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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Calypso Cricket is back

Calypso Cricket is back - to its very best. The West Indies won the ICC Championship final today against England after being in a situation, where most teams would have happily given up. This one-dayer will go down as one of the best that I have ever seen. Truly, the West Indies deserved to be the winners - they never gave up, they fought till the very end and well, fortune favors the brave.

It is quite hard to comprehend this win. This is the same West Indies team that lost 7 tests out of 8 to the same English team. The Windies managed to draw the only other test because one man Brian Lara decided to score all the runs himself and ended up at 400 not out ! That apart, the Windies had looked a pale shadow of their former selves. In fact, some fans were so frustrated with the team that some thought that the only teams that they could defeat were Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the other minnows. I guess, most of these fans would be happily eating their words and thoughts now.

Truly, this win must rank among the very best in one-day cricket. Never before has a team looked so out of sorts before the beginning of a championship and then gone on to win the tournament. The Windies have done exactly that and they did it in style too. Every member of the team contributed and today must have been just the perfect icing on their cake. Two virtually unknown players, Brown & Bradshaw came together when the Windies were staring down the barrel at 147/8 and around 71 more runs to go. It was virtually an impossible situation - however, these young blokes thought otherwise. They first negotiated the 2 dangerous bowlers, Harminson and Flintoff, slowly trickling the singles. Once they got some momentum going, they started to unleash some strokes and brought the Windies home. What is noteworthy about the win is that the last hour or so was played in almost total darkness and when the Windies were offered the light at 180 odd, they refused it. I guess, they were seeing the cricket ball as big as a football then. In the end, they managed to keep their cool and won handsomely.

Teams all over the world can take a lesson or two out of this win. Firstly, you are only as good as your last game. The Windies, after this win, must truly have their tails up and as Lara said, this might be the beginning of a new chapter. Secondly, you never give up in cricket, because cricket is indeed a game of glorious uncertainties.

In the end, I definitely must add this - although Windies won the game, England did have some wonderful moments too. The match was closely and evenly fought and in the end, the better team won. All in all, the game of cricket was the winner today. Matches such as these are hard to come and so, it is indeed a wonderful cricketing moment to cherish.