It's not exactly the way I planned to write this post, but anyway the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 is officially concluded by now. Congratulations for the world champions for the 3rd consecutive run, Australia.
While my favourite Sri Lanka ended up being the runner-up, they showed the unmistakable signs of another great team on the rise. If you are not down with my words Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody (probably the best coach we ever had) said in an interview that "I think we were only half-a-yard away from winning the World Cup. We were very close, so I think this team is capable of winning the next World Cup. There's no reason why Sri Lanka won't continue its upward curve."
Some people have already started trash talking about the loss of Sri Lanka, but I'd like to take this moment to knock them (on the head) and point what SL team been achieving lately. As for the final, I think the only thing we did seriously wrong was to let loose Adam Gilchrist. It was enough though :) When Sri Lankans came to bat we were not worried since we knew as long as Sanath was in there, he was in charge whatever the opposition was. Everything went fine until rain came pouring down again yet again and took away the rhythm of the game. Then the two most hated Englishmen (Duckworth and Lewis) had their saying. Game was still within our grasp until Chamara Silva was clean bowled by a part-time bowler. Anyway all the boys of our team made us proud throughout the tournament. They were nothing but phenomenal. Newer guys like Chamara and Lasith were outstanding. Despite falling just short, they have proved that they are probably better than the 1996 world champion team. This is just the dawn of the rise of a new Sri Lankan Cricket team.
For a brief history, Australia made it to the finals for the 4th consecutive run. Results: 1996 - lost to Sri Lanka, 1999 - defeated Pakistan, 2003 - defeated India, 2007 - defeated Sri Lanka. They even surpassed the feat of the great West Indies team of Clive Lloyd by becoming world champions for 3 consecutive runs (total of 4 world championships). However this 2007 World Cup itself was the biggest and probably the worst. Hosts and venues were great, but there were things which shouldn't be judged against the Caribbeans. For example the communication fiasco at the final, murder of Bob Woolmer are among other things. When Lasith Malinga got 4 wickets in 4 balls (with 5th ball just missing the stumps in the distance of a strand of hair), a feat that has never been done before in the history of the great game, and almost stole the victory from South Africa (then No.1 ranked team) people in concern didn't feel like this world record setter was the man of the match.
To make things worse a few of the cricketing legends said good bye to the field in this world cup. This includes Brian Lara, Glen McGrath and probably a few more (hope not!). It may be the last world cup for (again desperately hoping not) some living legends like Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Sachin Tendulkar.
Sri Lankan team is in great guns and doing truly amazing things which leave the world shocked. Recently they've been bettering what we crowned in 1996: playing the Sri Lankan style of Cricket! We refuse to go down just like that and will rise to be the champions in 2011. Veterans like Sanath, Vaas, Murali and Marvan will guide the new breed there. So if any Australian Cricket authority happens to stumble upon this blog post by sheer luck, be warned! Don't say we didn't warn :)
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