Australia win Cricket World Cup farce
Posted by redracer on April 29, 2007
I was stupid enough to stay up all night to watch the World Cup final, which ended in the controversy that befits the whole tournament, having run for too long, and being badly organised.
Unfortunately after a several month campaign where there was rain for just 3 days, it had to rain heavily on the day of the final – normally supposed to start at around 11:30 pm here in Australia, there was a delay of two hours before the game even started. The officials decided to reduce the match to just 38 overs per side, which is a shame when a final is not being able to be played as a full game.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat, and hit a magnificent total of 281, with eventual ‘Man of the Match’ Adam Gilchrist just falling short of 150 – he hit 149 off just 104 balls for his 15th One Day century, including thirteen 4’s and eight 6’s. Sri Lanka came in and were immediately 1-7 after just 2 overs. However Jayasuriya & Sangakkara went on to add a respectable 117 between them, and it looked like we had a match on our hands. However a few more wickets fell and then the rain started again, so after a short break where the revised target was reduced by 2 more overs, it really looked like the Sri Lanka team had a nearly impossible task ahead of them.
Then we get to the 33rd over, and the umpires decide that is is getting too dark and offer ‘bad light’ to the batters, who accept and walk off. The Australians rightfully think that the match is over and that they have won, and start celebrating. Even the ground staff start to bring the podium etc on to the ground for the official presentation. That’s when the ‘Dickhead of Umpires’, Aleem Dar (who disallowed a run from Watson because he ran along the pitch on his first ball) told the staff to take off the stuff they had brought on to the field and came up to Ricky Ponting and told him to stop celebrating because the match was not over – there was still 3 overs to be bowled, and because it was so dark (the ground, which is supposed to be the best in the Caribbean had NO lights !!!) they would have to come back again the next day to finish the match !!! This was pointlessly ridiculous, so even though Sri Lanka really had no chance of winning at that stage, the two captains conferred and decided to play on, in the dark, to ‘officially’ finish the match. A period of slow bowling for safety reasons occurred and Sri Lanka eventually ended up with 215 to lose by 53 runs. Even though the TV cameras could see a reasonable picture due to their light enhancing circuitry, in reality it was nearly pitch dark by the end of the match, and what happened to the 800 performers and musicians that were waiting to give a display after the presentation ?
This whole sorry tale is another case of cricket officialdom gone mad and leaves a sour taste in the mouth of what was a record breaking third World Cup win by the Australians. On one hand, they were over-zealous with their interpretation of the rules, and on the other had they ignored other rules like the fact that after 20 overs, the 2 captains can decide to end a match with a valid result.
To quote from the official Cricket Info web site by UK Editor Andrew Miller – “How many ICC officials does it take to change a lightbulb? At least a committee of five, none of whom will have read the instruction manual, but each of whom will have a louder and more forthright opinion than the other about how best to do it. If that reads like the start of a bad joke, then it is nothing compared to its ending. Somehow a team of four of the most experienced officials in the game, plus a former Test captain in Jeff Crowe, managed to grab hold of the most luminous event in the world cricket calendar, and fumble so hopelessly that they ended up fusing the entire building.”
Australia did win the match fair and square with magnificent playing over the whole series in which they were never beaten, and won each game convincingly – and Glenn McGrath finished his fabulous career with a wicket and ‘Man of the Tournament’ award, but it takes a whole lot better administration to have a successful series when you look at the whole picture.
Well I think that’s about enough of a diatribe about the cricket for this year – see ya next season 😆