I have to confess that while I am not a particular fan of one day cricket, at least when compared to Test cricket, I am beginning to warm to this format of play. When I knew the Champions Trophy was being played, the next best thing to the World Cup, in England, with the English being fancied to do well, I resolved to follow the competition which pitted the eight best teams in the world against each other. Given I don’t do Sky TV, I had to content myself with BBC TMS special (radio) and occasional game highlights on video.
England were impressive insofar they convincingly won all three of their group games and did what all good sides do, one or more of their players putting in outstanding performances when it mattered. When it came to the semi finals it was England and three South Asian teams in the lineup. While happy my own side was in the frame and fancying its chances, I was happy for the three other teams too and that they qualified at the expense of the more fancied Australians and South Africans. India because it is my second home, Bangladesh as these hitherto minnows looked comfortable among the big boys, and the enigmatic Pakistanis who can produce anything from mediocre to out of this world performances.
It was no surprise that India beat Bangladesh, who had over-achieved to get this far. As for England versus Pakistan, the game did not go to plan and Pakistan rather blew the English away by playing the better cricket. And so we come to the much anticipated final: India versus Pakistan (these two great rivals) that took place yesterday. As with the other games, I was able to catch parts live and follow the score as the game developed. Just as with their game against England, Pakistan were outsiders and yet were able to comprehensively overcome India. It was a fantastic spectacle and cricket was the winner, as it was throughout the competition.
As for me, having witnessed a mouth watering competition among the eight supposedly best teams in the world, with Pakistan just scraping in at number eight, I am a convert to this form of the game which despite the element of luck that comes into it ended up with the team playing a scintillating and exciting brand of cricket as victors. Credit to all involved, including an assorted mix of commentators and experts, with excellent females among them.