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Aussie joy cuts through World Cup gloom

Martin Gough | 22:24 UK time, Sunday, 29 April 2007

Martin GoughBarbados – After seven weeks away from home and a disappointing finish to the World Cup final, I was pleased on my final evening here to have a meeting with a six-foot blond, with long hair held back in an alice band.

You guessed it; I met up with Aussie bowler Nathan Bracken to help him with his BBC column. He still had a grin from ear to ear, clearly delighted with his second World Cup winner’s medal - his first as a regular member of the team...

Meeting Bracks required standing by the pavilion steps during the closing ceremony, where bosses from the International Cricket Council and World Cup organisers were booed loudly by a crowd left baffled by on-field events.

After almost two months of low crowds, overly restrictive ground regulations and one-sided games, many felt the farcical conclusion to the final was rather fitting.

It is especially easy for journalists to become cynical, more so after so much time on the road. Watching Australia’s reaction to capturing their third successive world title helped me solve some of that.

The charge off the field at the end of the game was led by larger-than-life all-rounder Andrew Symonds shouting, “Pace yourselves boys – we’ve got a big two days ahead.”

While the celebrations kicked off inside the dressing room, Glenn McGrath – named man of the tournament after his final game – and Matthew Hayden, who had almost certainly played his last World Cup match, sat out on the balcony, nursing beers and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Delighted former Aussie stars Merv Hughes, Michael Kasprowicz and 2003 World Cup winner Andy Bichel, all of whom had watched the match from the stands, were welcomed in to join the party.

I had expected Australia’s players, so used to success, to take this in their stride but, clearly, the fact they had put in so much hard work, dealt with so much expectation, and executed their plans so clinically left them elated.

Seven weeks is a long enough time but it seems even longer since I landed in St Lucia to cover England and New Zealand’s first-round matches.

We followed from a distance the terrible news of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer’s murder. Many considered him a friend. Many more, like me, had dealt with him on occasions and felt the loss personally as well.

That news set into context the furore closer by, over the drinking exploits of six England players following their loss to New Zealand, exploits that included Andrew Flintoff’s now famous trip in a pedalo.

Word is he only went knee deep into the sea but the episode, following problems during the one-day series in Australia, was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as England’s management were concerned and he was stripped of the vice-captaincy.

A week later I moved to Guyana, managing to provoke a storm with a blog about the country’s readiness for hosting an international sporting event.

Long after Guyana has forgotten about it - I hope having accepted my apologies - members of the cricketing media will still find the episode funny, at my expense.

I managed to annoy another group while in Guyana: those who disagreed with my assertion that the inclusion of Ireland and Bangladesh in the Super 8 was a bad thing for the tournament.

Over the next month, I saw Ireland in action five times, with their victory over Bangladesh one of my highlights of the trip and their pure enjoyment of the game another.

Bangladesh upset world number one South Africa, showing they deserved a place too, but I still wonder what the Super 8 would have been like with India and Pakistan at full strength. There were few truly one-sided matches but many that were decided long before the conclusion and it is no wonder fan interest waned.

Guyana was where we began to notice the small crowds, put off by high ticket-prices, over-regulation and the disappointing form of the West Indies side.

The ICC took the blame for everything that was wrong with the tournament but to me it was the problem of a three-tiered organisation with ICC at the top, West Indies World Cup in the middle and local organising committees at the bottom.

All three passed the buck to the others and there was a real lack of common sense about simple issues, such as preventing dehydration when fans were not able to take bottled water into the ground, retaining a Caribbean atmosphere while banning unaccredited instruments and maintaining a policy against re-entry while having no prayer areas for Muslim fans.

At the Kensington Oval in Barbados, many of the problems were masked as the structure of the rebuilt ground made a decent atmosphere even when it was half-full.

Indian fans, in particular, wondered the streets aimlessly while spectators were allowed in free to watch Ireland play Bangladesh in the match which, if the tournament had gone to seeding, would have pitted India against arch-rivals Pakistan.

The venue also witnessed the final international appearance of West Indies great Brian Lara, who announced his retirement in a low-key media conference just two days before taking on England.

Were it not for the fact that both sides had already been eliminated, England’s successful chase of 300 to win would have made the match of the tournament.

Lara’s post-game media meeting stretched for 40 self-referential minutes in a room with the air con switched off, with many by the end feeling just as they had about Lara’s career: it was great to witness but it was time for it to come to an end.

Of course, by then England had parted with their coach Duncan Fletcher, which seemed inevitable after such a disappointing winter.

It was difficult to compare the confident, relaxed group of players I had seen in St Lucia with the introverted band who exited the tournament to the first boos an England side has heard for almost eight years.

With England and the grind of the Super 8 out of the way, the prospect of a week of knockout games was a much-needed boost of excitement, although all three matches ended in anticlimax.

It was not the tournament world cricket wanted, although perhaps it was what it deserved and needed to force a drastic re-think to halt the apathy that seems to have surrounded it.

Cutting through that fug, though, was Australia’s joy on Saturday night. After a wonderful trip, but a trying tournament, I was glad to be almost a part of it.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:09 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Dave Stringer wrote:

Surely this has to go down as THE most farcical tournament of all time. Moreso than the 1973 North Dorset inter - pub tug of war tournament, where the winning team was later disqualified when it was revealed that their 'anchor man' did infact have a woodden leg.

  • 2.
  • At 10:27 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • pdiddy wrote:

My team of the tournament,

1. Hayden
2. Gilchrist (simply because of his final's innings and wicket keeping throughout the series)
3. Ponting (C)
4. KP
5. Michael Clarke (Unbelievable fielder who batted superb throughout the tournament... a handy bowler too)
6. Scott Styris (Just based on his tournament form)
7. Andrew Symonds (adds the batting, fielding and bowling prospect)
8. Nathan Bracken (Consistent opener... reliable starter with the new ball)
9. Lasith Malinga (his form was too good to turn down)
10. Glenn McGrath
11. Murali (how can you not have him in the team)

12th Man. Brad Hogg (His bowling was superb throughout the series and he deserves a place. Helped keep the runs Aus were chasing to a lower level)

I know there are a lot of Aussies in there, but I spose you have to consider the players in the team that won the tournament because of their form. I still think KP's reputation and runs made in the dismal England campaign warrants him a guernsey. the team bats solidly down to number 7 and has around 6 key wicket taking bowlers with some awesome fielders such as Ponting, Clarke and Symonds. But with the way the top 3 batted I don't think the team would need any more batsmen than 7....

Imagine Bracken and Malinga opening the bowling and a 1st and 2nd change of McGrath and Murali together... it would be like him and Warne all over again. The bowling attack, batting attack and fielding pressure demonstrated in this team would be more intimidating then anything I could possibly comprehend. Thank God for Brian Lara Cricket on XBOX 360 or otherwise I'd never see a team like this play together.

  • 3.
  • At 10:33 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Wasimul Haque wrote:

Aussies worthy Champions

OZ dethroned Sri Lanka and will remain world champion for another four years. Aussies have the capability to play their natural game. They never make any excuse that some of their key players are not in the team due to injury or anything else. While other teams make this excuse that had such and such players played then the situation of the match would be different.

Just before the 2003 world cup Shane Warne was caught in drug test, despite this the Australians did not mind and played their game and conquered other team easily. In this world cup Lee was not in the touring party owing to injury, but they never made any hue and cry and won the world cup without any hiccup. This makes the Aussies a different side from others.

This world cup will be remembered for the murder of Bob Woolmer and the performance of two sub-continent teams India and Pakistan. Woolmer’s murder is a serious issue. Who is the real culprit it is still unknown.

Indian and Pakistan would like to forget this world cup as soon as possible. This proves that the great players such as Dravid, Sachin, Inzamam and Co could play one or two memorable innings in their lifetime, while players like Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting and other Aussies have the habit to play brilliant innings regularly. So the percentage of Aussies success is very high in the comparison of other teams.

Number of days in the world cup should be curtailed. Players are also human beings, they also need rest to regain form and overcome injuries. Overall the excitement in the world cup remained low due to the omission of India and Pakistan in the early stage of the tournament.

One thing has emerged that the difference between minnows and other teams are being narrowed down Bangladesh did well defeated India and then the mighty South Africa. Ireland upset Pakistan and in the super 8 matches overpowered Bangladesh. With the performance of Bangladesh and Ireland other countries would work harder and we should hope that the next world cup would be much tougher for the regular test playing nations.

  • 4.
  • At 10:34 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Awful tournament, heads should role at the ICC, if I had actually paid good money to out there I would sue the ICC for my money back.

  • 5.
  • At 11:08 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • S.Bala wrote:

All right, Aussies were a dominat force, throughout the world cup, and were just about worthy winners. But spare a thought for the Srilankans, alhough they did not bowl well, their batting was capable of having a go at the aussie total and would have made a fight out of it. Coupled with the duckworth/lewis issue, darkness and a poor umpiring decision on Mahela Jayawardena ruined any chances srilanka had on challenging the target. ICC should have ensured that their show piece event went for the full 100 overs or atleast the ground holding the final should have had lights. Pathetic!!!!!!!

  • 6.
  • At 11:39 AM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • MTK wrote:

No point complaining about the shortened final.........Aussies would have made over 400 if they got a full 50 overs! The Sri Lankan innings was shortened by 2 overs and the target reduce by 14 runs....big deal! Their rpo requirement went from just under 11.5 to about 12....They weren't going to get the runs, so stop using the lame excuse that 'the Aussies won because of the rain etc', and give us some credit.....It seeems as though some people just find it too difficult to state the obvious and acknowledge the greatest 1 day team EVER

We haven't lost in the World Cup FOR 8 YEARS.....If that isn't by definition a dominant force then I don't know what is!

  • 7.
  • At 12:13 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • David Boon wrote:

Well can we just put to rest the theory that Sri Lanka had a chance to beat Australia, it really is a pathetic display of poor sportsmanship. Sri Lanka had no chance, there was no power plays left, there only two strike batsmen were out and they required 9 runs an over well before the rain started to reappear....If the game was to be a full 50 overs it would have only served to increase the gap between the sides - Australia were really only 2 wickets down Ponting and Watson were both out trying to improve the already ridiculously huge run rate, imagine if they played for another 12 overs, 400+ would not have been impossible with Symonds, Watson and Ponting! You would find it very difficult to beleive that Sri Lanka could have sustained a run rate with their remaining batsmen for a full 50 overs - i mean they have not done that all tournament against lesser sides! But as was mentioned before, there is no need for Australia to make excuses, they are simply the best no doubts.

I think World Cricket teams need to have a good hard look at how the Australians have developed over the years. They are so far superior to everyone and have such huge depth that i'm sure they could have fielded there b team and still won the competition!! People have already forgotten that the best ODI bowler in the world, Brett Lee (and a handy bat, not that he would have been needed), was injured. There are no magic tricks, steroid programs or prodigious child camps, there is just committed hard working professionals intent on raising the standards of the game, accepting no excuses and taking up any challenge the rest have to offer!! I for one would love to see the rest of the world pick up there games and accept the challenge to raise to Australia's levels. Too many continual excuses are offered by England, West Indies, all of the Sub Continent (and repeatedly)...i feel only New Zealand could justifiably claim to be playing near there best with the talent they have. It is not the world cup organisation that is to blame, it never would be if the standard of the cricket could be improved and players start taking in the do or die attitude....

Well played Australia, the only team even remotely deserving of a world cup victory!

  • 8.
  • At 12:24 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Malinda wrote:

Nice article with not a single word about Sri Lankans

  • 9.
  • At 12:29 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • B/K95 wrote:

Well done Sri Lanka! A great display despite the circumstances,which serverely disadvantaged you, you really showed us what this game is about. For example, Jayawardene did not make a fuss when insane officials decided that his team could bat in the dark on a wet pitch when the opposition recieved good light and no rain for the duration of their innings. Sangakkara admitted dropping Gilli when he could have easly lied to win the mathch. You are real cricketers. You made Sri Lankans proud. In a sense Sri Lanka may have lost the World Cup but they gained the hearts of so many supporters.

Incompetence of match officials turned the final game into a game of backyard cricket played in the dark.

  • 10.
  • At 12:49 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Akber Kassam wrote:

Aussies Kangaroos were well deserbed to win world cup finals third time.!!!

  • 11.
  • At 01:18 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Beefy wrote:

I'm glad its over. It took 7 weeks to find out what we already knew! 50 odd games and only 3 pieces of entertainment: Malinga's 4 wickets, Nixon and Bopara vs Sri Lanka and WI vs England.

Ireland beating Pakistan was not took 45 overs to chase about 120! Gilchrists innings in the final similar comment, achieved by the virtue of one shot.....I though I was watching replays of him slogging over midwicket.

Lets start at the Quarter finals next time please with decent teams only.

  • 12.
  • At 01:27 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • donnie brasco wrote:

just wondering how martin gough managed to write his artical abow without mentioning sri lankan team at least

  • 13.
  • At 01:27 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Anthony wrote:

With the fact that

1. In the last five overs of the Australian Innings, their batsmen Ricky Ponting then replaced by Michael Clarke ran on the middle of the pitch with one motive of damaging the pitch just before the Sri Lankan innings. This helps Australian bowlers to bowl on damaged areas to confuse Sri Lankan batsmen.

2. it was a batting pitch in the morning and the ball not swinging for the Sri Lankan bowlers, only Gilchrest managed to score. He even called for the black screen, as he couldn't see the ball.

3. Mahela Jayawardena's 19 off 19 balls ended due to poor umpiring and Dilshan being run-out because he slipped on the wet pitch. Then to make things worse, the rest batted in the dark (which has never happened in Cricket history).

Dispite all this unfair advantage, Sri Lanka put up a great fight with the top batsmen scoring over 50 runs each, with a run rate that was much higher than the aussies at a certain point (SL 103-1, AUS 78-0, same number of overs).

Therefore, for me and most people I know, the real World Cricket Champions are Sri Lanka with or without a trophy.

Australia may have been good, but they know in the back of their mind no matter how much they deny it, that this was a shameful victory and there is a team far better than them.
Do not agree? Ask the Aussies to replay the final putting their title on the line, they'll surely chicken out.

  • 14.
  • At 01:35 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Jeff Keogh wrote:

Well said, David Boon.

The match was already well within Australia's control when the conditions turned to custard. It is extremely unlikely that the end result would have been any different.

The continual carping in these blog responses about how the Sri Lankans were ripped off, and could realistically still have won the match, is a steaming pail of tommyrot.

The Sri Lankans were hopelessly outclassed in this match (and the one previously). To claim otherwise is very poor sportsmanship and displays a severe paucity of understanding.

Instead of the bemoaning the match conditions we should be seeing congratulatory statements for the Australian team.

There was only one team good enough to walk away with the trophy, and it was right that they did so.

Congratulations Australia on winning, and congratulations Sri Lanka on not only getting to the final, but also for making the best of a bad situation. Full marks to all members of both teams.

  • 15.
  • At 01:40 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Zen_From_London wrote:

As a Sri Lanka fan - ill be taking many great memories from this world cup, not least when Sanga and Jayasuriya were getting on top of the Australian bowlers and ALL the crowd (except for the Aus fans) were behind the team chanting 'Sri Lanka.... Sri Lanka'.

Its a shame the rain came intially and then later on in the game, but at the end of the day the best team in the tournament won and Gilchrist's innings was worthy of the occassion and prize

But thanks to Malinga's 4 in 4 and that over against R Taylor which just had to make you smile, Jayawardena's semi final ton, Jayasuriyas thrashing, Sangakarras wicket keeping,Muralis magical doosras and Fernandos last baller against England - SL may not of won the tournament but they sure as hell spiced up an otherwise dull script

  • 16.
  • At 01:54 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Shirani Gunasekera wrote:

Nice article from a bias reporter from Bias Broadcasting Corp. - BBC. Not a word about Sri Lankans who entertained and won the hearts of the rest of the world except Aussies.....Pathetic reporting.

  • 17.
  • At 02:03 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • PeterB wrote:

Well done Aussies a fantastic winning record. Fantastic winning cricket. No one comes near you and that is the real shame of world cup.

So many complain about the lack of close games, but overlook the great cricket of the winners. The extermination of the South African top order in semi 2 I guess was only boring for all those wishing the Aussies to fail.

Equally waxing lyrical about a close game between two third rate teams (ENG and WI) or suggesting that SR were hard done by the rain (they'd lost the run rate race long before), really misses the point.

Appreciate a truly great team while its there to entertain. And boy thats what Gilchrist does if you bother to open your eyes.

Break free from mediocrity and challenge them. And then watch the Aussies get even better!

  • 18.
  • At 02:11 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Jeff Keogh wrote:

To Shirani Gunasekera,

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Aggers, in his blog, said nothing about the Australians either, and they were the winners!

I'd say we're even now.

  • 19.
  • At 02:27 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Sarath wrote:

Australia won the Trophy (with the help of the ICC and the weather) but Sri Lankans won the hearts of the rest of the world.....Bravo.

  • 20.
  • At 02:36 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Nathan wrote:

To Anthony:

No-one is denying that Sri Lanka played the match under adverse circumstances, however I can't see how you came to your conclusion that Sri Lanka is the 'real' winner of the World Cup.

We will never know whether Sri Lanka would have done better had both sides played with a nice steady 50 overs. You assume that better conditions would have favoured only Sri Lanka. In better light and pitch conditions, Australia may have made even more runs, or delivered a devastating bowling attack. But again, we'll never know.

What we do know is this. Australia won the toss, they elected to bat. They set a large total, Sri Lanka didn't chase it down. There was rain involved, but that's why the DL method was developed in the first place. And calls to try and incorporate bad light into that system are pointless, since, after all, how do you measure the impact bad light has on either side's performance? Furthermore, weather conditions are a part of the game, its why we have a toss. Sri Lanka were unlucky, but that's the nature of cricket. Of course, whether they should have stopped the match due to bad light is another matter, but keep in mind the two SL batsman did turn down bad light once earlier in the innings.

Having a higher run rate at some stages is irrelevant in isolation. Using a soccer analogy, you don't win a match by having more shots on goal. Sure, the DL method takes that into account, but Australia had SL beat in that regard anyway.

Aside from all this, Australia devastated every other team they faced during the competition, including Sri Lanka. The fact that Sri Lanka 'saved' some of their players for the final, and therefore were apparently 'under-strength' is not an excuse. They made that decision, and they may have paid for it, much like a soccer team that plays an under-strength side, and loses, is held accountable.

The bottom line is this: it was a bad match. But Australia won it. Maybe it was unfair, but that is the fault of the organisers, not the teams. And claiming that SL actually won the World Cup on some basis of moral grounds is an insult to their effort and resilience, despite the adverse conditions.

  • 21.
  • At 02:38 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • TK wrote:

Anthony - your post would have to be one of the more deluded I have ever read. It boggles the mind how someone could concoct that fantasy world!

Australia were not seriously threatened ALL tournament. They beat Sri Lanka fair and square.

Wake up and smell the truth.

  • 22.
  • At 02:48 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Sally wrote:

THough the final was not played under ideal circumstances ultimately the best performing team in the tournament won. Even I as an Aussie, felt the Sri Lankan got he worst off it as far as conditions etc were concerned in the final and I admired the determination with which they chased down the runs. In light of the performances seen throughout the tournament the right team won. Both the Sri LAnkan and Australian teams played a good game under difficult circumstances and should be congratulated for their efforts.

  • 23.
  • At 02:55 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Jeff Keogh wrote:

At 02:27 PM on 30 Apr 2007, Sarath wrote:
Australia won the Trophy (with the help of the ICC and the weather) but Sri Lankans won the hearts of the rest of the world.....Bravo.

Again, more poor sportsmanship. And people say that Australians are graceless and poor sports!

With regard to the substance of your post, Sarath, was the World Cup held to win a trophy, or hearts? Were the Sri Lankans in the competition to win hearts?

Didn't think so.

We've had enough of the sour grapes now. As the great man said, "Build a bridge".

  • 24.
  • At 03:30 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • anders wrote:

Sri Lanka were clearly the best team.

Not only could they bowl the new ball perfectly straight without any hint of swing or movement off the seam, even under heavy clouds on a damp pitch, but when it came to bat they had to spend almost three hours in the dressing room, padded up, wondering what a good score might be off 38 overs.

Oh, sorry, that was Hayden and Gilchrist.

  • 25.
  • At 03:50 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • princess wrote:

It was a strange World Cup, yes, but it had it's moments. Leverlock's catch, Trent Johnston's 'chicken dance', Malinga's wickets, Gibbs' sixes, Hayden's centuries... I could go on...
Of course, things could have been done much better, but it's unfair to take away from the performances because of the organisation -- it's time we think of them as two separate things!
And no matter how the final turned out, Australia were worthy winners and SL were very worthy challengers. Again, things could have been done better, but hindsight is a very cruel mistress. And this is certainly no reason to detract from the fact that the Aussies won and won well and deservedly. Sure they've had several moments in the sun, but is that any reason to deny them this one?
Let's just learn from the mistakes, keep the best bits and look forward to the next one.

  • 26.
  • At 04:00 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • richard holmes wrote:

Surely this has to go down as THE most farcical tournament of all time. Moreso than the 1973 North Dorset inter - pub tug of war tournament, where the winning team was later disqualified when it was revealed that their 'anchor man' did infact have a woodden leg.

  • 27.
  • At 04:46 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • K.K.Sooriyar from USA wrote:

Well it’s over and congratulation to Australia. They have played very well in each game and they deserve it. However this World Cup has lots of bad memories and few exciting games. Murder of Pakistan's Coach, rain affected matches even the finals, not so Super 8 teams with lack of consistence apart from Aussies and SriLankans, empty seats of stadiums, some of bad umpiring etc...

Now ICC have to develop new ideas and new rules and good stadiums with lighting systems to bring out the next world cup to a decent standard. Lots of fans were cheated in this World cup because of these issues. They seem to have no "plan B or C" when “plan A “failed. They can do better than this!

The good parts we can remember - Aussies dominating performance, bating of Hayden, Gill Christ, Jayewardene, Gibbs, Styrus, Jeyasooria, bowling of McGrath, Murali, Malinga, and SA vs SLK, Eng vs SLK, WI vs Eng and IRE vs PAK.

It's sad that none of the semis or final couldn't attract many fans, despite the important of those matches. D/L rule for Final match is not the best way to give away large winning price and the title. Each teams should be play the full 50 overs in a same conditions. People don't even know what is cricket was laughing when Sri lanka was batting in dark. The players can't even see the ball or wicket very well. Then the funny part is giving LBW in that bad light!- with the good lights only few make bad decisions and that dark, Buckner collected a black mark in his carrier - at least they should use the technology to decide in the futures.

Give credits to Srilankan for their sportsmanship, despite the bad day and Aussies for their performance. It's too bad they couldn't play a normal match to prove their capabilities.

We can bring lots of if and but to argue such as " If he makes 100s in 68 balls why not somebody else etc.." the fact is Match is over and indeed the World Cup is over with the end that sum up the whole essence of the World Cup 2007.

The real losers are Fans and Woolmer's family!

  • 28.
  • At 05:44 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Fazeel wrote:

Although Gilichrists played a very good innings, they never allowed the Sri Lankan batsmen to show what their true potential was.
Sangakkara and Jayasuriya were on the job when rain worked in favour of Australia.
Since this is a Cup Final I think they should have had the sense to stop the match there and continue the next day with the next 10 or 13 overs. Although they should have decided that both teams should play on Sunday for a smoother play they decided to take the risk. We would have atleast seen a superb final instead of a kids game. Sri Lanka was left in dark to face the rain the light and also the aussie bowlers.
This is such a sad ending to the Sri Lankan team which I feel should have protested against the decisions of the poor decisions of the Official amidst the conditions they were allowed to play.
If anyone can say that this match was reasonable then you all people out there can forget what you have just read.

my best XI of the world cup

1.Matthew Hayden
2.Adam Gilchrist(because he is the best wicketkeeper batsman)
3.Ricky Ponting(the right man for the job)
4.Micheal Clarke(because of his fielding)
5.Scott Styris
6.Jacque Kallis
7.Shane Watson
8.Nathan Bracken
9.Brad Hogg
10.Shaun Tait
11.Glenn McGrath

  • 30.
  • At 06:12 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • wastwhg wrote:

hmmm lots of sour grapes on here. The aussies were by far the best team and the all-time legends in the team deserve this 3rd victory and never did it look in doubt. Congrats to australia!

  • 31.
  • At 06:22 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • sam wrote:

congrats to the aussies - they played a professional game. congrats to the sri lankans who despite everything, did have a go and were gracious in defeat - a complete turnaround from the days of ranatunga.

the farcical end to the game simply showed that the icc could not hold the proverbial 'knees up' in the proverbial brewery and as for the next tournament you might as well just have the top 8 ODI nations playing each other and not bother with the likes of Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands et al - Bob Woolmer (RIP) would have taken offence at such a notion.

by the way, I'm still waiting for my t shirts from the cwc shop since the beginning of the tournament - says it all really

  • 32.
  • At 07:25 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Aaron Kumar wrote:

I personally as a Guyanese am very proud of the show my country has put on, I was in Guyana for all the game at the new Stadium and it really was amazing, some things didnt go to plan but a lot of that is the ICC's fault in my opinion.

Also im not a fan of Martin Gough who writes this I read a piece laying into Guyana about how all that happens is rain, how come we didnt have one rained off game? Ill bet anything that rain plays a part when We tour England later this summer, so I think you could have been a lot fairer about Guyana than you were.

  • 33.
  • At 08:31 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • RavBalky wrote:

I would certainly agree that Australians have lifted the spirit of cricket fans around the world with high-quality cricket that make sone forget the tragic episode of woolmer's tragic death.

The Austrlian aura was so great, it made us live in the present, and admire such divine hitting of Adam Glichrist. Only, the Aussies are capable of such cricket. One would admit, that the Australians do not accept defeat gracefully, and often indulge in sledging etc, but one has to look past these if you have to cpmpete with them.

if you get hung on their sledging, then the Aussie shave already won. That's the most important lesson. But all said and done, Australia has been the succour of the world cup. No team displayed such brillaince in all departments of the game. With Brett Lee missing, this is ominous news for the rest of the world.

Instead of finding excuses, India,Pakistan et al should fine newer ways to dicsover talent. They have to move beyon the past records of their players and enforce strict form and performance based selection. Regional bisases shuld be eliminated and team selection shoud be done strictly on merit basis.

maybe then we will see a better 2011 world cup, better contested.


  • 34.
  • At 09:27 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Tanya wrote:

From what i can see many people are complaining about bad sportmanship from Sri Lanka supporters. I guess we must have very different definitions of bad sportmanship such as players swearing at each other on the pitch adn the crowd shouting out no ball every time Murali bowled. Yes, i know Australia probably would have won in 50 overs but i think they should at least have the decency to treat other people with respect.

  • 35.
  • At 09:34 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Tanya wrote:

From what i can see many people are complaining about bad sportmanship from Sri Lanka supporters. I guess we must have very different definitions of bad sportmanship such as players swearing at each other on the pitch adn the crowd shouting out no ball every time Murali bowled. Yes, i know Australia probably would have won in 50 overs but i think they should at least have the decency to treat other people with respect.

  • 36.
  • At 10:36 PM on 30 Apr 2007,
  • Sheik Housein wrote:

It is an honor and distinct pleasure to congratulate Pointing, his team and the
Australian community for their historic victory in
World Cup 2007.
Your foes and comrades together can say, however silent they may be,- " You
deserve the victory because you earned it." This team did not lose focus on the
prize, did not falter despite the temptations,did not let personal ego get in
the way and more over this team played cricket the way it must be played.
All Australia and the cricket world should stand and salute this team and learn
from their diligence. You have invigorated the old adage " Cricket is a
gentleman's game." Savor the victory.
Glen MaGrath as you bow away from cricket , towering at the upper echelon of
accomplishments, I will like to wish you the very best in life.You have paid
your dues and all cricket lovers are grateful for the fond memories.
Sheik Housein.
Washington DC. USA.

  • 37.
  • At 12:10 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Yuri wrote:

This is to MTK. If you have watched the match properly SL was ahead of the game during the first 15 overs or so. They smacked it during the 2nd powerplay and nobody in the Aussie team could do anything about it. Besides only Gilchrist could bat well against SL. The rest were just trying hard. If it was 50 overs SL would have got Aussie's run rate right down. If Australia was a half descent team who really wanted to prove themselves they would ask for a rematch.

  • 38.
  • At 12:16 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • stewy wrote:

Anthony (13)

Your anti Australian attitude is very disappointing.

Every Australian supporter would say that Sri Lanka played well and that the better team won.

Sri Lankan fans can feel good about their team, but of course disappointed that they didn't win.

They were not robbed by umpiring. Not half an hour prior to Jayawardene getting out, Jayasuriya was given the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not here to point score or boast, I just found your attitude and pontificating to show the true character of your cricket knowledge.

Shame on you.

  • 39.
  • At 12:53 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Matty (wish my last name was Haydos) B wrote:

Why all this incessant moaning about 'Australia not being worth winners', 'a hollow victory', and 'with the help of the ICC and weather'? With all due respect to the quality of players which Sri Lanka possess - they would never be any match for the Aussies on this particular day. Both teams had to endure the wet, the delays, the intermittent stoppages, etc. And as for the light - did you ever see the SL's go at 12 an over at any stage during the tournament, (even batting first with every damn ray of sun the Carribbean had to offer shining down on them)?.... I thought not - so stop whining about how there was a chance for a run chase.

The Aussies (Gilchrist to be fair) were too good on the day - and all tournament ('undefeated' generally denotes the best team, even without a final). The best team won the world cup, and anyone who has the ignorance and misguided 'patriotism' to disagree with this needs to check their head, you've fallen off the pedalo once too often. BTW - 20 overs makes a match. Thank you for coming SL, you "woz [sic] not robbed"

Oh, and a note re: Sangakarra not 'lying' about catching Church - as much as Gilly loves to walk, I don't think he needed Kumar shaking his head to tell him he wasn't out - you could see him drop the pill cold pretty easily.

  • 40.
  • At 02:23 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Aaron wrote:

Disgraceful comments Anthony, such sour grapes.

I think we all know what would have happened if the the roles were reversed and Sri Lanka batted first.

Australia would still have won and people would be saying that it wasn't fair to Sri Lanka as Australia only had to get enough runs according to the duckworth system and call for bad light.

Also a shame these same Aussie knockers are understimating Gilchrists innings. To pull that off in WC final under so much pressure is truly amazing.

  • 41.
  • At 03:19 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Julian wrote:

SRI LANKA have got to have the biggest whinyest supporters god! accept the fact your team lost - guess what, what happened the other day IS THE NATURE OF CRICKET THIS IS WHY THEY PLAY IT OUTDOORS!!! A mistake was made, granted, but your Captain ACCEPTED DEFEAT BECAUSE YOUR TEAM COULD NOT KEEP UP!
Move on, plan for the next one - this is where so many countries go wrong, they stew of the past.

Please get over it.

A Whinging Englishman

  • 42.
  • At 03:48 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#13- Anthony

Surely that was drafted in crayon before typing it on this blog.

How pathetic it is you are so jealous of a team that has done something your team never has, that you would embarrass youself by wirting this rubbish.

  • 43.
  • At 04:00 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#35- Tanya

That's obviously distincly different from the English supporters shouting no-ball at Brett Lee for the last 3 ashes series?

I hate to start this on a negative note but the fact remains that Australian cricketers (and now it seems their fans as well) seem to be self-absorbed. I mean we all know that Australia has won the WC and we all know that Australians are a better side. But please open your eyes, see all the results and think outside the box as well. Srilanka has played magnificent cricket throughout the series and they had the potential to beat Australia. Let’s first admit that.

Secondly, I hate to burst the bubble of Ausies fans but if you look at the scorecard you will notice that only 1 Australian player played exceptionally well …. yes it was Gilly alone. All others seemed to struggle to hit big shots despite the platform provided by gilly.

Australian bowlers were very average and Sri almost tore them apart. The only thing that saved them was Gilly’s mammoth 149.

My point is that had it been a 50 over game things would have been drastically different. For those who don’t agree lemme ask you a simple question: how would have Australian batsmen played if it was a 20-20? I think we all know the answer to that question. For every situation one plans differently. With a 50 over game Ausies would have been a little watchful.

Finally, I think we can unanimously admit to the fact that Australia is the best team in the world and that no one likes Australian cricketers on or off the field (except Australians of course) -:) simply because of their attitude. Have you ever seen an Australians player share a laugh with another cricketer on or off the field? I find Brett Lee to be the only exception. Anyhow that’s them so let them be happy the way they are.

  • 45.
  • At 06:58 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Dan James wrote:

what a massive let down. I didn't think for one second that england could win it, despite the fluke in CB series, but only the Lankans managed any kind of resistance to the aussies and played consistently good cricket of the 'other' teams. Too long, too uncompetitive and how ridiculous that the champions trophy was played only five months wonder there's such apathy to one day cricket. Can you imagine FIFA holding a similar event five months before the world cup? ludicrous. Now een more funnily we have the greedy, corrupt and disorganised BCCI moving for more control of international cricket (god help us) and a motion of no confidence!! Pot, kettle and black are words that spring to mind.....

  • 46.
  • At 07:00 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • terry moriarty wrote:

The whole tournament was a farce seven weeks way to long please cut it to four weeks max, the best team won,the final was something fred karno would have been proud of,its now four years until this caper starts again please get some people in who know how to stage a decent show and make the tickets prices affordable to fans

  • 47.
  • At 07:14 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • David wrote:

Moby: No, the Sri Lankan batsmen didn't "tear them apart" 8-212 is not a good batting score. If the match were to continue, Sri Lanka would have been lucky to make 230, which is NOT considered dominant batting.

Yes they made runs quickly, but they also lost wickets quickly, so overall it was just an average batting display.

As to your comment about only one batsman being successful, I think you will find that is because unlike Sri Lanka, the Australian bottom order never even faced a ball. Australia only lost 4 wickets, and two of those would never have happened if they weren't going all out for runs.

Finally, you say that no-one likes Australian cricketers because they never see them sharing a joke etc.. I suspect that it is the other way around... no-one ever see's the good side of them because they don't like them.

Australian cricketers have done a lot of good, for example you might like to see how Glenn Mcgrath is helping the fight against cancer:

or have a look what Steven Waugh has been up to:

or maybe check out Shane Warne helping raise money for Sri Lanka after the Tsunami:

or adam gilchrist (ambassador for world vision):

The fact is that these ARE good people, however the likes of you, who have probably never even donated as much as $1 to charity are so intensely jealous of their success that you are unable to see goodwill when it is right in front of you.

  • 48.
  • At 07:30 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • narada wrote:

Although David Boon has said that there were no magic tricks in the Aussie victory Gilchrist has admitted that he used a squash ball inside his glove to enhance his grip and that it did make a difference to his score.Someone who knows the cricket rules well should enlighten us whether it is permissible to use an unauthorised accessory to standard equipment in order to enhance the grip.If it is not ,the implications for the match outcome are immense .It was Gilchrist's innings that made the difference.It was an exceptional innings,almost superhuman,How much of it was his natural skill ? How much was`due to the gimmic?

  • 49.
  • At 08:05 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#45- Nerada

Yes I can clarrify this one for you. It's not illegal to carry addition items in your batting gloves for the purposes of comfort or additional protection. Gilchrist added the rubber from a squash ball to the inside of his gloves to stop his bottom hand from gradually turning across the handle (this leads to closing the face of the bat). It's more common for this to occur on the top hand. This is the first time I've heard of this method, in my experience players apply a wad of tape to build up the ridge on their palm. Tape is also regularly used to protect cuts or blisters.

The top hand glove actually already contains an item very similar to a squash ball at the tip of the thumb, this is for extra potection. The laws of the game are not overly focused around the protective equipment worn by a batsmen, the bats are the heavily regulated equipment.

  • 50.
  • At 09:10 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

Shirani Gunasekera, If you've been reading for the last few days you will have realised my colleague Paresh Soni followed Sri Lanka at the final, while I covered Australia.

One of my highlights of the tournament was Malinga's four in four in Guyana, which brought a match drifting to a dull conclusion right back to life and really launched Malinga onto the world stage.

  • 51.
  • At 09:15 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Craig Sykes wrote:

The tournament was definitely too long. Perhaps they should have the top 6 one day sides from the rankings automatically through to a group stage and then 2 further teams coming through from a preliminary knockout stage (of the remaining 6 from the one day rankings plus 2 other qualifiers) making 8 in total. Two groups of four with the top 2 in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

  • 52.
  • At 09:17 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Andrew wrote:

Pity the Sri Lankans had to play half their innings in poor light. For those incredibly blinkered, it didn't just go from good light to near pitch black in a matter of minutes. In good conditions the SL batsmen were keeping pace with the Australian innings. What a shameful way to decide teh WC.

  • 53.
  • At 09:22 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • David wrote:

Being a Sri Lankan I agree with all the aussie fans. Forget about the weather, forget about the ICC. I doubt there could have been a different result had we played on Sunday. Aussies played well (Specially Gillie). and deserved to win. Unfortunatley for our team it was not our day. But credit goes to the Sri Lankan skipper and the players. They did put up a good fight till the end. Did not surender like other teams. Its time those who support SL, to stop balming weather and ICC. SL skipper was sportive enough to accept the loss. And credit agian to the SL players. None of them has given an excuse for the loss. We have to be proud of our team though the lost the finals. Lets put an end to the excuses and get ready for 2011.

  • 54.
  • At 09:46 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • N. Perera wrote:

This comment tried to show how great the Aussies are off the field too!

What they do off the field is private business and does not count. Furthermore advertising the good deeds in the internet (some Links were given in that Comment) is part of the show business. Sunami in 2004 created enormous sympathy and raised lots of funds, 90% of which never reached those affected.
If one helps, "Do not let the left hand know what the right hand does" is the way to act.
As far as the cricketing is concerned what counts is what happends in the field. And if one wants to complain, the Australian are the most arrogant around. There has been many complaints against their behavior in the field. Some of them of a racial and discriminatory character. Really a wild bunch far from "the gentlemen" that cricket expects.
There are reports that at the finals when the rains started coming some were running acrossing the middle of the pitch to damage it!

No sympathy for such actions. Sympathy for the Team that was pushed around to accept bad decisions from the bosses themselves and a team that "in keeping with the spirit of the game" showed that the Catch was not a catch, although to their own disadvante.

The Final Result must be declared null and void. What about the Aussies initiating this as part of their "good works"?

  • 55.
  • At 09:47 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • geneva lynn wrote:

Dear All who boast on Aussie win..Do you agree with Mr.Speed's true verdict on his post-mortem over the final match, of blunders they(umpires in & out of the field) was it under fair, level playing conditions, did not you notice Mcgrath was pouring sweat & muttering to himself even without looking at Ponting when he was repeatedly hammered by Sanga & Jaya before the rain & SL was almost on top, at the early overs...check your inner conscience & respect Mr. Speed's apology

  • 56.
  • At 10:07 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Noelene wrote:

Australia were deseved winners.Sri Lanka were deserved second.The only two teams that can hold their head high.What an indictment on the rest of the playing nations.
If I was the ICC rulers I would be furious with the woeful performances of teams that happily grasp the money on offer,and can't be bothered to put in the hard yards to be competitive.I keep hearing how great the England game was because it came down to the wire.That only highlighted how bad their bowling performance was.Easy to perform when the pressure is off.
Congratulations Australia and Sri Lanka for proving you know what playing cricket for your country means.

  • 57.
  • At 10:14 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Too many sour grapes from some. SL were good, but not good enough - in the pools, in the Super 8s, in terms of run rate, and in the final.

  • 58.
  • At 10:35 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • LondonCalling wrote:









  • 59.
  • At 10:50 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • sunny wrote:

You Ausies will never change. Cocky to the point of arrogance. You were lucky in 1999 (Gibbs, Allan Donald et al) and you were lucky this time with the toss and the weather. I hope and pray that a team like Bangladesh or Ireland stuff you in the next one so that it sticks in your craw for the rest of your lives. On the day, you are no better, no worse than any other test playing nation. Get real, continued success does not last forever, like the West Indies in the70'S and 80's.
Remember, when the wheel turns I hope the spectators will laugh you off the park, like what happened to the Ausies in the mid to late seventies. And to think we neutrals felt sorry for you. Never again. Your time at the bottom of the wheel, cometh.

  • 60.
  • At 11:26 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Moby wrote:

Dear David,

I really like how you compare apples to oranges. At no point did we discuss if Autralians or any other players for that matter are good human beings or not. We were discussing how no one (related to cricket) likes them + their on field behaviour. I re-ask the question to you "have you ever seen an Australian player share a light moment with any fellow cricketer on the field?".

I am a great fan of Steve Waugh but the fact remains that on-field he was the most aggressive and rude person around. Ponting, Hayden, MgGrath and many more are in the same category. Again I would admit that they are the best pack of cricketers to ever walk on earth. But WI cricketers of the 70s were probably equally better. However, they were humble and were very well respected by all.

I am not an Australian and not a Srilankan. However, my comments are mixed with support for both teams and with constructive criticism. However, you like your cricketing counterparts seem to be more on the aggressive side. Australia has already won the WC so no need to prove anything to anyone. So be humble and act like champions.

On your comments anout the game. I think you didn't see that rain stopped Sri twice. Plus there were times when they were playing while raining. 1st time when it rained they were only 4 down. This hampered their progress. Plus I am only saying that they were worthy finalists, Aus was def. better and had a full 50 over game been played then they would have given Aussies a tough fight.


  • 61.
  • At 11:56 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Snowy wrote:

As someone who was at the match I can confirm that the comparison in run rate was given after every 5 overs and in all but one case Australia was ahead, generally comfortably. Sri Lanka batted at about 6 runs an over the whole way through - regardless of light conditions - when they needed to bat at over 7.5. What this means is that Sri Lanka were progressively falling further and further behind, hence losing on the DL factor. They would have had to throw the bat (and most likely lose wickets) regardless of the weather conditions

I suspect that Australia would have hit over 400 if it had gone to 50 overs as Ponting would have not attempted a high risk quick single and Clarke (whose average for the tournament was over 80) would have come in and built a partnership with him.

Sri Lanka did a great job and should be proud of their achievements, but the run chase they were involved in was almost as high for 38 overs as anything they achieved over 50.

I think the Australians get a tough ride. Yes, they play hard, but every team should. Maybe if our team did we would have more success. Most countries have their own ways of approaching things - I have chanted "no ball" at Brett Lee so I don't think Australians are unique in that regard.

If they had batted 2nd and still won (and remember SL indicated that if they had won they still would have chosen to bat 2nd) DL would have been blamed again for making it easy, the opposite of what people are saying now.

Face it, the best team won, albeit in poor circumstances. You may not like them, but if the other teams had their focus and dedication, maybe it wouldn't have been such a poor World Cup.

  • 62.
  • At 11:59 AM on 01 May 2007,
  • Blue Tongue wrote:

Re Post#59 sunny wrote:

"You were lucky in 1999 (Gibbs, Allan Donald et al) and you were lucky this time with the toss and the weather. On the day, you are no better, no worse than any other test playing nation. "

Yes Sunny, you keep telling yourself that it's all just luck, and we'll keep just getting "lucky".
As long as you console yourself with being unlucky instead of doing the hard work and preparation required it will be good luck for us.

Clearly we are no better or worse than any other nation, we just keep beating them through luck.


  • 63.
  • At 12:05 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Blue Tongue wrote:

Re Post#49 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

"Yes I can clarrify this one for you. It's not illegal to carry addition items in your batting gloves for the purposes of comfort or additional protection. Gilchrist added the rubber from a squash ball to the inside of his gloves to stop his bottom hand from gradually turning across the handle (this leads to closing the face of the bat)."

Thanks for the informative and factual post, lucky.
Amongst all the racism and misinformation, it was a ray of light.

To address Mr Anthony, some of the other SL fans, other bitter anti-Aussies and some friends I have here at home let me quote a cricketing great - Mark Waugh.
He once said of the difference between Englang and Australia "They (England) look for excuses and we (Aussies) look for reason. That's why we are better."

The difference between the Aussie team plus fans and the Rest of the world (team and fans) is similar.

You need to take losses more graciously and accept them. Your team was just trumped by a fantastic line-up doing another fantastic job as ever. And other conditions would not have changed the result that much. Although it may have helped reduce the stark difference between the two. SL DID play good, but the Oz just played better. A lot better.

  • 65.
  • At 01:14 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Luke wrote:

My word - I cannot believe some of the gumph being posted on here by bitter fans.

Most of the Sri Lankan fans I have spoken to freely admit that the team didn't cut it when it mattered. Yes, there was a mix up at the end of the innings, but the SL batsman were offered light a number of times.

So why do other people feel the need to knock the Aussies and take up the standard for SL? Is it because they cannot stand the fact that Australia are miles better then their team? Or is it because they know nothing about cricket?

The claims of luck, barring the toss, are unfounded. And didn't the SL captain say he was happy to be bowling first anyway??

Admit it, noone likes a winner, especially a winner who has shown up the complete ineptitude of other 'behemoths' of the sport - and yes, I'm looking at you India, Pakistan, England West Indies...

  • 66.
  • At 01:33 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • CricketLuva wrote:

Wow, it's amazing to read all the negative posts about Australia!

Australia were supposedly lucky to win this world cup. Are we forgetting that Australia have not lost a world cup match in 29 matches that span over 3 tournaments?

Are we forgetting that Australia annihilated every team they played in the tournament?

Are we forgetting that McGrath, Tait, Hogg and Bracken did not face one single ball with the bat throughout the entire tournament?

SL were not robbed or had any opportunity restricted. They experienced some natural bad luck. Deal with it!

Australia have done nothing wrong and do not deserve any of the negative criticism they have been receiving.

Even the SL conceded that Australia were just too good. Why can't their fans do the same?

  • 67.
  • At 01:53 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

Im not the biggest fan of cricket
but still england all the way !

  • 68.
  • At 02:08 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • crash48 wrote:

Hey don't get upset by all the 'if only’, on our day we can beat anyone', 'we were lucky’, wait until all your players retire and other excuses.

They know the Australian cricket team is dominant, and they have to resort to their excuses as it pains them to say so.

Just look at all the Australian players that dominate county cricket to see the future. Most of these players will not make the test or one day teams, as they are not good enough for Australia. However, the Rogers’, Jacques Hilfenhaus etc will dominate test cricket. They said the same thing when the Waugh’s, Taylor, Healy etc left, and we became an even better team. Moreover, the said the same when Warne retired from one day cricket and it has not slowed us down one bit. In fact we have won two WCs without him.

As for Sri Lankan fans, well they were banging on about how they are an example to cricket with their good-natured banter, and look at the spoilt brats howl now-just like the bad losers they are.

Just accept all the comments, and bask in 3 world cups in a row and number one test team status. The rest of the world have to catch up and if their fans are anything to go buy they will be too busy making excuses to have any chance to compete with Australia.

  • 69.
  • At 02:16 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Harry Dixon Balls wrote:

Anthony - yours is the saddest most deluded post it has ever been my pleasure to come accross. Or is it a joke? That's the trouble with these blogs - you can never really tell. Either way, it gave me a great laugh. Thanks mate!

  • 70.
  • At 02:18 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Statzman wrote:

Who is the better team? AUST or SL.

Its easy:

ODIs in five years AUST 14 SL 5

2007 - Australia 2 Sri Lanka 0
2006 - Australia 5 Sri Lanka 2
2005 - Did Not Play Each Other
2004 - Australia 3 Sri Lanka 2
2003 - Australia 4 Sri Lanka 1

ICC ODI Rankings:
Team Matches Points Rating
Australia 54 - 7038 - 130
South Africa 43 - 5313 - 124
New Zealand 45 - 5103 - 113
Sri Lanka 53 -5879 - 111

Sri Lanka may have had a chance but it was extremely slim. Australia had already easily beat them in one match already. They are not in the same league as Australia. Gilchrist had it wrapped up early. The shortened over rate just enabled Sri Lanka from a walloping. Well done Sri Lanka, they were very sportsman like and good on them for making the final, they played well throughtout.

What must be recognised is Australia have been beaten in the World Cup ODI since the invention of the wheel.

Still unconvinced?

Australia lost only 43 wickets when batting, and took 103 wickets in the field - that's a difference of 60. Sri Lanka, the second-best team, had a difference of 19.

Six of Australia's eight batsmen had an average of more than 60 and a scoring rate of more than 90; one of the two remaining batsmen was Adam Gilchrist, who struck a stunning 104-ball 149 in the final.

Australia's four strike bowlers took a combined total of 86 wickets, all of them at an average of less than 21.

Australia averaged 66.30 with the bat (only team to average more than 50), and 18.81 with the ball (only team with a sub-20 average). The difference between batting and bowling average is a staggering 47.49. For Sri Lanka, the second-best team, the difference was only 15.92, one-third the figure for Australia.

Australia were the only team to score at more than a run a ball through the entire tournament - they finished with a tournament run-rate of 6.54. The difference between the runs scored and conceded per over is nearly two.

To the people stating that Australia does'nt deserve this World Cup win the stats speak for themselves. As stated Sri Lanka are not in the same league.

  • 71.
  • At 02:23 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • stumped wrote:

Moby, you are really rather pathetic. If you can't deny that the Aussies are simply too good then you just revert to attacking their character (or those characteristics that you find personally irritating). It's a very sad refuge.

  • 72.
  • At 02:25 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Matty (wish my last name was Haydos) B wrote:

Ahh, back here from some more mental jousting - (although it's pretty clear that some posters here are not playing with a full deck.)

Where do we begin?
- the 'rematch' everyone is asking for. You had your rematch, it WAS the final. First time around was the 8's. You got pasted. You got pasted in the final too... good move resting your frontline bowlers in the earlier game - they bowled to the Aust. top order for the first time in the tournament, and got slaughtered. (The figures make for lovely reading - 7 overs for murali, 0/44 - 8 overs for Vaas, 0/54 - 8 for fernando, 0/74, and he even played in the earlier match - it's lucky for him he got some match practice in, or he could have been looking at double that.

- the 'sportsmanship'. Oh, I love this one. Somebody please tell me something that was done/ said during this tournament so we can all stop dredging up past urban legends........waiting.......still. Ok, at least i'll keep myself amused with this classic of 'extreme Australian poor sportsmanship memorabilia'.
Glenn McGrath to Eddo Brandes "Eddo, why are you so fat?"
Brandes in reply "Because every time I make love to your wife she gives me a biscuit"
Ouch - that's terrible stuff.

- the 'little' things:
> Jayawardene's 19 off 19 balls "cruelly ended by umpiring" (cue the violins). Wow, a whole 19 runs - he must have been going on to make a double ton - EVERYBODY who gets to 19 makes a double ton. And as far as the umpiring - please tell me this is not the first time you have watched cricket, unfortunately that happens each game to every team - Aust. too
> "Only Gilchrist scored". this is good too - if I had a dollar for every time Jayasuriya had put in the only reasonable score in a SL performance.........
>Run out because he 'slipped on the wet pitch'. Mate, have you ever seen a fielder slip over on the very often wet outfield? Should he be given the run out he was trying to accomplish because he was making the effort? No. Tell him to get some bigger spikes. Done.

To close my argument, your honour, may I please let the following be known.
- I love the English (they don't seem to be the whingers anymore)
- Ireland & Bangers REALLY 'won the hearts of the world"
- Dwayne Levrock must know Glenn McGrath's wife
- Australia (deserving) 2007 CWC champs. And cry all you want, but that's what the history books will always say........but.....but....nope, it's still written down there. Not that anyone has read this far to laugh at that.

  • 73.
  • At 02:25 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • No Excuses wrote:

Sunny, that's the difference between Aussies and you. True they don't like losing, but they never get bitter about it. Instead they accept that they won't win every game, go away and work out what didn't go to plan and make damn sure that it doesn't happen again.

The likes of you just get bitter and twisted. There is nothing worse than a sore loser.

I was waiting for the crowd to countdown McGrath's last over and for it to erupt as he bowled his last ball. But they never got the chance to know it was his last over. Ponto should have ask McGrath to bowl out the last over, but as it was dark, to bowl slow and spin it. Now that would have been a sight to watch. And what a statement it would have been to the ICC and the officials.

  • 75.
  • At 04:16 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • DrMaybe wrote:

Much as it pains me to say it, the Australians won it because they deserved to. They were better than everyone else, and everyone else only stood a chance if the Aussies played badly. Which they didn't.


  • 76.
  • At 04:45 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Ramatounga DowntheThrota wrote:

If only B Grade Actor & Mycarsabit Rusty had been playing Sri Lanka would have walked it!!!

  • 77.
  • At 04:54 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Vincent P wrote:

As am American I'd like to congratulate the Aussies on their 3rd straight Cricket WC victory! I was in the WI for some of the tournament on my honeymoon and met some interesting Aussies visiting the WI to cheer on there team. One thing NO ONE seems to be mentioning and I guess you have to be from the Western Hemisphere to know this but rain in the WI is VERY common in April. It is common all year BUT certainly in April. April showers bring May flowers. I shocked that the ICC didn't take this into account for the site selection and timing of the Cup. So, please don't complain about the weather.

  • 78.
  • At 05:03 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • luke wrote:

To Anthony:

I think your comments disrespect the Sri Lankans. I think they are an excellent team that don't need any condescending excuses.

A tournament decided by a single game can go either way. In 2007, Australia won, Sri Lanka lost. Simple as that. The what ifs and the buts are irrelevant. Next time, it could go the other way.

  • 79.
  • At 06:46 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

Martin Gough - well written articles all the way through. Keep it up & look forward to your next ones. Ignore the whingers. That's a sign that you are doing it right.

Well done Aus & Sri L, by far the 2 best teams in the tournament. Aus worthy winners for sure.

Well it all had to end sometime, anytime? Soon? Has it ended yet? Or are there still remnants of the 2007 cup still running around in the dark?
All credit to the deserved Aussies, simply far too accomplished for everyone.
For me the cup did have some high points amongst the farcical. Ireland's triumph, Bangladesh's precocious youth, Leverock's stunning catch.
Much has been said of the associate's participation but, for me they brought a distinctly human element, a hark back to the days of the amateur when an unbridled love of the game was all that mattered. This in comparison to the incessent carping and whining of elitist commentators and the absolute ineptitude of the games administrators who, instead of embracing the human element and joy of the Carribean people, decided to foist it's own agenda upon them like a seventeenth century colonial conquest hunting for riches amongst the innocence and vulnerability of the local populace, prising out a financial gain but, like all colonialists before them, fostering a much greater social cost to its objectives. New stadia, more financial security somewhere, but all for nicks if the game fails to flourish with the carefree nature and wanton abandon so known in the lands of the Calypso Kings. Only in Cricket where the staid established still hanker for the misguided and unattainable promise of elitist superiority could this happen, to take a whole population for granted and show scant regard for their culture and way of life whilst running merry hell in their backyard. This World Cup was one massive missed opportunity for the sake of one master, money, sad, so very sad.
So, and yes, thanks to the so called minnows, to Ireland, to Bangladesh, to Leverock's Bermuda, Kenya, Canada, Scotland and Holland for reminding me of the simple joy of playing sport for the fun and pure love of the game. The sport will never die whilst we have you.

  • 81.
  • At 08:56 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Vashti wrote:

I'm just happy Guyana was able to be part of this World Cup :)

I've just started watching cricket (and still learning to understand most of it), so I found the games to be interesting.

From the beginning everyone should have known the Aussies would win (from all I've heard about their team)...It was nice to see the underdogs play though (such as Ireland!)

Hopefully, when the West Indies hosts again it will be better and more locals can fill up those stadiums...I'm still wondering what Guyana will do with that very very BIG stadium?!?!

  • 82.
  • At 09:07 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • TAH wrote:

Cricket is dying.

  • 83.
  • At 09:45 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

You said that it was in Guyana where "we began to notice the small crowds..."
Are you sure about that? I could swear that there were rumblings and complaints long before they reached Guyana. It was in Guyana, however, where they actually started to do something, albeit a little too late.

Anyway, I am glad that you were a part (not almost part) of the experience for all of us fans of the Gentleman's Game. Thanks for providing a place for us to offer our armchair expert /captain's comments and analysis. Of course, I was right most of the time - not!

Let me congratulate all those who were a part of the CWC experience. Special congrats to the winners, Australia, who were the best team at the beginning and at the end.

It would be remiss of me not to remember Bob Woolmer's family, friends & team Pakistan. On behalf of all the fans, I offer my heartfelt sympathies for your great loss. It reminds that what really matters is not who won or loss, but how you play the game and Bob was by all accounts a fine gentleman and loved by all those close to him. From God we came and to Him we shall return.

Best wishes Marty and I will look forward to your future blogs / columns. I hope you would not mind if I just chew you out every now and then for old times sake.



  • 84.
  • At 11:32 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • mal wrote:

I have never seen such a bunch of whiners, as I have after this match. All under the guise of "sportsmanship". A lot of passive aggressive comments, and some real ire around Australia, winning the toss, the weather, and the umpires.

I guess we ought to apologize for the win. Describing their win as shameful, is shameful.

  • 85.
  • At 11:40 PM on 01 May 2007,
  • mick wrote:

Re: At 11:08 AM on 30 Apr 2007, S.Bala wrote: All right, Aussies were a dominat force, throughout the world cup, and were just about worthy winners. But spare a thought for the Srilankans, alhough they did not bowl well, their batting was capable of having a go at the aussie total and would have made a fight out of it. Coupled with the duckworth/lewis issue, darkness and a poor umpiring decision on Mahela Jayawardena ruined any chances srilanka had on challenging the target. ICC should have ensured that their show piece event went for the full 100 overs or atleast the ground holding the final should have had lights. Pathetic!!!!!!!

Get a life mate. Just about worthy winners??!!! No one else even came close. Poor umpiring decision blah, blah, blah. Heard it before, will see it again. Get used to it....

  • 86.
  • At 01:24 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • Stumped wrote:

Geneve Lynn - I have no idea just what you're banging on about. But I have a clear conscience about Australia's win. They won every single match they played - and by wide margins. That says to me they were the best side and deserved winners, regardless of the final shambles. Everyone else can have a cry - it won't change the facts.

  • 87.
  • At 03:13 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • Mahesh wrote:

The ICC has done it again: The official airline sponsor of the Cricket World Cup 2007 -Emirates has stranded The Sri Lankan Cricket team in London. Why? Emirates no longer flies to Sri Lanka as of Saturday due to Security reasons. The BBC gave publicity to this story -- but the three airlines that pulled-out of the country dont have that many flights (or business) to Colombo as other carriers. Why cant the team just fly home on the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, which is partially owned by Emirates? Is it a ICC rule? Permission to grant this story is the Final Farce of the 2007 World Cup next to playing the final 3 overs in the dark!

  • 88.
  • At 04:30 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • dilly wrote:

The two best teams played the final. Aus won. SL lost. BUT cricket lost. Simple as that. Lousy wicket. Lousy weather and lighting. Lousy interpretation of rules. Lousy administriation. Lousy infiltration of corporations into cricket.

Aus deserved the win, given the amount of preparation, desire and millions of dollars they put into sports in that tiny country.

Well done SL for a stellar performance in spite of horrific backdrop of your country's situation and relatively poor resources.

  • 89.
  • At 06:34 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • TK wrote:

As a Sri Lankan it annoys me when I read some of the views of my fellow compatriots. Whatever the circumstances if the the truth be told the best team won without a question of a doubt. Sri Lanka is also the 2nd best team in the world what we need to do is work with the talent at our disposal and get to 2011 and become the best. To dethrone the Aussies will be tough, but I dont for one minute believe the people coming in to th team are half as good as those going out. Theirs a chink there and its up to countries like Sri Lanka and others to move up a notch. In the meantime what we should all do is acknowledege the Aussies as the best team in the world. The best one day team ever, sorry I have to disagree as I think the West Indies team of the late 70/80 's was far superior.

  • 90.
  • At 07:01 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • Moby wrote:

Dear stumped,

I agree with you 110% that Aus are true champions. I wrote that in my posts as well but i guess you must have missed that somewhere between the lines. No questions and no complaints there.

Similarly, i stick to my point that Aussie cricketers are not liked by any other test playing nation. And these are really not my solo comments. These feelings are echoed anywhere that cricket is played. I suppose you are an aussie and you wont agree but just like Aussie are the champs is a fact and so is this.

Cheers Mate!

  • 91.
  • At 07:07 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • genewa lynn wrote:

To item 86 Dear Stump
In your quote "regardless of the final shambles"

this is the core point your inner conscience accepts & proves that Aussies claim is unjust, unsporty & unfair.Appreciate honesty.

  • 92.
  • At 08:10 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • vince wrote:

'Indian fans, in particular, wondered the streets aimlessly while spectators were allowed in free to watch Ireland play Bangladesh '

No they didn't. What a clanger for a journo.

They 'wandered' the streets, possibly 'wondering' why their team had failed.

  • 93.
  • At 09:16 AM on 02 May 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

I noted with interest an article in a Melbourne newspaper, the Herald Sun, that listed the players that have moved on from the Australian team between world cup victories.

From 1999 to 2003 Australia lost - Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne (suspended pre-tournament 03), Damien Fleming, Paul Reiffel.

From 2003 to 2007 Australia lost - Michael Bevan, Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann, Andy Bichel, Brett Lee (injured 07).

All those players lost and the gap between Australia and the rest of the world has widened over that 8 year period. Don't count on the imminent retirements of Gilchrist, Hayden and McGrath to bring Australia back to the field.

ps For such a bad captain Ponting is yet to lose a WC game under his watch!

  • 94.
  • At 12:22 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • Dr KM Husain wrote:

When the Engish need a big hit they look to Australia.

  • 95.
  • At 01:33 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • Shah JAHAN wrote:

Playing out a Farce

The stadium was full last Saturday when Ricky Ponting won the toss at 9.50 am instead of 9.30 am [time zone -04.00 hrs UTC] and decided to bat, but the match could start only at 12.15, a delay of 175 minutes, after more rain. This is a country where the Sun naturally sets early in dry season and to play 38+38 overs at the rate of 4 minutes per over even needs 5 hours without any break under cloudy weather. Was it an intelligent decision to proceed?

God disposed here what man had proposed, exposing the absence of floodlights, having spent $135 million, to the spectators all over the world when the match faced rain and darkness at 5.10 pm. At the 17th over where SL was at 106-1 it started to rain, but the umpires wanted them to stay on to finish 20 overs under Duckworth-Lewis. Though the defending champions posted an aggressive 281 for 4 from 38 overs, until this stage, there was no let up in Sri Lankan side but it had progressed cautiously and equally. From now on the ground reality went against Lanka.

The rains came with light drizzles and the lights faded when Sri Lanka was 148-3 on the 24th over. At this point Sri Lanka needed to have 169 on the board as per the Duckworth-Lewis calculation, so in effect they were chasing two totals at the moment - and that completely ruined their plan to gradually accelerate through the innings. With only one run scored in the next over, it started pouring heavy. Australia took as much time as they could to dry the ball and slowly placing small handfuls of sawdust on the footmarks.

When Silva tried to run for a single for Tait’s first ball, he slipped on the soggy pitch and umpires stopped the play. It became dark and even if the rain cleared it was not going to be easy to bat out there. The pitch was soaking and the ball was not coming on to the bat and they had two new batsmen at the crease. No doubt it was a grim situation as Lanka was not even near the D-L par score. The play resumed as the rain ceased but it was dark and batting was hard. The main scoreboard had gone blank and Sri Lanka has no idea what they were chasing or what they needed to score.

The Observer [London], in a hard hitting comment said, ‘maybe it was inevitable that this ill-fated, ill-conceived tournament should end so absurdly with a Duckworth/Lewis victory to Australia. Sri Lanka, defiant to the last, gave chase but accepted the umpires' second offer of the light with three overs remaining and their target now unattainable.

Then, after the Aussies had commenced celebrations, amid great confusion, those final three overs were bowled after all. Amid boos and catcalls and another Australian huddle of celebration barely visible from the sidelines, the curtain fell upon a World Cup that lurched between tragedy and farce for seven weeks. Here was confirmation that we live in an age where regulation far outstrips common sense. It was a farcical conclusion to the tournament. Earlier, after one shower, play resumed in semi-darkness and no one in the ground knew whether or how the target had been reduced. What a shamble.

As dusk set in, there was yet another delay while the figures were sorted out. Eventually the umpires had to offer the batsmen the light, but they had to stay on since they were behind the rate. Then the second offer was accepted. And then, to our utter astonishment, they returned for Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke to propel the ball at a pace that was barely visible. In the end Australia retained the World Cup by a margin of 53 runs that no one could understand.

No doubt Australia deserved their victory. But if ever a match was a metaphor for the ills of the modern game and this tournament, this was it. Common sense requires that in a final to decide the world champions every opportunity should be given to deliver a match with cricketing integrity. It should be able to run its 50-over course even if it takes two or three days to get there. But, of course, cricketing integrity appears to be the last thing on the minds of those who run World Cups.

A manageable product for TV and the sponsors is far more important. So it is that after 50 matches and seven weeks of competition Australia hold the trophy thanks to the calculations of the estimable Mr. Duckworth and Mr. Lewis. Congratulations to them. Meanwhile, ICC-CWC 2007 Inc has bucket loads of egg upon its face. How dare the organisers try to spin a success story this week?

Have you ever heard of a tie-break in the final set of a Wimbledon final or shortened it just because of the rain? The rain has intervened on a number of occasions, but the match has been either delayed or carried over and played over two days. When the World Cup was accused of being too long, the answer was, it provided provision for possible rain interrupted matches. The idea behind fixing the final on a Saturday, the match every single fan was yearning to see with 50 overs amid many yawning matches, was to shift it to Sunday in case of emergency. Why did not they do?

If the administrators try to keep television broadcasters and sponsors happy by maintaining a time limit on matches, cutting the leg according to the shoes, they would destroy the essence of the sport and ultimately drive the viewers and spectators away.No people no King. Further it was a disgrace and insult to both nations, the fans who travelled all the way paying good money to be in the crowd at Kensington Oval and also the millions in many countries, who stayed up all night through the rain delays to witness.

With the ongoing English Premier Football League on the very 28th Saturday, where Manchester United and Everton clashed, fans paid tribute before kickoff with sustained applause in memory of former Everton player and England 1966 World Cup winner Alan Bal, who was found dead at his home after a suspected heart attack on the night of the 24th. The same way, on the finals, the ICC could have paid homage to the late Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer who died in mysterious circumstance in Barbados for cricket. But the ICC is more for money than homage.

Besides, the Aussies had the right to carry Juliet through the main door as they were several classes above every one they faced in the tournament. Why did they opt to do it through the window? The Times of India had a poll ‘Was this the most boring World Cup for you?’. The result was, Yes 90%, No 09%, Can’t say 01%. Will the ICC take note?

  • 96.
  • At 03:01 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • Adam wrote:

To all the Aussie supporters here, or people who just appreciate the Aussie's performance. Don't let these negative comments get under your skin. They're made by people who can't come to grips that their team lost.
So conditions went against them.. WHO CARES. It happens all the time in sport, in many different types of games, and people just suck it in and MOVE ON.
Yes, the ending to this farcical WC was indeed deserved, and one could say, almost expected. And yes, the Sri Lankans did indeed bat in bad light towards the end.
But they lost. They lost, and Australia won. Get over it.

  • 97.
  • At 03:55 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • LANCE wrote:

My congrats to Gilchrist & Australia .. they sure deserve the credit. & oh yeah, Congrats to Sri-Lanka, the runners up.. coz they really fought back under those circumstances & actually they didnt lose that match.
38 over finals, bad lights, bad decisions, weired umpiring .. oh man, it was a weired world cup tournament right from the beginning & the finals was the perfect end.

Wishing & praying that SL would win, my Sri-Lankan friends were all prepared to watch a good cricket match. Unlike most nationals I know & despite some comments on these msg boards, SLs are a great cricket loving nation.
They were totally disappointed the way things went in the finals, coz they expected to watch a nail biting match under better circumstances.
But victory or defeat, they accepted the final verdict & congratulated the Aussies with all their heart. No wonder their team has won many fans around the world.
I simply hope things would get better for these lovely people in this tiny little island & wish them good luck in their next World Cup.

- an American in Colombo

  • 98.
  • At 03:55 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • murph wrote:

Blue tongue

Another fact you might be interested in: Rod Marsh played at least one test with a steak (beef) in each of his keeping gloves. This too was legal.

  • 99.
  • At 04:41 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • Rahul S wrote:

Every one who still did not get to terms that Australia are the world cup champions (I would say by long margin) should just reflect on how this Aussiie team developed over the years. There are a few things lot of other teams forget:
1. You don't get the basics right you are gone against Australia - there is no chance for you to even dream of winning against Australia - No chance - Niet.
2. The team spirit. Unlike the shameless Indian team where seniors are like big bullying politicians - Australia have a very informal environment and every player right from Clarke to McGrath enjoy a special one-ness - a special equality, a special bond - where every one is more than starving to take responsibility, where each and every one is playing to more than 100% and where each and every one is there to support their mates. Hats Off!
3. Fitness. Look at McGrath - not only when he bowls but when he fields - all right West Indies grounds were small and he needed less effort to throw from boundry, but still - no match. Remember there was no Superman in Australia, all are humans and every one has worked hard on their fitness - Amazing!
4. Mental Strength. True that Aussies were not given any scare through out the tournament. But their mental strength was such that - "Dare you give us a scare and we will take it head on!" It is not easy guys to spend 7 weeks in a country where when there is day it is night in Australia, get used to the conditions, be fit, wait for the next game, not being complacent and fly out with winning colors every single match and every single day. It is tremendous.

  • 100.
  • At 08:36 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • dilly wrote:

To Shah Jahan post # 95 - brilliant analysis!! Well done.

  • 101.
  • At 09:50 PM on 02 May 2007,
  • Ash wrote:

Its really funny to see religion is so important for everyone now a days. Why muslims should have a place for prayer in the stands. If they are coming for prayer, build a mosque there in the ground. If they are coming to watch cricket, then let there a pitch in the ground. Its simple. Will there be a church, temple or gurudwara as well?

  • 102.
  • At 01:46 AM on 03 May 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

To Shah JAHAN (post #95)
Just a thought mate...your post is too long. Make it short and sweet and you'll get more readers.

To Ash (post #101)
What post on Muslims/mosque are you referencing? I must have missed it. Anyway, I am with you here. It's a sport stadium and not a place of worship, even though one could always find a spot to pray. Of course, we all pray when our team is on the losing end. In Test matches, we pray for rain. Against Australia in ODIs, we pray that they all get belly-wuk during the course of the match.
Anyway, I know in Trinidad some people wanted to leave the stadium and go to a nearby mosque for prayers on a Friday. Unfortunately, according to the rules & regulations, once you leave the stadium, you cannot re-enter. ICC later relaxed this rule.

For the record, I am a Muslim.

And to all those who cry foul with the results and unfortunate circumstances... It's only Cricket. yes, we love the game and all, but if anything we should learn from Mr. Bob Woolmer's passing, is that life is more than sport. It how you play the game.
Kudos to the Lankans for welcoming their team home after a loss. Pakistan and India could learn from them. These are the little things that instill National Pride in the players hearts and trust me, it will show on the field next time the Lankans play.
Nuff said.


  • 103.
  • At 07:15 AM on 03 May 2007,
  • Rosh wrote:

Shah Jehan - very good analysis and pointers on what happened and what should have been done about the match itself. It had to be long to make all the points. One thing I don't agree with you on is the "Australia deserved to win" part. This has become a 'boiler plate' for all world cup articles and analysis now.

Yes, true based on their undoubted dominance in the world cup and throughout the past 8 years sed experts (Sir Viv amongst them) knew that the team had it in them to match the Aussies in a final and so did the Aussies. Remember the word "fear" was brought up by Ricky Ponting when he said "we do not FEAR the Sri Lankans".

So was it about SOUR GRAPES as the Australian bloggers have put it. No it is more like SOUR TASTE with the way the final was turned into a true lottery.

For had the Sri Lankans batted first they would have won as well on that day with the side batting second having to contend with a damp pitch. The Aussie attack would have been massacred by Jayasuriya and Tharanga who has been good when there is no swing - with no movement Bracken and Tait would have been treated with the same disdain that Gilchrist treated Vaas.

Incidentally even with movement these two Aussies bowlers were smashed around by Jayasuriya and Sangakkara. Some nut has suggested that had it been 50 overs then the score would have been near 400. How stupid can one get - the Aussies only went bashing away because they knew they had only to do it for 38 overs and not 50. And even then weren't they lucky. For had Dilhara Fernando held on to that return catch when Gilchrist was on 31 the Aussies would have struggled to get past 220. Hayden, Ponting, Symonds and co. were struggling to get runs and they were edging away most of the time. I suggest to all those who glorify the Australian performance , especially those who think that they would have got 400 had it been over 50 overs, to have a look at the slugfest in full after, say, a month from now when the "Marvelous Aussies" euphoria has subsided.

I truly wish that Australia got to bat second, not so much to enjoy a Sri Lankan success as it would have been to hear of the anti-Sri Lankan comments that would have clogged the entire world wide web. I can just imagine it - "Sri Lanka - undeserved winners", "Aussies robbed" , " Match fixing??", "Final should be replayed" , "Sub-continent biased ICC cheats true champions" and so on.

'Farcical' the Aussie followers said about the confusion at the end of the match. But wasn't it a case of being farcical from the beginning itself - the moment the final was set to go ahead on the 38 over basis which was an out-and-out slugfest.

  • 104.
  • At 09:02 AM on 03 May 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Thankfully the Sri Lankan players were more gracious in defeat than the majority of their countrymen on this site. The sourgrapes on display is quite sickening. Dare I say it, almost boardering on racism.
To the absolute nong who suggested that the Australian players are not liked by any other cricketing nation I say, utter and absolute, uninformed tripe. It's well known that when it comes to sport, the Australian way is to play hard but fair. However, off the field the Australian players are amongst the best behaved in world will note that unlike the English and Saffers, there were no drunken episodes by Australian players.
It's time to get used to the fact that this team as with the test team are simply several levels above anyone else around at this time.
We should all be pleased to be able to watch such skill on display.

Well done Australia, again, and again

  • 105.
  • At 11:49 AM on 03 May 2007,
  • Shah JAHAN wrote:

How legal was Gilchrist's hidden ball?

Two days after Adam Gilchrist's slaughter of the lambs in the World Cup final, cricket's fans and fanatics are still coming to terms with the onslaught that fetched 149 off just 103 balls and took the truncated game away from the Lankans even before they began their reply.

But, how legal was the wicket keeper's innings?

And, as a direct corollary, therefore, how authentic was Australia's'Cup triumph'? Bloggers especially have raised this pertinent question.

By Gilchrist's own admission, he had 'something' in his left glove all through his knock. In fact, upon reaching the century, Gilchrist first doffed his bat towards his teammates in the pavilion, acknowledged the applause of the spectators, and then kept repeatedly pointing to his left batting glove with his right hand.

'I had a little message, to wave to someone at home in Australia about something in my glove,' he is quoted as saying at the post-match media conference.

The intended recipient of that little message was his batting coach and former Western Australia player Bob Meuleman, also a noted squash player. Turns out that upon Meuleman's advice, Gilchrist had been carrying a squash ball in his left, bottom hand to help him with his grip.

'His (Meuleman's) last words to me before I left the indoor training centre where I train with him in Perth were, 'Well, if you are going to use it (squash ball), make sure when you score a hundred in the final you show me and prove to me you got it in there'. I had stayed true to that.'

That's as clear a confirmation that Gilchrist had the squash ball in his left glove to help him with his grip during his stupendous knock. But that's also where questions over the legality of Gilchrist's innings, or the seeming lack of it, come in.

Can a batsman carry an object - in this case, a squash ball not connected with cricket - to help him on the field? Did he secure the prior permission of the umpires? Was the fielding side captain aware of the use of the squash ball? Did Mahela Jayawardene approve its use?

And, above all, and in a manner of speaking, did Gilchrist's'hidden ball' give him an unfair advantage in knocking the daylights out of the Lankan bowlers?

These are hypothetical questions, of course, but cricket - a sport governed by mighty laws not lowly rules - is always full of ifs and buts that leaves cricket haters plain mystified but keeps cricket lovers breathlessly debating the whys and wherefores till kingdom come.

A quick recap of cricketing laws shows that Gilchrist's squash ball was, therefore, neither a piece of protective equipment, nor clothing item and was most certainly not visible to either side or the umpires.

The law specifically prohibits a player from using equipment other than that permitted. And nowhere in cricket's 42 laws is there a mention of a squash ball as a permitted item.

If Dennis Lilee's aluminium bat and Ricky Ponting's graphite-coated bat could be deemed illegal, if Hansie Cronje's earpiece experiment was not OK, if Scott Styris had to remove all the bandage from his right hand before he could bowl in the super eight match, can Adam Gilchrist's'hidden ball' pass muster?

No law can, of course, take the sheen away from Gilchrist's knock. Batting with a normal grip against the world's best bowlers is tough enough, batting with a squash ball in one of your gloves is worse. To score 149 scintillating runs is, well, incredible.

Still, two questions arise: If using a squash ball isn't ok as per the laws of the game, is his innings legal and does it count? And if it doesn't count, can Australia claim to have won a hopelessly farcical victory?

  • 106.
  • At 03:15 PM on 03 May 2007,
  • Vijitha Herath wrote:

‘Gilly’s hidden ball helped hit more 4s and 6s’

Let me offer a scientific perspective.

A squash ball is a rubber ball. Unlike a cricket (leather) ball, it compresses when pressure is applied on it. When the pressure is released, it take its original shape. In short, it acts like a spring ( e.g.: a motorcycle shock absorber).

So what happens when a batman has a squash ball in the palm of his bottom hand?

When a batsman swings the bat until it hits the ball, there is pressure on his bottom hand. This pressure compresses the squash ball thus storing energy in the ball similar to spring. Just after the ball hits the bat (ball still touching the bat) this pressure starts to relax while the bat is moving forward.

At the same time the energy stored in the squash ball releases its energy to the bat in the form of kinetic energy. The result is that the bat moves faster than normal (without a ball in the glove).

As a result, the release-speed of the cricket ball becomes faster resulting in the ball traveling further before hitting the ground. Therefore it results in more sixes and fours being scored.

The downside is because the bat travels faster than normal the batmen might lose control of the bat. This happened once in the Adam Gilchrist’s innings when the bat slipped out of his hands and fell behind the wickets. If you have any doubts please try to do it yourself and see the result.

In brief Gilchrist’s use of the squash ball allowed him to hit the ball further in the field.

An interesting statistic: Gilchrist faced 104 balls and hit thriteen 4s and eight 6s. All the other Australian batsmen (Hayden, Ponting, Symonds, Watson, et al) faced 127 balls and hit just seven 4s and two 6s.

Is this method legal? I don’t know.

Are other batsmen using this method? I don’t know either.

  • 107.
  • At 01:53 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

"At 07:07 AM on 02 May 2007, genewa lynn wrote: To item 86 Dear Stump
In your quote "regardless of the final shambles"
this is the core point your inner conscience accepts & proves that Aussies claim is unjust, unsporty & unfair.Appreciate honesty."

I still have no idea what you are banging on about. Aside from anything else it is incomprehensible use of language, but the gist seems to be that Australians are poor sports for winning. Perhaps you think that they should have thrown the match?

No point in responding to this rubbish really. It is just bitter, deluded and self-pitying. You really should deal with it, get a life and move on.

BTW - what would your reaction have been had Sri Lanka won under the same circumstances? Protests of "Foul!" would have been replaced by joyous choruses exclaiming SL as the rightful and worthy champions for having humbled Australia.

Methinks thou doth protest too much.

  • 108.
  • At 06:11 AM on 04 May 2007,
  • craig wrote:

to moby,

how dearly misguided you are. i let you know that the aussies play county cricket and are mates with a lot of the players that they play with. they even gave tips to some of the english team on swing bowling and they're great mates with them. this is a profession, and they are professional.

  • 109.
  • At 12:54 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • daniel wrote:

To Vijitha Herath #106
You've got to be joking, the amount of extra speed gained by the bat from the squash ball is absolutely irrelevant. Try compressing a squash ball; you can easily do it with two fingers. It's barely enough to launch a marble 10cm into the air, let alone smash a cricket ball over the boundary.

To think that Gilchrist would need to improve his power with a gimmick like that is ridiculous, the squash ball was solely to prevent his bottom hand being too dominant, as he himself said after the game. It was completely legal, completely within the spirit of the game, and at most a minor help to what was a sensational performance. Why does everyone have to scrabble for every available excuse for Australia's win, instead of just admitting that Australia dominated the tournament, and played better on the day?

  • 110.
  • At 03:25 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

My final word on this...

Give it up ya'll. The Aussies won by the rules. All that talk about squash balls, blah, blah, blah..etc. is just onsense!

Get over it. I am a West Indian. I am also a huge West Indian fan. I would have loved to see Sri Lanka won. But, come on fellas, give the Aussies a break. They won every single game going away. There was no partying during the competition, at least not like some other teams. They did not complain about conditions, except to get mad that everyone was not as professional as they were (like the ground crews).

Don't get me wrong, I still want the West Indies to sort out their mess and and beat every Tom, Dick and Harry, like we used to once upon a time. And one day soon, God Willing, we'll show the Aussies "where barley does grow" (that means a good thrashing in Guyanese speak).

But let's face the truth once and for all. The Aussies talk the talk and walk the walk, so give Jack his jacket. The Aussies won because they are the best team in the world and they played and acted like it, full stop! Case closed! Wrap it up! End of story!
Over and out!


  • 111.
  • At 05:30 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • Bandula Weerasekara wrote:

This is my second comment after reading the others. BBC why this bias against Sri Lanka. The author is scared to mention the runners up Sri Lanka who created records against other teams just like OZ,s. No complains about weather, short game, dry or wet pitch, squash ball hidden in the glove, what matters is you win the game by hook or by crook. Pity Sri Lanka has still not matured enough to be in this competitive game

  • 112.
  • At 05:32 PM on 04 May 2007,
  • mayooran wrote:

no 106 Vijitha Herath has made a very good point! i agree with him that the squash ball acted like a spring and helped Gilly hit sixes and fours. and he did hit 5 times more sixes and fours than all the other Aus batsmen combined who in fact faced more balls than Gilly did.

in Gilly's defence, he is one of crickets true gentlemen! you might re-call him 'walking ' even when the umpire had given him not out (mistakenly). so he would not have done this in a mischievous way - you can't fault HIM - BUT you can find faults in those who run the game - the umpires and officials for failing to spot it and remove it.

Well played Aus and SL - more credit to SL for not giving up all the way - any other team in their situation would have succumbed too meekly to Aus's firepower.

  • 113.
  • At 02:43 AM on 05 May 2007,
  • S. Munasinghe wrote:

Why didn't you mention Sri Lanka in your one-sided article? Did their heroics against all odds at the Finals hurt your pride? Aussies may have won the Cup, but the Lankans won the hearts!

  • 114.
  • At 02:47 AM on 05 May 2007,
  • vivek wrote: cant say australia would have scored above 400 if it was 50 overs..anyone who plays cricket will understand that you plan for 50 oevsr.. hence gilly wouldnt have started throwing his bat.. he is agreesive but after a point he was basically slogging and getting the luck in where the ball dropped (which ofcourse is required to put up and good total).. by reducing the game..srilankas biggest impact of spinners is nullified.. most teams lose to srilanka because they choke them with spin which wasnt possible..shortening the game was better for australia who have power plays..FACT..
however its no excuse.. they are worthy champions.. and no one should complain and rightly so srilanka didnt complain..mahela got a very poor decision..didnt make a fuss.. so while the luck was with australia in the final they deserved to win it.. and isnt this all part of the game.. theres nothin that can be done.. so some of the aussi fans here would wantt to shut it and enjow their moment of glory cause next world cup is in the sub continnet son and you wint winning that one.. i can promimse you that

  • 115.
  • At 11:52 PM on 05 May 2007,
  • Paramjit Singh wrote:

It seems to me that the cricket's ruling body needs either to bring in new rules, or clarify the existing ones, with regard to precisly what accessories a batsman is allowed to use.

Personally, I do not think batsmen should be allowed to use any artificial means to enhance, or overcome a technical flaw (as was the case with Gilchrist by his own admission) in their batting. The essence of the cricket is the skill of the bowler against the skill of the batsman devoid of any artifical aids; part of this is the exploitation by the bowler of any technical defects in the batsman.

If batsmen are allowed to use artificial aids then where will it all end? I'm sure there are plenty of clever boffins out ther who can think of even ceverer mechanisms to enhance a batsmen's skill. In the same way that tennis had to bring in new rules to stop the use of ever more powerful rackets then cricket must face up to this challenge. Glichrist's amazing innings should be seen as a wake up call to the cricketing authorirties and they should take action before the next world cup!

Also, I think it would have been very interesting had Jaywadene chalenged the use of the squash ball during the match itself, something which I believe he would been perfectly entitled to do. I'm sure the ex generalissimo Ranatunga would have had something to say on the matter. Which umpire or referee would have been brave (or stupid if you want to be cynical) enough to rule the use of the squash ball illegal. Daryl Hare perhaps?

I would also add the thing that makes Aussies such great sportsmen, their ability and willingness to push the boundaries in all aspects, can, on occassions, detract from their achievements. One only has to remember the match where Greig Chappel bowled underarm - that was legal, but regarded as less than sportmanlike by most cricket lovers.

Moreover, if Muralitharan's action can continue be regarded as illegal by many Australian fans (including the Prime Minister John Howard), even though independent tests have confirmed otherwise, then surely the use of the squash ball is equally as dubious, if not more so. In short why should non-Australian fans meekly accept that no rules were broken by Gilchrist when a large swathe of the Australian fans appear not to do so with respect to Muralithran?

No doubt many Australian, and perhaps some non-Australian, fans will conveneiently dismiss these questions about use of the squash ball as whinging by a bunch envious anti-Auatralian losers, but this would miss the point. The questions are important, legitimate and not without basis and as such need to be taken seriously by cricket's governing body.

  • 116.
  • At 12:24 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Michael Jones wrote:

Sri Lanka is a great team and they did their best under the circumstances.

They come from a small island where there is a civil unrest and vast majority of people live in poverty.

Players in the current team have come thorogh lot of hardships and all Sri Lankans should be proud of their team for what they have achived.

They play against a team which has come from a rich country which has facilities which the SL team could only dream off but gave a good fight.

  • 117.
  • At 02:26 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Adrian Fernandes wrote:

Re. post 116 by Michael Jones...

Dear friend, there is no such civil unrest in SL..true picture is only Eastern(partly) & Northern parts are under the curse of brutal terrorism gifted by it's big neighbor for inner political gains.

Also it is utterly misleading to say that vast majority of people live in poverty.It has poor people like any other country but a vast majority of the people do live a reasonably a standard, peaceful, healthy way of life with a very high literacy rate in whlole of asia, lowerest divorce/fatherless child rate in the world & negligible level of AIDS etc.

Similar misleading programme is delivered by BBC TV nowadays about SL that it's population of 20 million do not have access to national grid(Electricity) which is not only true but derogatory about paradise.Tourists who visited SL would endorse my claims to be correct.

I sincerely hope BBC will give due publicity on this short, corrective note.Thanks

  • 118.
  • At 03:40 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • moyo christopher andre wrote:

surely zimbabwe cricket has lost a lot. and has anybody discovered that the former england coach is zimbabwean and now the assistant is also a zimbabwean who has found solace in england. wat would zimbabwe be like if we had utilised all these lost resources all because of a political gimic. i think a lot needs to be done by zimbabwe cricket(the mother body) so that they retain all these useful resoureces.

zimbabwean supporter for life

  • 119.
  • At 05:57 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • James wrote:

These attempts to make a mountain out of a molehill with regard to the squashball are hilarious. Grab a cricket bat a pair of gloves stick a squash ball in the palm and then watch the ball fly ... or be mildly annoyed by the fact it is difficult to grip the bat. I'm no physicist but I'm confused as to exactly how the energy of a compressed squash ball gets transferred to the ball (I would have thought the effect would be to dampen the impact therefore provide less power not more. I also confused as to what make of squash ball is being used that could possess enough elasticity to propel a cricket ball anything more than a couple of centimetres which surely couldn't be an issue here. Maybe it's just a few people who really wanted Australia to lose who are now desparate to find a way to qualify their success.

Bandula: Are you talking about the same Sri Lankan team who did a run-through on the last ball against England to see whether the batsman was going to back away or not (Vaas admitted this fact) which was surely the worst example of gamesmanship of the tournament? or in the same match knocked the bails off and then appealed? I admire the Sri Lankan team's abilities but they get away with a lot of things because they are from a developing country. Had McGrath rather than Fernando pulled that particular stunt the world's media would have been screaming like banshees. There was no team in the competition more ruthless than they are.

Paramjit: Murali was found to be throwing and then they changed the rules. The change in the rule was on the basis that some bowlers, due to the forces on their elbows are forced to extend beyond 15 degrees. This relates to fast bowlers not Murali and the timing of the decision smells more like racial politics than improving the laws of the game. The ICC knows better than to ban an Asian hero and have the race card thrown in their face continually. This would have precipitated the split in world cricket that the BCCI are so desparate for.

  • 120.
  • At 08:17 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Keith F.C. Van Anderson wrote:

I totally agreed with Mr Gough's assessment having attended nineteen matches between 5 March and 28 April played in Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua, Guyana and Grenada, but he failed to mention to tremendous part played by the CWC Volunteers (VIBES). They were the most personable, friendly, helpful, hospitable and accommodating individuals and group of officials I have ever witnessed at cricket matches having attended games in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Northern Ireland, Eire and, of course, England. I am British of South American extraction.

  • 121.
  • At 08:47 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Shannon wrote:

Aussies are the champs and they won the Cup, but on the other hand Sri-Lanka won the hearts and definitely brought colour and excitement to this tournament with their new faces.

However, the finals was between Sri-Lanka and Gilchrist, not Australia.
All the other batsmen were struggling to score except the out of form Gilly, the Wicket Keeper with a SQUASH BALL to enhance his grip.


This Squash Ball cannot be termed as a protective gear, but a power enhancing foreign substance. In the Cricketing Laws, which is very precise on protective gear, it was never approved the use of a squash ball as a protective gear.

  • 122.
  • At 08:53 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Shilpa Choudry wrote:

"Hook or Crook ?? Cricket or Squash ??"

The gentleman's game is full of "Purists" and such "Cricket Purists" like Ian Chappell & Michael Holding started screaming out at ICC to probe into the dropping of 2 SL players in their match against Aussies in the super eight stage.
Now, what do those "Cricket Purists" have to say about Gillchrist hiding a squash ball to "enhance power" in his batting glove (which is definitely not approved by the laws of cricket) ?
Is it legal to "enhance performance" like that ??
Coz, generally, in any sport, participants cannot take "performance enhancing drugs", and if they do so, they would be relieved from their titles.
If it was Sachin, or any other batsman from the sub-continent instead of Gilchrist, the reaction .. I can just imagine.
Now, in this case, what action are the ICC or the relevant authorities hoping to take ?
We need an explanation ..

  • 123.
  • At 09:31 PM on 07 May 2007,
  • Lochana wrote:

Re: Post 119 by James ...

My Dear James,
1. Gilchrist him self has admitted that he has used that Squash Ball to "enhance power" .. and according to the cricketing laws you can not use any power enhancing foreign substances in the game.
2. You said .."I admire the Sri Lankan team's abilities but they get away with a lot of things because they are from a developing country."
Oh my God, from what planet are you from ? Come on, everyone knows that it is the other way around .. no body wants to see a third world country coming up .. this world is not that beautiful as you think. The way we were mentally harassed, racially discriminated is no secret at all.
3. "Murali was found to be throwing and then they changed the rules... The ICC knows better than to ban an Asian hero and have the race card thrown in their face continually."
That is absurd .. Murali was never found "throwing" .. please refer ""
.. it explains everything

Finally, I regret, but all I can see here is a huge "Rabbit Proof Fence".

  • 124.
  • At 02:37 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#122- Shilpa

You may remember Sachin Tendulka and several other Indian batsmen had their bats confiscated at the 2003 CWC when it was discovered they were made wider than ICC cricket regulations. It was conviniently swept under the carpet, which is in direct contradiction that an Asian team would be drawn over the coals for any breach of the rules. The simple fact is Australia are monitored more closely than any other team, and even the most minor incident is built up as an example of them being the best team in the world through cheating.

Not to want to bring up a long list of inconsistencies that put holes in the Asian teams "the world is out to keep us down" argument, but the graphite backed bat that some have accused Ricky Ponting of cheating when using, is in fact the same Kookaburra bat (kahuna vs The Beast) that Kumar Sangakara was using and continued to use after Ponting was told it was illegal.

Could you imagine the outcry of unfair if the situation was reversed?

  • 125.
  • At 02:47 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

#123 Lochana-

At no stage did Gilchrist admit to using a squash ball to "enhance power", that is pure fabrication. As I've stated before, he has openly said it was to stop his bottom hand twisting around the handle. That's just another example of how the fair and great cricket fans of Sri Lanka are proving to be anything but following their loss in the WC final.

Rather than taking the defeat in the good nature they self proclaim is their defining feature, the SL fans have so far criticised the ICC for not playing the next day (which was also forecasting rain), the umpires for giving Jayawadene LBW (forgetting Jayasuriya was pinned right in front a couple of over before and given not out), the coin toss (as deciding the result of the match), DW/L (for making the runrate too high) and now Gilchrist (for having a match winning illegal device to hit the ball twice as far). Nothing so far would indicate gracious losers, and I would hate to see the reaction if Australian fans conducted themselves in the same manner.

The only Sri Lankans I've seen conduct themselves well following the result have been Jayawadene (who was exemplary in his gracious consetion SL had been beaten, and the fact he played out the last 3 over in the dark to save a shambles of a presentation the following day), and Russell Arnold who in his BBC article admitted that SL were beaten, and just didn't get it all together on the day but would train hard and look to raise their game next time.

  • 126.
  • At 08:11 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Mohammed Nawaz wrote:

Hi Anonymous, you took a great decision to stay anonymous :))
Talking about the GRACEFUL LOSERS, when the sub-continent keep their heads down and tolerate the injustice you call it GRACIOUS, and when they perform extraordinary well or when they pop up a question its vice-versa.
Talking about the fans, its obvious how Aussie fans react. Not very long ago one fan in this same blogs called us SUB-CONTINENT MORONS.
Not bad ha?

  • 127.
  • At 08:42 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#126-Mohammed Nawaz

I wrote article 125 (I don't know why it presented as anonymous)

It's always injustice, it's always unfair, it's always recism.

It's this mentality of wanting to seem the victim, rather than going away and applying yourself to training and preparation that holds teams with potential back.

Perhaps you should take a leaf out of the players book, concede they were beaten (which they clearly were) and work towards developing the team into the world beaters they potentially could be.

This playing the victim and screaming injustice is all very immature.

  • 128.
  • At 10:19 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • adrian wrote:

**To 127-3 lucky world cups in a row**

What is immature as you invain try to justify is hidding an unorthodox substance under your glove while playing with out the element of transparency or otherwise please?

Prudent to add a post script or foot note on the respective page about this grey drama(cricket vs. squash) than take out the leaf..then the intelligent reader will taste the truth independently with uncertainty

  • 129.
  • At 10:31 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Haydos1 wrote:

I really do find it amusing that so many people claim that what Gilly did was somehow dishonest or not in the spirit of the game. There are more than a few instances of batsmen using guards to protect fingers etc. even inners which heaps of batsmen use for comfort and extra padding. There is also no evidence that it is against any rules or ICC regulations, no matter how hard some on this sight try to manufacture and fabricate. Hayden even had a fibre glass casing on his shoe so as to protect his toes. Is that performance enhancing? This is just another example of poor sportsmanship from Sri Lanka. Does anybody honestly believe it made that much difference. It is not like Gilly hasn't played many similar innings before. He was due for a score and only complete idiots would claim that the squash ball had that much effect. Particularly as it nothing to do with power or timing. I t only enhanced his grip.

  • 130.
  • At 10:40 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Lochana wrote:

Re. #125 Anonymous ( or who ever it is..)

Yes, Aussies won and we lost, we never reject that fact. And yes, Aussies deserve to be the champs.

But any unbiased fan would agree that SL should have given a "fair" chance under better conditions & the fans should have given a better match at the finals.
And now, our question is about Gilly hiding a squash ball in his glove which is not allowed anywhere in the cricketing laws. Thats all.

Well, its true Mahela Jayawardene and his team are gracious runners up .. who denied that? They represent the normal Sri-Lankan behaviour, nurtured by the rich culture.
But on the other hand, as long as you bow down your head and accept whatever comes, you are fine, gracious, sweet and yummy mmm .. but the moment you raise your head and ask for justice, you are so ugly, yucky, erk ..
How can we forget the Aussie's comments when Arjuna defended Murali when he was called "no ball" by Darrel Hair ?

  • 131.
  • At 11:12 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Pubudu wrote:

We are not 'playing the victim' coz we are the victims .. and yes we want 'justice'.
What is 'immature' is a bunch of narrow minded fans rationalizing Gilly hiding a squash ball to enhance performance in his batting glove, which is not approved by the cricketing laws.

  • 132.
  • At 11:16 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Shanaka wrote:

Cricket is a sport governed by mighty 'Laws'. Law 3 of cricket deals with the umpires. Subsection 6 of law 3 deals with the conduct of the game, implements and equipment.

It says :

Before the toss and during the match, the umpires shall satisfy themselves that

(a) the conduct of the game is strictly in accordance with the Laws.

(b) the implements of the game conform to the requirements of Laws 5 (the ball) and 6 (the bat), together with either Laws 8.2 (size of stumps) and 8.3 (the bails) or, if appropriate, Law 8.4 (junior cricket).

(c) (i) no player uses equipment other than that permitted.

Therefore, Gilchrist’s squash ball was not a piece of protective equipment, nor a clothing item, and was not visible to the umpires.
Law 3 (6) (c) (i) very specifically says that a player is not allowed to use equipment other than that is permitted.
It is quite clear that a squash ball is not a permitted item.

  • 133.
  • At 11:55 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • Jeevani - Colombo wrote:

Cricket is a gentlemens game. Therefore they should show the sportsmanship and should "play by the rules" of the game.
If the ICC allows this, then why can't all the sports should allow the participants to use drugs that stimulate their performance ??
It is a serious question that should be answered by the ICC to the cricket fans.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether Sri-Lanka won or lost. But the issue is that the mighty “Laws” of cricket have been broken clearly and action needs to be taken.
End of Story.

  • 134.
  • At 06:30 AM on 09 May 2007,
  • NFI wrote:

I've just read Sanath Jayasuriya batted in the WC final wearing contact lenses, these hidden devices were not brought to the attention the umpires or Ricky Ponting, are not part of the protective equipment, and are clearly performance enhancing.

If he wasn't wearing these illegal devices he would never have been able to time the ball as well as he did. Clearly the runs he made should be declared null and void, and Australia should be deemed the winner of the final by a margin of 116 runs.

  • 135.
  • At 07:10 AM on 09 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#135 Jeevani - Colombo

Is that the same gentlemnly way Fernando did a run through to see which way Bopara was going to move when England needed 3 off the last ball.

One of the poorest acts of sportsmanship displayed in the tournament, conviently overlooked.

  • 136.
  • At 07:21 AM on 09 May 2007,
  • daniel wrote:

The MCC, the final word on the laws of cricket, have said that Gilchrist's squash ball was entirely legal.
"In this case, apparently the addendum to the inside of the batting gloves was not for protection from injury, but to improve the way the batsman gripped the bat handle.

"This should not be considered unfair. Similarly, it has never been considered unfair for batsmen to use two grips on the bat handle.

"The glove manufacturers might, for added protection against jarring, have put an extra pad of some cushioning material as an integral part of the inside of the palm.

"This would be entirely legal, but have the same effect on his grip for a batsman who wore such gloves.

"In conclusion, the incident could not be classed either as contravening the law or as breaching the spirit of the game,"

Now that that's over, what next? Ricky Ponting was spotted evaporating water between innings in order to induce rain and disadvantage Sri Lanka?
Why can't the pathetic few fans still clutching at straws just admit Sri Lanka were solidly beaten in full accordance with the rules of the game, just like the Sri Lankan team, and the overwhelming majority of supporters worldwide have?

  • 137.
  • At 07:40 AM on 09 May 2007,
  • Tetley wrote:

Shanaka (#132), what are you talking about? The laws you have outlined say nothing. Check NFI post (#134). Should we outlaw contact lenses? Should we outlaw spikes on shoes because they give better grip when running between wickets? Should we outlaw the use of three or four grips on a bat's handle? (maybe the West Indies of the 1980s would not have been such a juggernaut if Clive Lloyd was made to play with just a single grip).

Get real.

  • 138.
  • At 12:45 PM on 09 May 2007,
  • adrian wrote:

To-134, 135 & 137

Friends it is so funny you all compare x with y with z etc... with many "how" "if" like....Go by the norm "materiality of these events separately than putting all in one basket to equalise all as same" cheap yardstick...very pathetic..this is the appropriate time to make Trevo Chappel's under arm bowling at a very crucial stage of that match (some years back) as you like it in record books?

  • 139.
  • At 02:43 AM on 10 May 2007,
  • 3 lucky world cups in a row wrote:

#138- Adrian

Adrian is there a point somewhere in your ramblings?

Or should we just rehash history? Shahid Afridi tearing up the pitch when security came out after a terrorist alert... India having non-regulation width bats confiscated last world cup... Nassar Hussain rubbing sweets on the ball...

Could go on for days.

  • 140.
  • At 05:08 AM on 10 May 2007,
  • Stumped wrote:

Reading these posts it is now obvious to me that Australians are demons and deserve to be stripped of their World Cup. They are experts at summoning the angels of the underworld to ruin the tournament by bringing rain, bad light, lucky tosses, poor umpiring etc. not to mention the dreaded cocealed squash ball which turns a batting bunny into superman! Is there no end to their evil? Are there no depths that they will not plumb to prevent the rightful champions from winning?

I propose that the laws of the game be amended to proclaim sub-continent teams as the only rightful WC winners and any Australian victory null and void on the grounds of poor sportsmanship.

  • 141.
  • At 04:48 AM on 11 May 2007,
  • Roshan Fernando wrote:

I am thoroughly enjoying the "storm over a tea cup"(as termed by an Aussie cricket board chap) thing about the Gilchrist/squash ball issue. After all even in a tea cup its still a storm.

I'm enjoying simply because now Australians are feeling a little bit irritated about the nature of some arguments being put across by Sri Lankan supporters and other cricket fans. The Aussies deserve it in full considering the very unfair harassment they put across to Murali during that Hair led shambolic summer in Australia and many times afterward

And even at this World Cup some Aussies, possibly down to heritage as Ranatunge once put it, kept on showing off their vulgar nature by taunting Murali each time he bowled. There are some of them around in these blogs as well.

To me what the ICC has only to check is whether the squash ball inadvertently gave a "punch" advantage by way of better timing apart from the enhanced grip, which is OK after all. And if there is unfair advantage to be found to have such inclusions banned in future.

In the mean time I do hope this issue keeps gathering steam - the Aussies deserve in full all these "barnacles" in their cup.

  • 142.
  • At 05:48 AM on 11 May 2007,
  • P.B.GIDDE wrote:


  • 143.
  • At 07:12 AM on 11 May 2007,
  • Sankan Jayatilake wrote:

what a poor organizing committee that ICC has put on...super 8s were like a slow and long train from kolkata...except for few matches...and im suprised why they played a 38 over game instead of coming back next day...neway all the credits for SriLankans for giving a good fight..if they had a fifty over game result would have been different and also shame on gilchrist law says you cant carry any other equipment other than cricketing equipment..but disgrace for him using a SQUASH BALL inside the gloves...infact Mr Malcom has to take some action rather than saying "well we have to see what the law says" sake of protecting spirit of the game...

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