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CWC 2007 Final Thoughts

This should be my last cricket post, before I get back to the food. Unless somehow I end up in England for the Windies tour. Contributions of money and pressure on my bosses to give me the appropriate vacation leave will be gratefully accepted.

I made it to the Finals! Unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Yay. There’s much that can be said about the rain, and the rain, Adam Gilchrist, the actual match, the end-that-was-not-an-end and the ceremonial bits. I don’t want to get into that in detail; you can read reports like this one or this one.  Or read the updates Lilandra had posted on her blog, since she was the one sending me messages to keep me updated :-) I don’t deny that Australia deserved to win but even so they deserved a better battle. And that has nothing to do with the mettle of the competition Sri Lanka. There were moments with Sri Lanka where it seemed entirely possible (including two 6’s that got me on tv!). Jayasuriya and Sangakkara had some great moments at bat, but too few to win.

In the end many of the highlights were Aussie. Like Mc Grath – another great ending his career. Very successful. Particularly against the other retiree Brian Lara. But Glen McGrath gets to retire on the highest note possible as a World Cup champion and Man of the Tournament! Adam Gilchrist made the fastest century in a World Cup final 100 off 72 balls. And Australia won the cup in the dark. Twice.

But being at Kensington Oval for the final was a tremendous experience. I got there early. Early enough to get rained on all the way down Fontabelle to get into the Oval. Passing the dancers, the scraggly homeless ticketless Aussie fans trying to get in. Seeing the oval fill up with eager excited people. There were large blocks of Aussies. Streams of yellow. Their support has been great and vociferous throughout this tournament. Complete domination of the party stand today – to the point where, even though I was the furthest point from them, I could make out the words clearly when they sang without music or speakers “I COME FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER…”

However…West Indians like the underdog. Plus, everyone in that oval – South Africans, Kiwis, West Indians, English, Indians, Pakistanis…all been beaten by Australia (well mostly) and all backed Sri Lanka (some in their own fan gear, some went out and bought Sri Lankan stuff). There were times when the whole Oval was chanting SRI LANKA!! Actually managed to overpower the Aussie support sometimes. I didn’t see as many Kiwis as I would have thought – didn’t the New Zealanders have hope that they could get into the finals?

The presentation ceremony as always was really for the tvs and the main stand where the VIPs are. But fortunately organisers had a show for the plebs. I understand most of this show was not broadcast once the Cup was handed over to the victorious Australians. The closing party was filled with twirling moving dancers and moko jumbies and panmen(and children) with the touches of Minshall as evidenced by the tall mobile figures in white with dreads. Performances by Allison Hinds and Rupee. Fireworks!

And leaving amid the masses wasn’t a nightmare. In fact, I think Barbados got the organisation right for the movement of people – whether through airports and seaports or in and out of the Oval. Fantastic achievement during the whole tournament – even at other grounds and one that deserved some appreciation from the ICC/CWC at the closing ceremony. But no go. Who likes to thank the public servants? We prefer to thank Mello. Sigh.

The refurbished Kensington Oval is beautiful. Holds upwards of 28,000 people with the addition of temporary stands. Called the CWC North and South Stands, they are made of metal adding an additional musical element to the oval atmosphere.Confused? Imagine thousands of people stomping on metal in unison. Ahhh. Scary the first time. But the stands held and everyone got to be part of the rhythm.

Pictures from Kensington Oval:

Australia vs Ireland: April 13 2007

Ireland vs Bangladesh: April 15 2007

West Indies vs England: April 21 2007

THE FINALS: Australia vs Sri Lanka – April 28 2007

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9 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Watched it on TV, crazy final, I blogged about it too…how amazing to have actually been there!

    1. Cranky Putz on April 30th, 2007 at 10:49 am
  2. Hi Cranky – read your blog post! I think I’ll add my experiences from the Oval as we were even more clueless than those who had access to the TV, plus we had to make do with natural light!!

    2. chennette on April 30th, 2007 at 1:59 pm
  3. but everybody felt clueless

    3. Lilandra on April 30th, 2007 at 2:24 pm
  4. I watched it all on TV – the good, the bad and the ugly. Can’t say anymore – this society too small.

    4. Cynthia on April 30th, 2007 at 3:36 pm
  5. no kidding – that’s why i debated how much I should say 😀

    5. chennette on April 30th, 2007 at 4:04 pm
  6. England. Windies Tour (whatever that is). Be here.


    6. ewe_are_here on May 3rd, 2007 at 9:57 am
  7. YOU’RE ALIVE!!!

    7. lilandra on May 3rd, 2007 at 10:33 am
  8. In my view the World Cup final was totally unfiar to the Sri Lankan Cricket team. the match refree should have used his discretion and have the match played on the reserved day sunday instead of on the saturday that was completely over when the rain finally stopped. This would have given both teams a fair chance at the Cup.decisions like these need to be taken seriously and with more care.

    8. mustapha on May 3rd, 2007 at 12:35 pm
  9. HI EWE!!!! 😀 Thanks for the invite! 😉 (hehehe)

    Mustapha – it was really hard to see such an important game shortened and played in such difficult conditions, but the truth is (and this doesn’t really solve the problem I know) Sunday rained the same way in Barbados. Sigh. After weeks of bright sun (I even complained about the lack of a single cloud in the sky over the Oval in previous matches — http://www.flickr.com/photos/chennette/461562554
    This was more the norm. Sigh.

    9. chennette on May 3rd, 2007 at 8:38 pm

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