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Aussie rules vs ICC rules

It is rather apt that the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup final was decided according to the complicated calculations of the Duckworth-Lewis method.

india Updated: Apr 30, 2007 05:22 IST

It is rather apt that the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup final was decided according to the complicated calculations of the Duckworth-Lewis method. For a tournament that had lost its way somewhere in the middle — and India and Pakistan crashing out early was only one reason for this — a rain-and-bad light-interrupted finale seemed like the final line in the bad script. And yet, Saturday’s climax was unfortunate. For if anyone was a clear champion of the tournament, it was Australia, a team that lifted the trophy for the third consecutive time. Ricky Ponting and his team, if not cricket fans across the world, deserved better.

In the truncated match that was played at the Kensington Oval, Adam Gilchrist burst forth in the semi-darkness. His swashbuckling 149 off 104 deliveries made the pitch look easier than it was. Once again, the Australian batting line-up delivered, remaining untested. The score of 281 in 38 overs was not the outcome of bad bowling or fielding on the part of the Lankans. The Aussies — Gilchrist in particular — were simply too good, finding the places, otherwise doing away with such terrestrial niceties and hitting over boundaries. In response, the Lankans put up a fight, Kumar Sangakkara along with Sanath Jayasuriya showing the way. But with the conditions against them and some daunting arithmetic to contend with — not to mention chasing a score that would have made other teams wilt — the Lankans had to give up much before the last ball of the 36th over was bowled.

Considering that this was the final of the biggest tournament of a game still sought out for its ‘glorious unpredictability’, the organisers should not have insisted on wrapping up the match on Saturday, come rain, come dusk. It’s one thing to gaze at the cash registers and quite another to give the World Cup final the importance that it deserves. Australia, clearly, was the best team in the World Cup. Throughout the tournament, their performance has been at a different level from the rest. So the Duckworth-Lewis method at least got that right. But that doesn’t take away from the farce that was forced upon the spectators, Sri Lanka and Australia. The champions deserved better.