Good riddance World Cup 2007 ... that's what i am thinking as Sri Lanka is forced to play the last 3 overs (more on that later)
It started with the murder of Bob Woolmer and i lost complete interest in the game. The public apathy to a real life loss, exit of India and Pakistan, the high rates for tickets and the stupid rule that disallowed bringing music instruments into the stadium all contributed to terming this as the WORST worldcup ever.
and today was the worst of all ... fittingly for the finals.
(1) Because of rain, the match is reduced to 38 overs. 38 overs for a finals match! comeon - couldn't the WI board and ICC fund floodlights for the finals venue. remember, sydney 1992 and i am sad to see that the cricket administration has not learnt a darn thing. sad., very sad. today should have been a 50 over match or else the match postponed to tomorrow
(2) Not the ICC's fault but what was Set Max officials thinking when they put Mandira bedi in a saree knitted with flags of participating nation. Given the kind of backlash that Sachin Tendulkar had for cutting a cake in the shape of national flag, didn't someone in the production team figure that the saree was bound to create controversy - especially when India flag figured prominently below the knee of Mandira. It was sad to see Mandira come out during the break in a different saree and apologize. The production team needs to owe this 'wardrobe malfunction'.
(3) and the mother of all farcical situations., 3 overs from the end - SL was out of the contest and when the umpires offered light, everyone on Earth and elsewhere thought that the match was over. Except for the 2 people in funny clothes called UMPIRES. They were going to arm-twist everyone by insisting that we comeback tomorrow to play or play in complete darkness. Stupid., maybe the rule book should state that COMMON SENSE should be used by umpires and everyone involved in the game. They shoo-ed off construction workers trying to put together the podium and even when Jayawardane pleaded, they were struck in their bone-headed decision. In less than a year, we have 2 incidents where umpires occupied the wrong place in the match - centerstage. i guess the match referee could have sent a word to the umpires to put the nonsense to rest but he was equal in the task of acting like a ... (never mind)
Congrats Australia, you are deserving champions. Congrats Sri Lanka - there is no shame in losing to a team like the Aussies. Congrats to South Africa and New Zealand for their semi-finals appearance. Congrats to Bangladesh and Ireland for their upsets and unexpected entry into super-8.
Shame to the cricket administrators, team officials (i am looking squarely in your eyes, Greg Chappell) and umpires for lessening the repute of the game. the game would be better served with less interference and 'value-add' from you folks. for not seeing you folks, i am happy that the WC is over ....
BTW., ESPN (US Sports NW, not ESPN India) wrote an article on Bob's murder. Nice read as it gives a perspective of an outsider viewing the game. Click here