big guns retired from the international cricket with this world cup. Inzy retired with tears in his eyes, Lara got a standing ovation from the crowd as departed from the ODI scene, McGrath retired from the limited overs cricket, Anil Kumble was the only Indian player to retire post this world cup and there is a good chance that we will not be able to see some of the players in the next world cup also. Stephen Fleming stepped down as the New Zealand Captain after a shocking defeat to Sri Lanka in the semifinals. New Zealand and South Africa stand as the most unfortunate teams of the World Cup. South Africa played disastrously in the Semis against Australia and it was really a bad performance by them.

All in all the this world cup had nothing literally for Indians other than the funky sarees of Mandira Bedi which incidentally got into a rage courtesy Indian Democracy and a pathetic telecast of the SETMAX where ads kept sneaking all the time even between a single over. Indian cricket teams came back amidst tight security and were given a very very warm welcome in literal sense. The tour to Bangladesh starts this Saturday. Let’s hope for some fireworks this time.

Some knowledge trivia about the World Cup Mascot is here

The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup held in West Indies had Mello as the Mascot. The mascot resembles an orange raccoon-like creature wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt over a white vest and blue canvas shoes. Mello is shown standing with cross legs and tossing a white ball in the air, while leaning on a cricket bat. Mello pins a red ribbon on the left side of his shirt showing his support for the ICC/UNAIDS initiative, aimed at creating awareness of HIV/AIDS challenges among people.

The mascot of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 has sparkling eyes, relaxing smile and pleasing personality, representing a youthful, friendly and fun loving character with a positive attitude and a zest for life. Mello is in his teens - cheeky and curious and aware of social and health challenges around us. The world cup mascot was chosen after an extensive worldwide research and development sessions.

Here is the photograph of the Mello

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ah! such a boring WC it was, worst grounds, worst pitches, worst weather, worst performances!!!