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Locals for World Cup final between India, Windies

Meet anyone on streets of Bay and they will tell you it should be a WI-India final, writes Pradeep Magazine.

cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2007 13:40 IST

Against the backdrop of a serene Caribbean sea, the 2007 World Cup, billed as the biggest ever and certainly the longest ever, will formally be declared open by the world's greatest living cricketer, the Bajan legend Gary Sobers, on Sunday evening.

Two days later, on March 13, hosts West Indies take on Pakistan at Kingston in the first of the group stage matches, to mark the real start of the tournament that will culminate in the final match on April 28 in Barbados.

<b1>As teams from 16 nations will be paraded at the Trelawny Stadium on Sunday in a true Olympic-style opening ceremony, thousands of spectators will cheer for their home team, a dream in their hearts.

The scars of colonialism may not run as deep in the minds of the black population of these tiny island nations but the scars still rankle. Meet anyone on the street and they will tell you that it should be a West Indies-India final.

Amen, say the Indians. They would also hope that unlike the 2003 final, where they were walloped by the Australians, this time around, Rahul Dravid and his men will not choke on the biggest stage of world cricket and instead, repeat what Kapil Dev and his daredevils achieved in 1983 in England.

It is a tall order, no doubt, but on paper India do look like they could go till the end and, once there, who knows? Let the games begin.