World Cup 2007 April 27, 2007

The moments belong to Sri Lanka

Australia have been awesome but the moments have belonged to Sri Lanka
261

When Malcolm Speed admits something isn't right you can bet your life that it's horribly wrong. After spending most of the last few weeks defending this turgid tournament, he now accepts that the format is too long. It is possible to create a format that incorporates associate members, gives the better teams less chance of being hijacked, and is done and dusted in thirty days. It took me five minutes to think of such a format, and I'm sure anybody reading this blog could come up with something similar.

I've seen every World Cup so far and I have no doubt that this is the most tedious ever--and not because Pakistan were knocked out. The semi-finalists were decided too quickly, as were the semi-finals themselves. The business end of the tournament hasn't done the business. A collaboration between the ICC and the local organising committee has managed to alienate fans and kill the atmosphere. The people of the Caribbean deserved better.

At least the best two teams have reached the final, which could be a classic, but even then will struggle to sweeten the bitter taste this tournament has created. Australia have been truly formidable, extending their remarkable record in World Cup cricket. If they win on Sunday, who could begrudge them their brilliant success? Do McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden, and Ponting deserve any less?

But for each over-whelming favourite there is an over-whelmingly supported underdog. Hundreds of millions of cricket fans will be rooting for Mahela's Magicians simply because it would be great to see somebody other than Australia win. More than that the magic moments of this World Cup--Malinga's four in four and the final-ball defeat of England--have belonged to Sri Lanka. There is a variety in their bowling--slingers, swingers, and doosras--that gives them the best chance of humbling Australia. That's before we get into the poetic justice of Murali triumphing over the country that has brought him most humilaition.

Australia have been awesome but the moments have belonged to Sri Lanka. Either team would be a deserving winner. Take your pick, power or magic? I choose magic.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 4, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    The moments, according to Kamran Abbassi that were supposed to belong to Sri Lanka were actually snatched away by the Aussies.The Aussies are celebrating, enjoying and cherishing those moments of victory with joy, whereas the Sri Lankan players have no clue whether they would be enjoying or regretting those moments when they will reach home. They are still stuck in London due to the cancellation of flights and problems back home. With the cricket WC curtain pulled down, this thread has also lost its charm and the urge to continue and flow with the feelings of the people on this blog. In fact this thread is drifting aimlessly without any direction, hence we need to move away from here to a new topic.

    Wasim Saqib, I appreciate the gesture that you have shown in support by dedicating the whole post on the issue of hurling tasteless and insipid personal abuses for no reason and you are right that its simply due to the fact they are unable to match the wits in a decent manner and are obviously envious for no reason. Durrani has once again proved that he can stoop low and remain a petty person and he can continue with his rona dhona aur naak surakna. May be he needs a Peer Phakir sort of person to bless him from behind.

    And, lemme make it clear for those who think I hate Punjabi's or calling a paindoo is racist remark! In real life some of my best friends are Punjabis and we get along extremely well. Its not that they told me but, its a common notion that the word "paindoo" is a pubjabi word and it is used in Punjabi by Punjabis for those who live in small villages which are referred in Punjabi as "Pind" or "Chak" woteva, hence the "ignorant rustic folks" are referred as Paindoos. Its not a foreign word, I mean its not from Urdu or Pushto but, it is a Punjabi word. And this is not racism as the same Punjabi (race) calls the rustic ignorant villagers as Paindoos. I wonder why it being viewed as a taboo? It is not a derogatory remark but a literal meaning of naive and ignorant villager. As regards ziyadatee, its a common notion that those who have experienced it, talk more about it. In Durrani's opinion I am the bully, the abuser and the oppressor where as he is the poor victim who has been subjugated and oppressed. tsk, tsk, tsk.

    As regards making fun of accents, actually its not fun but, pun and its not just restricted to punjabi, that I make pun of in a light hearted manner, but there are so many languages and dialects that I do, including the way our own Pathans make blunders and bloopers when they speak Urdu or the way the Memons speak Urdu or how our mosque's Gujarati Imam speaks English. He makes every single person laugh and single kid giggle when he says: "peeepal come faawud and do nat estay in da bayck side" and, he also keeps asking them to "make a estate line and nat estande in sami-circles." And its so funny the way he yells at seesters on the Eid day while he is giving the sermon and they are talking loudly and he yells at them by saying "seeesters estaap taakin and leesun care fooly bee caaz what I am taakin is vary impotent". And even more funny when he asks people to follow him the salat with "sickas ekastra takbeers" and he goes on describing the details and again yelling at seesters to estaap taakin. Brudda Ashaq, I am sure you would enjoy this scenario which I have observed and wrote it in the memoirs and I can send it to you through email, i.e., if you want to read it. :-)

    It also amuses me the way the French speak "Hinglish." and I never hesitate for a moment whenever I get an opportunity to remind them of their "Hinglish Hairistocracy." The French try to stuff the alphabet "H" where it is not needed and don't use it where it is supposed to be used. They get confused between the "H" muet and "H" aspiré. The "H" muet is silent -- the word acts exactly as if it began with a vowel. This means that contractions and liaisons are done as if the alphabet "H" is not there. Here is a classic example of how they say, "I am hungry and I wanna eat." high am angry hand high wanna heat.

    Its a matter of how you perceive criticism and in what spirit you take that comment or the pun that is intended. Here in Canada on the national TV they make pun of the Prime Minister in public and they do it right in front of him on his face. If Moin Akhtar or Anwar Maqsood try to ridicule the President of Pakistan in public and right in front of him on his face, they will be persecuted and will spend the rest of their lives in jail. Enjoying a pun requires the recognition and appreciation of sense of humour and also the finesse to feel it and perceive it rather than sulking and brooding on sadness. And calling a spade, a spade must be taken in its right spirit. Allama Iqbal said:

    Apnay bhee khafaa mujh say hain, bay ganay bhee na khush Mai zehr-e-hila hil ko kabhee keh na saka khund.

  • Manju - Australia on May 4, 2007, 4:47 GMT

    I am Sri Lankan, and was not surprised at our loss. Don’t get me wrong now, I am a big SL fan, and would like to see them win every time. But the bottom line is; we were not good enough on the day. Does the SL have the ability, yes, but did they make it count, no. Why? No consistency…

    Good on them for making it to the final. Had they won, would I have been satisfied… No! I want them to be as good as or better than Oz. I believe Aussies have set the gold standard.

    What is encouraging is that the SL team is headed in the right direction. What is needed from the SL team is a lot more effort and commitment. What is needed from the SL fans is a realistic assessment of their team.

    On current form, SL is good enough to occupy the 2nd or 3rd slot in one day rankings. This was of course reflected in our final appearance. To win the cup and consistently outperform other top teams… Little bot more to go I think…

    Still very proud of the team though… and living in hope…

    Cheers, Manju

  • Shazad - Washington DC on May 4, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    Dear Wasim: You haven't learned from history once you dont respect the mandate then we saw East Pakistan. You need to learn and start respecting right of your brothers and behave like human.

  • EAMIRAN on May 4, 2007, 2:55 GMT

    For those comparing Jeff Thompson's bowling action to that of Malingas, please note that the only similarity is that the bowling arm does not go up and forward prior to and through the delivery stride. It remains down and behind or astride the right leg while the body rocks back, before catapulting through. The similarity ends there. The approach and run up are very different, as is the position and height of the bowling arm relative to the shoulder. Whereas Thompson's arm was almost perpendicular to the ground upon delivery, Malinga's is at an acute angle to the ground, making his action "round arm". The former also had a short, bustling run-up with quick arm rotation, while the latter has a long, surging sprint to the wicket. Infact if there is a similarity, it is more to Waqar Younis and not Jeff Thompson. Both have/had long run-ups, low arm actions, skiddy pace, and late reverse swing owing largely to similar actions.

    To all the conspiricy theorists out there, I apologize for bursting the bubble but Thompson's action was generally clean, as is Malinga's, as was Waqar's. My observations are based on the fact that I have actually seen all of them bowl, and not on hearsay.

    Lets move onto more unpleasant topics, that of the incessant labeling, accusations, stereotypically derogatory remarks of 1 ethnicity in particular. Yes, we all know what I am writing about. I have written about it before, but it continues unabated, and will probably do so for a very long time. Those who do not openly criticize, hide behind those that do, patting the other on the back. I have also noticed that the ethnicity that is "lovingly and in good-nature" criticized so heavily has not used the same deregotary and stereotypical ethnic rebuttal tactic in retaliation. That is commendable; however since I am all for equality, I suggest we call each other, henceforth by the following:

    All Punjabis = Paindoos (dumb villagers - repeated ad infinitum on various posters) All Pathans = Akhroats (walnut i.e;thick skulled, stubborn and stupid) All Baloch = Jahil Junglees (illiterate and wild) All Sindhis = Lazy F#$%'s ( No translation required - sorry couldn't think of an apt term in Urdu) All Kashmiris = Durpoke (scared) All Others i.e; Urdu daans = keeray makoray(insects) = mutarrway (non stop yakkers ala Javed Miandad) = bunyay (No - Not the Australian coniferous tree) (take your pick). All Bohra's (of which many reside in Canada) = with a name ending in "Wallah" why pick on them.

    According to the above Imran Khan must be a dumb, thick skulled, stubborn and stupid villager.

    Let the love flow.

    Long live Pakistan.

  • Wajid, USA on May 4, 2007, 2:24 GMT

    My dear Pakistanis, Do not expect anything good. We are a corrupt nation and have a corrupt board headed by corrupt "tola". Our cricket saw few good years only because of Imran Khan who did not tolerate this BS. Current administration is so corrupt that they will not hire anybody who is honest because they will not have their safarshi cricketers in the team that way. From top to bottom, there is nothing but corruption in Pakistan.

    Look at Bangladesh. I think Aaqib should accept their offer and never come back to Pakistan. We have ruined his career once already and Aaqib should know this better.

  • Kanchana on May 4, 2007, 2:14 GMT

    Hi,

    Was Gilly's squash ball inside the glove to help the grip in batting a legal move. I am hoping one of you bloggers would have the guts to write about it unless I haven't seen it. Question must be asked, it is legal if not is ICC planning to take any actions?

    cricket loving fan, Kanchana

  • joe on May 4, 2007, 1:33 GMT

    Please check the rules of cricket. There is absolutely nothing banning the use of the squash ball.

  • Chris on May 4, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    Luxman you are an embarrassment. Please stop embarrassing yourself publicly. Gilchrist can put whatever he wants in his glove when he bats. Why? Because it’s legal. Do you think when people first started using inner gloves they were accused of cheating? Well maybe they were by people like you who are ignorant and uneducated and finally and worst of all, can’t pay respect to a team who deserved their win. Take your sour grapes somewhere else mate. I’m sure there are a million blogs all over the world full of mouth frothing cricket supporters who bash Australia on the Internet because their team can’t touch them on the field.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 4, 2007, 0:57 GMT

    The only way to improve our cricket is by improving the domestic cricket, if we look at the current domestic structure there are too many teams and most of the Players who are members of the National team do not participate in the domestic games, therefore the selectors can never judge their form properly. Similarly the young players specially batsmen cannot test their skills against quality bowlers as most of the regular bowlers in Pakistan team ,with the exception of a few do not play in domestic cricket.

    I think that there should be only six teams in any major domestic tournament and each team should play the other at least three times, on different conditions and the timing of this tournament should be such that no International match should fall in that period so that maximum number of Senior players should participate, in fact it should be made compulsory for all the senior players to participate in this event.

    I was looking at the statistics of the practice match played at the national Camp, the top three batsmen in the domestic circuit Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and Hasan Raza all scored ducks because this was the first time they were facing Asif, Sami and Umar gul in a domestic match, Salman and Imran were scoring almost at an average near 100 in the domestic matches and Hasan Raza was also scoring heavily, the first match they play against quality bowling they all fail.

    It should be compulsory for all the players to play in domestic matches and the tournament should be closely monitored by the selectors and strictly controlled by PCB as far as the playing conditions and umpiring and composition of the different teams is concerned.

    It will not be a bad Idea to start a National Draft for cricket and these teams should be privatized on regional basis, and the rules of the draft should make sure that all the teams should get equal # of players every year and all the teams should be balanced. The players should get enough money to make a decent living, I think if the authority’s plan it properly they will get some good sponsors, only the first year will be difficult as far as the finances are concerned but in the following years it will survive on its own.

    The Australian Pura Cup is played on these lines and has been successful. The biggest advantage of privatizing the whole tournament is that we will get rid of PCB’s red tape. A private sector in Partnership with local authorities will result in better equipment & training facilities for all the players and each team can hire its own coaching staff(Ex- cricketers?). By making it regional, the tournament will generate more interest from the public and will spark rivalries amongst the teams.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 3, 2007, 23:48 GMT

    Raja Karachi, Last time I checked Karachi was still a part of Pakistan and any Pakistani can choose to live wherever he wants,so you are nobody to raise any objection if anybody from Punjab or any other province resides in Karachi,although I dont believe you your leaders are working on the footsteps of hitler and they have brain washed most of the people,I am not least impressed by your clownish and pathetic attempt to portray yourself as a Punjabi in fact it makes me laugh. In your post several times while referring to Karachites you used "we" instead of "them". Also you said you are from Sialkot and yet you dont know that there is no KPT in Punjab. Since you donot belong to Punjab and probably have never lived there either as it is clearly evident from your knowledge about Punjab so whatever you have stated,is based on assumptions and propaganda.As far as the terrorism is concerned,my brother I have posted some links in My previous entry do read them,and here is one more for you: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/mqm_factsheet.htm#1 The violence your leaders have unleased in your own city is not hidden from anybody in the world,in the above link you will find some interesting similarities between your leader and Hitler please do read it.

    Javed-California Liaqat Ali Khan was assinated by an Afgan National named Saad Akbar for us he was a beloved leader. If you want to accuse just for the sake of it then People also say that Liaqat Ali Khan was responsible for the death of Mr. Jinnah. Yahya Khan,Ayub Khan,Bhutto and Mujib were not Punjabis they were all responsible for the demise of East Pakistan,Its a shame you guys dont have the courage to accept reality.You forgot to mention the names of Sami,Kineria,Afridi,Younis and Miandad they also never looked any better than Rana,Butt,or Malik.Infact the four commentators hired by 10 sports from Pakistan are all from Punjab.I know you guys dont want to see reality and accept the truth, but I am here I will make you see it.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 4, 2007, 5:49 GMT

    The moments, according to Kamran Abbassi that were supposed to belong to Sri Lanka were actually snatched away by the Aussies.The Aussies are celebrating, enjoying and cherishing those moments of victory with joy, whereas the Sri Lankan players have no clue whether they would be enjoying or regretting those moments when they will reach home. They are still stuck in London due to the cancellation of flights and problems back home. With the cricket WC curtain pulled down, this thread has also lost its charm and the urge to continue and flow with the feelings of the people on this blog. In fact this thread is drifting aimlessly without any direction, hence we need to move away from here to a new topic.

    Wasim Saqib, I appreciate the gesture that you have shown in support by dedicating the whole post on the issue of hurling tasteless and insipid personal abuses for no reason and you are right that its simply due to the fact they are unable to match the wits in a decent manner and are obviously envious for no reason. Durrani has once again proved that he can stoop low and remain a petty person and he can continue with his rona dhona aur naak surakna. May be he needs a Peer Phakir sort of person to bless him from behind.

    And, lemme make it clear for those who think I hate Punjabi's or calling a paindoo is racist remark! In real life some of my best friends are Punjabis and we get along extremely well. Its not that they told me but, its a common notion that the word "paindoo" is a pubjabi word and it is used in Punjabi by Punjabis for those who live in small villages which are referred in Punjabi as "Pind" or "Chak" woteva, hence the "ignorant rustic folks" are referred as Paindoos. Its not a foreign word, I mean its not from Urdu or Pushto but, it is a Punjabi word. And this is not racism as the same Punjabi (race) calls the rustic ignorant villagers as Paindoos. I wonder why it being viewed as a taboo? It is not a derogatory remark but a literal meaning of naive and ignorant villager. As regards ziyadatee, its a common notion that those who have experienced it, talk more about it. In Durrani's opinion I am the bully, the abuser and the oppressor where as he is the poor victim who has been subjugated and oppressed. tsk, tsk, tsk.

    As regards making fun of accents, actually its not fun but, pun and its not just restricted to punjabi, that I make pun of in a light hearted manner, but there are so many languages and dialects that I do, including the way our own Pathans make blunders and bloopers when they speak Urdu or the way the Memons speak Urdu or how our mosque's Gujarati Imam speaks English. He makes every single person laugh and single kid giggle when he says: "peeepal come faawud and do nat estay in da bayck side" and, he also keeps asking them to "make a estate line and nat estande in sami-circles." And its so funny the way he yells at seesters on the Eid day while he is giving the sermon and they are talking loudly and he yells at them by saying "seeesters estaap taakin and leesun care fooly bee caaz what I am taakin is vary impotent". And even more funny when he asks people to follow him the salat with "sickas ekastra takbeers" and he goes on describing the details and again yelling at seesters to estaap taakin. Brudda Ashaq, I am sure you would enjoy this scenario which I have observed and wrote it in the memoirs and I can send it to you through email, i.e., if you want to read it. :-)

    It also amuses me the way the French speak "Hinglish." and I never hesitate for a moment whenever I get an opportunity to remind them of their "Hinglish Hairistocracy." The French try to stuff the alphabet "H" where it is not needed and don't use it where it is supposed to be used. They get confused between the "H" muet and "H" aspiré. The "H" muet is silent -- the word acts exactly as if it began with a vowel. This means that contractions and liaisons are done as if the alphabet "H" is not there. Here is a classic example of how they say, "I am hungry and I wanna eat." high am angry hand high wanna heat.

    Its a matter of how you perceive criticism and in what spirit you take that comment or the pun that is intended. Here in Canada on the national TV they make pun of the Prime Minister in public and they do it right in front of him on his face. If Moin Akhtar or Anwar Maqsood try to ridicule the President of Pakistan in public and right in front of him on his face, they will be persecuted and will spend the rest of their lives in jail. Enjoying a pun requires the recognition and appreciation of sense of humour and also the finesse to feel it and perceive it rather than sulking and brooding on sadness. And calling a spade, a spade must be taken in its right spirit. Allama Iqbal said:

    Apnay bhee khafaa mujh say hain, bay ganay bhee na khush Mai zehr-e-hila hil ko kabhee keh na saka khund.

  • Manju - Australia on May 4, 2007, 4:47 GMT

    I am Sri Lankan, and was not surprised at our loss. Don’t get me wrong now, I am a big SL fan, and would like to see them win every time. But the bottom line is; we were not good enough on the day. Does the SL have the ability, yes, but did they make it count, no. Why? No consistency…

    Good on them for making it to the final. Had they won, would I have been satisfied… No! I want them to be as good as or better than Oz. I believe Aussies have set the gold standard.

    What is encouraging is that the SL team is headed in the right direction. What is needed from the SL team is a lot more effort and commitment. What is needed from the SL fans is a realistic assessment of their team.

    On current form, SL is good enough to occupy the 2nd or 3rd slot in one day rankings. This was of course reflected in our final appearance. To win the cup and consistently outperform other top teams… Little bot more to go I think…

    Still very proud of the team though… and living in hope…

    Cheers, Manju

  • Shazad - Washington DC on May 4, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    Dear Wasim: You haven't learned from history once you dont respect the mandate then we saw East Pakistan. You need to learn and start respecting right of your brothers and behave like human.

  • EAMIRAN on May 4, 2007, 2:55 GMT

    For those comparing Jeff Thompson's bowling action to that of Malingas, please note that the only similarity is that the bowling arm does not go up and forward prior to and through the delivery stride. It remains down and behind or astride the right leg while the body rocks back, before catapulting through. The similarity ends there. The approach and run up are very different, as is the position and height of the bowling arm relative to the shoulder. Whereas Thompson's arm was almost perpendicular to the ground upon delivery, Malinga's is at an acute angle to the ground, making his action "round arm". The former also had a short, bustling run-up with quick arm rotation, while the latter has a long, surging sprint to the wicket. Infact if there is a similarity, it is more to Waqar Younis and not Jeff Thompson. Both have/had long run-ups, low arm actions, skiddy pace, and late reverse swing owing largely to similar actions.

    To all the conspiricy theorists out there, I apologize for bursting the bubble but Thompson's action was generally clean, as is Malinga's, as was Waqar's. My observations are based on the fact that I have actually seen all of them bowl, and not on hearsay.

    Lets move onto more unpleasant topics, that of the incessant labeling, accusations, stereotypically derogatory remarks of 1 ethnicity in particular. Yes, we all know what I am writing about. I have written about it before, but it continues unabated, and will probably do so for a very long time. Those who do not openly criticize, hide behind those that do, patting the other on the back. I have also noticed that the ethnicity that is "lovingly and in good-nature" criticized so heavily has not used the same deregotary and stereotypical ethnic rebuttal tactic in retaliation. That is commendable; however since I am all for equality, I suggest we call each other, henceforth by the following:

    All Punjabis = Paindoos (dumb villagers - repeated ad infinitum on various posters) All Pathans = Akhroats (walnut i.e;thick skulled, stubborn and stupid) All Baloch = Jahil Junglees (illiterate and wild) All Sindhis = Lazy F#$%'s ( No translation required - sorry couldn't think of an apt term in Urdu) All Kashmiris = Durpoke (scared) All Others i.e; Urdu daans = keeray makoray(insects) = mutarrway (non stop yakkers ala Javed Miandad) = bunyay (No - Not the Australian coniferous tree) (take your pick). All Bohra's (of which many reside in Canada) = with a name ending in "Wallah" why pick on them.

    According to the above Imran Khan must be a dumb, thick skulled, stubborn and stupid villager.

    Let the love flow.

    Long live Pakistan.

  • Wajid, USA on May 4, 2007, 2:24 GMT

    My dear Pakistanis, Do not expect anything good. We are a corrupt nation and have a corrupt board headed by corrupt "tola". Our cricket saw few good years only because of Imran Khan who did not tolerate this BS. Current administration is so corrupt that they will not hire anybody who is honest because they will not have their safarshi cricketers in the team that way. From top to bottom, there is nothing but corruption in Pakistan.

    Look at Bangladesh. I think Aaqib should accept their offer and never come back to Pakistan. We have ruined his career once already and Aaqib should know this better.

  • Kanchana on May 4, 2007, 2:14 GMT

    Hi,

    Was Gilly's squash ball inside the glove to help the grip in batting a legal move. I am hoping one of you bloggers would have the guts to write about it unless I haven't seen it. Question must be asked, it is legal if not is ICC planning to take any actions?

    cricket loving fan, Kanchana

  • joe on May 4, 2007, 1:33 GMT

    Please check the rules of cricket. There is absolutely nothing banning the use of the squash ball.

  • Chris on May 4, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    Luxman you are an embarrassment. Please stop embarrassing yourself publicly. Gilchrist can put whatever he wants in his glove when he bats. Why? Because it’s legal. Do you think when people first started using inner gloves they were accused of cheating? Well maybe they were by people like you who are ignorant and uneducated and finally and worst of all, can’t pay respect to a team who deserved their win. Take your sour grapes somewhere else mate. I’m sure there are a million blogs all over the world full of mouth frothing cricket supporters who bash Australia on the Internet because their team can’t touch them on the field.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 4, 2007, 0:57 GMT

    The only way to improve our cricket is by improving the domestic cricket, if we look at the current domestic structure there are too many teams and most of the Players who are members of the National team do not participate in the domestic games, therefore the selectors can never judge their form properly. Similarly the young players specially batsmen cannot test their skills against quality bowlers as most of the regular bowlers in Pakistan team ,with the exception of a few do not play in domestic cricket.

    I think that there should be only six teams in any major domestic tournament and each team should play the other at least three times, on different conditions and the timing of this tournament should be such that no International match should fall in that period so that maximum number of Senior players should participate, in fact it should be made compulsory for all the senior players to participate in this event.

    I was looking at the statistics of the practice match played at the national Camp, the top three batsmen in the domestic circuit Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and Hasan Raza all scored ducks because this was the first time they were facing Asif, Sami and Umar gul in a domestic match, Salman and Imran were scoring almost at an average near 100 in the domestic matches and Hasan Raza was also scoring heavily, the first match they play against quality bowling they all fail.

    It should be compulsory for all the players to play in domestic matches and the tournament should be closely monitored by the selectors and strictly controlled by PCB as far as the playing conditions and umpiring and composition of the different teams is concerned.

    It will not be a bad Idea to start a National Draft for cricket and these teams should be privatized on regional basis, and the rules of the draft should make sure that all the teams should get equal # of players every year and all the teams should be balanced. The players should get enough money to make a decent living, I think if the authority’s plan it properly they will get some good sponsors, only the first year will be difficult as far as the finances are concerned but in the following years it will survive on its own.

    The Australian Pura Cup is played on these lines and has been successful. The biggest advantage of privatizing the whole tournament is that we will get rid of PCB’s red tape. A private sector in Partnership with local authorities will result in better equipment & training facilities for all the players and each team can hire its own coaching staff(Ex- cricketers?). By making it regional, the tournament will generate more interest from the public and will spark rivalries amongst the teams.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 3, 2007, 23:48 GMT

    Raja Karachi, Last time I checked Karachi was still a part of Pakistan and any Pakistani can choose to live wherever he wants,so you are nobody to raise any objection if anybody from Punjab or any other province resides in Karachi,although I dont believe you your leaders are working on the footsteps of hitler and they have brain washed most of the people,I am not least impressed by your clownish and pathetic attempt to portray yourself as a Punjabi in fact it makes me laugh. In your post several times while referring to Karachites you used "we" instead of "them". Also you said you are from Sialkot and yet you dont know that there is no KPT in Punjab. Since you donot belong to Punjab and probably have never lived there either as it is clearly evident from your knowledge about Punjab so whatever you have stated,is based on assumptions and propaganda.As far as the terrorism is concerned,my brother I have posted some links in My previous entry do read them,and here is one more for you: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/mqm_factsheet.htm#1 The violence your leaders have unleased in your own city is not hidden from anybody in the world,in the above link you will find some interesting similarities between your leader and Hitler please do read it.

    Javed-California Liaqat Ali Khan was assinated by an Afgan National named Saad Akbar for us he was a beloved leader. If you want to accuse just for the sake of it then People also say that Liaqat Ali Khan was responsible for the death of Mr. Jinnah. Yahya Khan,Ayub Khan,Bhutto and Mujib were not Punjabis they were all responsible for the demise of East Pakistan,Its a shame you guys dont have the courage to accept reality.You forgot to mention the names of Sami,Kineria,Afridi,Younis and Miandad they also never looked any better than Rana,Butt,or Malik.Infact the four commentators hired by 10 sports from Pakistan are all from Punjab.I know you guys dont want to see reality and accept the truth, but I am here I will make you see it.

  • khansahab on May 3, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    Mr Wasim Saqib,

    I thought we had patched up but yet again you make some injudicious comments and I feel compelled to refute. Have you not heard of the phrase "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"? I do not support MQM and I call it a terrorist organisation, but you need a reality check on the human rights abuses committed by Punjabi police/authorities IN Karachi ON Karachiites. You can support Palestine when Israelis usurp their land and take over their opportunities. But what can you and Durrani say about the opportunities that were deprived from Karachiites? Now you will say that Karachi is a city in Pakistan and is not "owned" by Urdu Speakers but tell me, what is the percentage of Urdu Speakers that reside in Lahore? Ask all Urdu Speakers, they will tell you that they are looked down upon in Lahore and treated as "outsiders" and "Karachi-walay". This is despite that fact that despite Punjab’s best efforts, Urdu Speakers on average are STILL more educated and refined than Punjabis.

    What statistic will you come up with next? That Urdu Speakers are 5% of Pakistan's population so they deserve 5% of Pakistan's wealth (whereas their brains generate about 30% of it)?

    That Urdu Speakers are 5% of Pakistan's population so only 1 cricketer from Karachi needs to be in the national side? What happened to your arguments about merit and deservedness? How do you justify the Punjab-seats quota in Karachi's universities whereas there is no Sindh quota in Punjab universities?

    Punjabis don't really have any interest with living in harmony with Urdu Speakers. Too bad Urdu Speaking brains generate a third of the wealth of the country where Punjabis form 60% of the population so Punjabis have to stick with them. “Stick with them”, in the way of usurping their resources and occupying their city, whilst not letting them get hold of any of Punjab’s resources.

    As for the articles you have submitted, their creation has clearly been facilitated by Punjabis. You can read articles about MQM on Wikipedia and other databases where you will read that MQM was created as a result of the oppression faced by Urdu Speakers from Punjabis. So big deal. The common man of Pakistan (and definitely the common Punjabi) supports Pakistani/Kashmiri insurgency in Indian Kashmir, whereas the rest of the world calls them "terrorists". So whether it is the MQM or Kashmiri insurgency, the West would label it terrorism. Ask any non Pakistani about the ethnic troubles of Karachi and he will have little idea. As for the argument about Indians coming and living in Karachi, present day Pakistan was “India” before too and Indian Muslims have every right to live in a country which was made for them AS MUCH AS it was made for the present day Punjabis living in present day Pakistan. See what I meant in my previous posts when I stated that Punjabis don’t understand politics and they only understand parochialism? This is what I meant; you have finally proved me right yourself. Indian Muslims would have also settled in substantial numbers around Lahore etc had the Punjabis accepted them as one of their own and not treated them as “outsiders”. Punjab was behind the uprising in East Pakistan and India saw the opportunity and facilitated the creation of Bangladesh. Punjab is also behind the ethnic troubles of Karachi and you must be thankful to the majority of Urdu Speakers who want to live in harmony with Punjabis because if there is any heated tension or turmoil, India does have the resources, will and “international support” to create a separate homeland for Urdu Speaking Pakistanis. Mr Saqib, I also feel that you have not heard about ISI being 99% Punjabi and the allegation that ISI was behind the creation of MQM so that Urdu Speakers get a bad name and so that inter-MQM squabbles lead to their clout weakening, paving way for Punjabis to gain in dominance in the city and the great financial incentives it has to offer to the genetically “entrepreneurial” and “shrewd” (some would say “corrupt”) Punjabi. Why were Punjabi businessmen in Karachi so cross when the former PM was thrown out of power? Because the new leader would not let them carry on with their corrupt business dealings. Again let me reiterate that I absolutely condemn MQM but I equally condemn Punjabi aggression and discrimination not just against Urdu Speakers, but against all Pakistanis. Just like how I condemn Al Qaeda but also condemn Bush and Blair. Baluchistan and NWFP have their fair share of complaints against Punjabis but we don’t see much of them in the limelight because their growth has been successfully repressed by Punjab.

    Mr Saqib, statistics can only tell you the superficial side to a story. In this warfare between the armies of intellect/thought on the one hand, and brawn/aggression on the other, the former will ultimately prevail. Now, just to mimic Durrani, I am sure that the other “non-Punjabi Pakistanis” would understand what I mean. :-)

    I commented a while ago in my response to a comment from you but that thread has not been updated yet by Mr Abbasi. If I feel like it in the future I will re-post that comment for your attention.

    Shuja Kidwai, I appreciate the acknowledgement. Thanks. You and Wasim Saqib love me so much................................

  • Sani on May 3, 2007, 22:59 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I seriously think that we should raise the 'squash ball' question. If Gilly can hide a foreign object inside his glove to enhance his performance, next thing we know anyone can hide anything they want inside their glove to 'help them with their batting', if this thing is allowed to go on, it's not fair at all.

    The Laws of Cricket 2000 Code 2 Ed. 2003: The Preamble to the Laws- specifically states that “the game of Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that; it should be played not only within the rules, but also with the spirit of the game. Any action thereof, that is seen to abuse this spirit cause injury to the game itself. The major responsibility of ensuring the spirit of fair-play rests with the Captain”.

    The characteristic of the squash ball indicates that the ball is made of vulcanised rubber with additions of polymers and synthetic material to achieve a degree of fairly low resilience. The lower the resilience of the object the higher the proportion of energy used in deforming it. Thus when a batsmen hits the cricket ball, the air inside the squash ball gets pressurised or deformed, releasing a spring load of energy, that is transferred directly to the bat, resulting in a catapulting effect on the cricket ball, as evidenced by the spectators, watching Gilchrist’s batting spell bound.

    In this context, it is evident that wearing a performance enhancing device (Squash ball) is prohibitive against the ‘Spirit of the Cricket Game’ and is analogous to an Athlete using performance enhancing drugs to win his event.

  • Valavan on May 3, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Dont Fume Srilankan Fans. Ask Malinga not to throw the ball in front of umpire. OK. Accept your defeat. Be a gentleman. Gilly accepted what he did, may be in future it can be banned, but till now there is no any ICC law against this action. I read a comment in Dailynews by some fanatic srilankan doctor saying that Haydos and Gilly taken performance enhancing drugs. Srilankans are crying and crying everyday finding a reason to sledge the mighty Aussies. I think Srilankans dont believe that they can make another final in WC. Thats why. Dont cry. Dont cry you all racists. Australia played better than SL. Australia can always play better than SL and SL can only win in a day when Australia will have a bad luck.

  • khansahab on May 3, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    Durrani Sahab,

    It is tragic to see your aggressive and boorish stance on the matter. When you state that your notion of "ziyadti" would be understood by "other Pakistanis", you really mean to say "other Pay&Dos" since I do not really understand what you mean by that. They say birds of a feather flock together.

    You should not take this Pay&Do joke seriously. I think you should grow up and get a life instead of weeping and talking about suing the great Javed Bhai. You see, this impulsive and boorish attitude, chatactertistic of individuals of your type, only makes your kind looking stupid and debauched.

    So learn to think with your brain and not your heart. Relax, we are not your enemies and we come from the same country as you. Learn to accept some criticism and the virtues of free speech.

  • Javed - California on May 3, 2007, 21:36 GMT

    The moments belongs the people of our big brothers who has been running the affair of our country from last 60 years. We have been ruled by 2 percent of the poulation and they have decided whatever we need to survive. We have been ruled by a breed of people who served the British Army during 1857 war. These people killled Liaqat Ali khan just after creation of pakistan. These country has been created by people with brain and wisdom and then ruled by people without brain and wisdom. We can see the result and debacle. Whenever someone tried to point these mistake had been labelled as traitors and enemy. It is very simple you can have a couple of these players in a team but you cant have all morons in one team. We can easily the standard of our cricket team, even Bangladeshi players can represents their country infront of TV in a better then these Ranas, Butts, Maliks, and chaudries.

  • Nadeem Shafee on May 3, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    Good point Faisal_USA. I am agree with you.

    Nadeem UK

  • True SL fan on May 3, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    It is surely music to all cricket fans ears that SPEED AND SOME OTHERS ARE TO BE PUNISHED...

    BCCI may come up with no-confidence motion against Speed. This is the best thing that can happen to Cricket and lets get rid of those conspiracy plots out of ICC> AND LET ME SAY THIS LOUD AND CLEAR ,, AM NOT FROM INDIA NOR FROM PAK, but this ICC posts have to be taken up by Indian and PAK officials.Aussie dominance have been much helped by the ICC and the current ICC is really influenced by some Aussies behind the curtains.

    Let me prove my point and show that am not just shouting racial remarks....

    eg 1: The 1-Bouncer rule which was introduced mainly by the backing of OZ was well planned in the 1990's.. before that OZ was not doing great and they needed the edge and wanted their favorable conditions introduced in the the whole of Cricket.. well NOW WE DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE BOUNCER (and even if we do,we cant change it to suite Asian countries now...), no one really had a problem before, and we played cricket well even before the bouncer was allowed, to help the OZ's bowlers mainly.

    Now.. NO POINT OF CRYING OVER SPILT MILK..time that BCCI and PCB officials get in to ICC and introduce rules that helps Asian countries to have a edge(OZ's did it with the ICC..so we also should get a chance.)

    PS:AND India and PAK generate most income to cricket ,so its high time ICC give those posts to the countries that generate money to the sport... And its time that ASIANS get out of that colonial mentality and make rules them selves and make others obey them.

    (Mr.Abbasi, post the comments in full cause i wanted to say this many times and have said it in many blogs other than in yours......)

  • Garry on May 3, 2007, 14:22 GMT

    The best team won. Imagine how much easier it would have been for us if Lee played and Hussey was in form. We have the depth to cover any eventuality.

  • babar ali on May 3, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    To be honest i was very passionate about cricket of course am pak fan but still i used to love cricket i dont think i can say the same thing anymore. there is always one team that is winning everything and that is dissapointing and boring if your not an aussie fan lately i have been really put of with cricket. it aint the same fun anymore. lets hope someone matches aussies or the aussies come down to the level of the rest the teams for the sake of the future of cricket.

  • Durrani on May 3, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    Javed A. Khan is a royally pain in the hass on this blog. Just how much he hates the punjabis and especially the ‘pay & doos’ is beyond a normal person. The way he makes fun and pass comments on the poor ‘pay & doos’ is simply disgusting. I guess here in Canada, they shall sue him for racism, abuse, and human rights for using such harsh and sarcastic language. If someone is born ‘pay & do’ does that mean he dose not have a right to live, and have mercy on them. I think javed can not believe himself for being one of the very few educated ‘pashtoons’ and this is shown in his ‘niswar’ mentality.

    The only one reason I can understand for this unusual hatred may be that some ‘pay & do’ has done some “ziyadity’ with him in his younger days, and by “ziyadity”, I am sure he and other pakistanis will understand, what I mean.

    Grow up javed….. show some respect for other to get some respect from them, or else you will become a laughing-stock for all.

  • Al on May 3, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    Much of the beauty of cricket lies in the limitless number of on-field permutations, variety of performances and, not least, the controversies.

    Cricket mirrors life; the pitch isn't the same for all players at all times, decisions by players and officials can and will be wrong at some time, sometimes you just get lucky, sometimes you plan brilliantly and it comes off. Sometimes, nomatter how hard you try, someone gets the better of you. Most of all, if you look to find something in it, whether positive or negative, you will find it. And, people will often disagree, often stridently, about how the game is played. Personally, in the World Cup final, I found drama, genuine excitement and disappointment, and saw wonderful skills being displayed.

    To me cricket is not only about winning, or losing, or organisation, or nationalism, or professionalism - it's about skillful people overcoming challenges on a grassy arena. They may be battling deep personal challenges, challenges of technique and situational challenges thrown at them by the opposition or the conditions. All those elements were on show in the World Cup final. Cricket will always be controversial, and people will always love controversy. I, for one, will always love cricket.

  • Ajith Fernando on May 3, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan and agree that Australia is the best team in the world and you have to do your best plus to beat them.

    This is not sour grapes.

    However, it appears that Gilchrist had used squash balls in his gloves to improve the grip (and possibly power!). This has been the reason for his gestures showing his glove after scoring the century. Could this be the reason for his extraordinary inning and specially from a person who had a below par tournament!

    If he has used some material which is not permitted, it is simply unfair and just not cricket.

    Wonder whether anyone will raise this issue and if does, what will be the reaction from ICC and Cricket Australia.

  • Umair from San Francisco, CA on May 3, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    When the world cup started Australia were are team to beat and they are still a team to beat. They excelled in all the facets of the game - bating, fielding, bowling, planning....etc. They remained unbeaten ie havent dropped a match in 3 WCs in a row...a fabulous feat. Perhaps the Asian bloc (except Sri Lanka) should take a page out of Australian success and try to model their own organizations accordingly. Thank goodness this WC came to an end...the darn thing just went on and on and on...Hopefully the next WC will have better format, scheduling and organization. And also less of these stupid ass crowd control rules they had like playing instruments in the stands...etc. One thing that got my attention was when I read that Gilly had used squash ball in this lower batting glove on his way to 149 in the WC final. I think cricket rules do not allow unapproved or any foreign object to give undue advantage. Remember when Hansie Cronje used an ear piece on the field, he was promptly asked not to use it. On BTW when Wasim and Waqar upped the seam to reverse swing...they were called cheats but when England won the 2005 ashes on the strenght of reverse swing...they were heroes. I think the gutless/spineless ICC should get off its lazy ass and take a closer look at Gilly's use of squash ball (if in fact he used it). Oh wait Malcolm Speed is an Australian.....never mind !!!

  • Vansan on May 3, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    Mr Luxman Gurusamy and Vijitha Herath. Accept the defeat and enjoy cricket. If Gilchrist would be out for about 30 runs, all wont bring this issue, but he broke the backbone of so called strategical bowlers who were rested in Super 8s, Dont fume guys. There is no any ICC law states the use of squash ball is illegal. If something seems negative, but still within existing rules its completely acceptable. JUST SRILANKANS cant digest their loss after sledging everyone in Mukul Kesavan's and Soumya Bhattacharya's blogs. I can give you best examples, there is no any ICC law to prevent bowlers for releasing the ball in front of umpire ( I mean Malinga's action ). So as far as there are no rules against such acts, you cannot fune its illegal. If you still want to sledge Gilly, first publish articles about your own bowlers action rather crying in the blog.

  • Asif - Switzerland on May 3, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    The moment belong to the 56% population of the country. They destroyed Cricket,Hockey,PIA, Steels Mills,Supreme court, Balochistan, Genocide their own people everywhere in pakistan except their own provice. We have a moment of pride in denying our own people to play for national cricket team, national hockey team. We have our own milestones in getting rich by just lossing matches against BANGLADESH. We have our own moment when proud sons of lahore refuses to play against INDIAN in 1996 WC. We have our own moment of pride when WI police caught our national heroes while getting stoned. We love this moment and we keep continue doing whatever we are doing beacuse we are 56%. We had our moment of joy when we separated the major part of our country by realizing they will be real problem for us in future. We have our moment ....

  • Caro Kann on May 3, 2007, 4:22 GMT

    Caro's first comment is absurd. The AI has been particularly partisan in its attitude to the Sri Lankan conflict. The tiger air raid on Colombo on the day of the finals shut them up.

  • zafar qureshi on May 3, 2007, 2:53 GMT

    Dear Mr Abbasi.

    How are you.I have a message for you to convey to Pakistan Cricket board.I have watched our cricket from 1962 till 1997 in England and met many of the players.This is the first time we have seen religouis fanatic cricketer Inzimmam and they had the very best training from the previous team we presented.One can tell this was a railroded match to make money as Inzi is UN PAAR.In practice match we beat south africa which is no 2 team inthe world and so it is 100% sure that they gambled us again as WAsim big NOSE greedy PIG did the same thing with us.He was making good money with lancashire so his brother who is a big bookie in Pakland did the damage.I wonder If you notice that Every country in the world have ex crickters as selecters.Where the hell this DOctor come from ,Is he a cricket DOCTOR tell me about it.Majid,Javed,Zaheer,Nazar,Intikhab,Saf, and many more are NOT DEAD YET !!!!!!!!! So in pakistan you do not have competition matches so from there one can pick the player from his performance.Please find another source to make ,omey other then cricket.Pakistani national game is GILLY DANDDA please play it with india.Cricket is a game for gentlemen not for peasant holloigan like inzi!!!!!!I lived in UK for all my life and stll support my country but now it has gone to the petty DOGS

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 3, 2007, 2:47 GMT

    Shazad- In the last thread I gave a detailed reply to all of your accusations which are mostly Political. I don't want to repeat myself. I wonder if you guys will ever talk about cricket on this blog, It seems whenever I present you with statistics about your players you guys switch to Politics, which clearly shows that you guys don't have any justification for your Punjab bashing.

    Anyhow please takeout some time and explore the following links they might open your eyes. http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/mqm-factsheet.htm

    http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.htm?tbl=RSDCOI&page=research&id=414fe5aa4

    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/MQM.htm

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 3, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    Faisal- This is not the first time that Islah and Samiullah have been appointed to manage or coach hockey they have always failed and will fail again.Coaching is entirely different from Playing. If people can come from India and become owners of Karachi then I dont see any problem of Punjabis living in Karachi.For your kind information Wasim Bari was born in Karachi.Yes once we were #1 Because of Imran,wasim,Waqar,Qadir,Inzimam and many others,how many times in the recent past karachi has Won any major domestic tournament can you please check,when domicile,ethnicity or race will become the criterion for selection you might see some more players from your city.

    Javed A khan- Its funny that Wasim Bari who was born in Karachi is still considered a Punjabi whereas Imran a pathan from waziristan if he lives in Lahore he is not considered as a Pathan. If the Pathans are going to Disown Imran then I dont think they have anybody else to be proud of in Cricket.If you look at the domestic record other than Riffat ullah their is nobody from Nwfp who is performing consistently amongst the upcoming young players.So what is the fuss about.

  • Shuja Kidwai on May 3, 2007, 1:38 GMT

    Javed A. Khan since reading your post *May 2, 2007 4:34 AM* I am laughing out loudly, man you are really hilarious. I was thinking whats wrong with this guy Arslan is he the same guy Phakir with another name or what? But you have responded so well and I dont think this *Puppoo Arslan* will ever come to this blog again. I have read your post two three times and once again I am laughing ha ha you are so funny. Ashaq and Wasim Saqib you guys are right, this blog needs to be kept clean, I enjoy reading your comments and also of khansahabs. Now back to cricket, I think once again Javed Khan has contributed very well in describing Razzaq, Butt and Akmal's qualities and also about the bowling actions of Muralitharan and Malinga. I had always thought that Muralitharan still chucks at least once or twice in every over and there is no doubt about Malinga's action. I have never seen Thompson or Lillee in action but I have heard that Thompson's action was similar to Malinga.

  • ubaid on May 3, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    The squash ball trick might have been a distractor.

  • ubaid on May 3, 2007, 1:24 GMT

    We have a problem. In baseball if a bat has cork in it, it gives an unfair advantage to the batter. I am not saying that gilchrist's bat is corked. But someone's got to check that thing. The ball was going " ping" of that thing like I have never seen before. I wouldn't put anything past the proponents of win at all costs.

  • john on May 2, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    Vijitha Herath i think u totally missed the point on the squash ball thing, you mention some irrelevant physics which you claim heleped gilchrist hit the ball harder, if you listened to Micheal Slater who was also introduced to this method during his time as a international player then you will realise its for keeping control not hitting power. In a nutshell to stop players who tend to use too much bottom hand in their strokes to play more orthodox shots and maintain control with the top hand.

    The theory about the ball transferring kinetic energy to the bat helping to hit the ball harder is laughable. How long did it take you to come up with that ? by the way take your own advice and youll relaise yourself its for control and to reduce bottom hand influence on the stroke not for hitting power.

  • Marty Armstrong on May 2, 2007, 23:30 GMT

    Luxman Gurusamy: how about not being a sore loser. If Gilchrist was cheating, why would he tell anyone what he is doing, on CNN no less?

    Fact is, Sri Lankan aren't in the same league as Australia, no-one is. Sure, on their day there are a few teams who can bring the Aussies down but over a period of time, they are head and shoulders above the rest.

  • Ahmed aka Phil Jackson on May 2, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    Mr.Abassi this blog is getting old , can you please raise the issue on WASIM OR WAQAR not being able to coach the team....??

    ARSLAN you should tell Ashaq to Wipe the stuff from his nose its digging its way ;) you already know...

  • Ashaq on May 2, 2007, 23:04 GMT

    Rext my brother chill out, your gonna give your self a heartattack with all this ranting and raving. Majority of the people were supporting the underdog.It has nothing to do with black or white.

    Hell in England the plucky loser is always more popular then the dominating Athlete or team. Even if the successful athlete happens to be British the brave foreign loser will always get the greater support from the local crowd.

    Henry Cooper the brave british boxer was lauded by the british for always losing heroically.His nemesis Joe Bugner a far more talented fighter did not achieve popularity until he moved to Australia and called himself "Aussie Joe".

    Sure it is wrong to hold all white people accountable for the crimes of the colonialists.It is also wrong to hold all muslims accountable for the crimes of Alqaida terrorists,Which Rupert Murdoch, John Howard and the rest of the Australian media do.So you Aussies should stop acting like wingeing Pommes when your on the receiving end. Also stop taking that premium grade Hashish its the making the lot of you paranoid.

    Australia as a side were a lot more popular under Steve Waugh then they are under Ricky Ponting.There must be a reason for it.Steve Waugh is regarded with great respect by every Asian fan.

  • Nadeem Shafee on May 2, 2007, 22:52 GMT

    did anyone see interview new captain of Pakistan Crciket team? Kamran please allow us to write about that? One with Nadia Khan other was with Mr. Alam.

  • Raja Pakistani on May 2, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    I add to few more things to Faisal_USA comments. Most of the folks from PUNJAB who lives in Karachi are living in the modest areas like Defense , Clifton etc or unauthuriozed colonies. Like Mahmmodaaba, Sheri Jinna Colony, Bhahish colony, green town, etc Where they sit become thier house? Can we do that in Islamabad & Lahore? No way, they will kick you. Mostly Punjabi (not every one, there are many good folks in PUNJABI too, including me). working in the custom, police, kpt, income tax and expanding revenue of corruption in the society. I do not say other do not do, they also do but we (punjabies) involves in corruption more than others. Here are some statistics: In 1990's there were 53 police stations in Karachi and SHO 0f 53, SHO of 52 police stations were belongs to Punjab. Included my father. Please see teh cricket corruption, you will find all palyers involve in justice quayyum report belongs to same region. But on other hand, Did you see, how faithful we are with PUNJAB? remeber when our crcket team was staying sheraton hotel karachi and sucide bomber killed 9 french engineers, noteably all sucide bombers were from PUNJAB. It was not first time, always political parties use karachi for strike.

    Does Kashmiri strike for Karachi? But they do not blast in Lahore Markets. We (Punjabi) keep racisim in our Jihad activities. Put Karachies on front.

    Actually this is also the mistake of people of karachi too, in past they destroyed thier own city along with others. FIGHTING, STRIKES etc But now things look nmoving fwd on right direction, no more strike in karachi. We got good some non corrupted leaders for karachi, like thier Nazim, Sind Governer & Chief Minister. For general people of karachi or whole Pakistan:

    Please reject any strike or revoulation which includes force, fighting and any kind of problem in you city or country. Make the rule do not support any leader who ask you to come on the road. We are good in learning fashions. movies, sex stuff from western countries. Why not we learn good things from them? Love your city, love your country, love your family, Love yourself, Love others and lives together nicely. PEACE PEACE, PEACE. This is the way lot of pakistanies lives in western countries and they realized what they have done was wrong?

    At the end we all are one.

    Wasim Saqib, please do not write any thing against Javed Miandad. He is our hero, honest and great servent of Pakistan. By the way Indians never like him because he never throw the match for them. but they are some our cricket heros Indians like them too. this is the answer for u.

    Raja Pakistani Sailkot

  • Ashaq on May 2, 2007, 22:30 GMT

    Javed.A.Khan. Should'nt be so sensitive my brother. In the streets of the inner citys being labelled as "Nutter" is quite a privilege.

    It has the same prestige as a KnightHood does amongst the aristocracy,probably more so in restaurants you get offered free meals,The muggers and drug dealers cross the street to avoid you.So you be proud of being regarded as a bit "Kooky" just like I am.However if your an intellectual best thing would be to stick to the suburbs.

  • Anjum Altaf on May 2, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    As usual, you choose wrong.

  • Fizaan on May 2, 2007, 21:43 GMT

    If only cricket was without match fixing and bribary. We would finally be able to decide FAIRLY who the best teams are. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • Raja on May 2, 2007, 20:04 GMT

    I totally agree with Dawar above.

    Cricket is like a Business, now a days. Players are products to sell. Some time good or some time bad, all its depend on your system.

    Raja Sailkot

  • Faisal _USA on May 2, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    When we will have this moment I guess until and unless we start thinking about our mistakes.We have brough Islah and Samiullah for hockey and we need similar steps in Cricket. We need to learn from our mistakes rather playing blame game like our brother wasim saqib pointing his fingers towards Asif and Miandad in previous email. How can you support the genocide of people of Karachi in every walk of life... We have given 70% of revenue to our beloved country and nobody qualify for number 12 ranking team. Once we were number 1 then we have Miandad, Latif, Moin, Saeed .... You can have that moment once you select players based upon merit rather place of birth. People like Saqib Wasim has run away from Karachi but there are 2 miillion punjabis are living in this city. Even Wasim Bari has been living in this city despite his biased attitude towards karachi.

  • Aswin Seshasayee on May 2, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    Sledgers or not, Aussies deserved to win the World Cup and given the way they are playing at the moment, deserve to win everything that comes their way!! And they would, unless they have a rank bad day. As simple as that!

    Frankly, I supported SL (or anyone but Aus) to win the cup just because I wanted to see something different happen in a world cup final. I had may be seen 3-4 ODIs since the 2003 finals and did not actually watch a single game in this tournament. For an Indian, I think this is far far far below average. I watch a sport for the excitement and unpredictability it brings and Aussies supreme performances over these years mean that I have lost that motivation to watch the game - there is that sameness to the whole thing..

    In short, Aussies are clearly the best team in the World but I would look forward to someone else running them close and may be start beating them so that there is a thrill to watching the game

  • Shazad - Washington DC on May 2, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    We need to identify the debacle based upon objective reasoning. There are still people available on this blog who believe that there is a foreign hand in every thing. They support the following - Mutiny by Imran Khan - All the Satta played by Malik,Akram,Mushtaq - Court disobedience - Breaking of our beloeved country order written and signed by Yahya Khan @ GHQ Pindi - Attack on supreme court ordered by Farzind Lahore Mian Nawaz Sharif - loyality shifting by majority of legislative belong to big province and created Q league - Celebrate Basant and kill innocent people - Hang Bhutto but give free pass to Nawaz sharif We need to identify those culprits ....

  • Sameer A Malik , Michigan, USA on May 2, 2007, 14:49 GMT

    As far as bowling action is concerned i liked when Wasim Akram used to say... Either your action is legal or illegal, there is nothing in between....

    And Pakistan Vs Srilanka series..... lets see the Pakistan team selection then we will predict that Pakistan wins 2-1 or Sri Lanka clean sweeps.

  • Nimal on May 2, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    I am Sri Lankan and not ashamed to have lost but to blame poor Ranjith Fernando is typical Yakko (Ass) mentality - we lost to a better side and it was fittness and consistency that beat us - you cannot expect magic and prayers to help you win a sports event - why Oh why has someone got to be blamed if we lose - just pick up your senses yakko and accept the result. WELL DONE AUSTRALIA - YOU HAVE BEATEN THE WEST INDIES RECORD AND I HOPE THAT SOBERS AND RICHARDS CAN SHUT UP NOW !!!

  • Fakhar Masood on May 2, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    Kamran is right again. I think it was sheer luck that Gilchrist who has a very risky game put the game out of sight for S/Lanka to catch. It was unthinkable that one player could play as fast as he did. The run rate would have slowed down a good bit had there been time for full fifty overs. Thirty eight overs also help Australia a lot as S/lanka had to match the glorious inning of Gilchrist which was impossoble with likes of Mcgrath and other Australian bowlers around. The runrate the S/Lanka posted was good enough to win a world cup but alas it could not off-set a memorable inning from Gilchrist who in my opinion is a greatest clean hitter of or time. It has been an honor to see this man play as every bowler in the world respects but he does not respect any of them. He can any ball n matter how fast and how curling it will be. I wish he would say on the scene a bit longer as he still has a lot of cricket in him but on the otehr hand perhaps it is right let the younger player get a chance to make their mark. I offer my hearty congratulatons to Gilchrist, and the entire team for putting on a magneficient show of sortsmanship during the entire season. On the other side we may want to give a lot of credit to S/lanka for playing good as a team because more than one person played good enough that they almost caught Ausies.

    David

  • Charmin on May 2, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Seeing the final showdown of the cricket world cup, I was utterly frustrated and hurt badly as I was devoted to cricket and played in Sri Lanka since my childhood. Firstly, Congratulations Australia for their achievement as a team won three consecutive world cups. As a person played in the first class cricket and who has got sufficient knowledge to criticize the game, I would like to point out some of malpractices occurred in the final day of the precious event of the game, for the criticism of cricket lovers.

    It’s a shame on ICC officials who couldn’t make a convincing decision on the final game whether to play full 50 over game or play 38 over game without making disadvantage for any team who were supposed to bat second. Even if rain didn’t disturb the game when Sri Lankans were batting, it’s proved that match couldn’t finish before getting dark. Having had a spare day, why on earth the match couldn’t postponed to the next day.

    There’s no doubt that ICC have to lay down strict rules on the standard of the pitch. If any pitch cannot hold up for full 100 overs, it shouldn’t be allowed to play an important game like finals. The pitch given in the final was suit for school match in my view. It was a dead pitch and there was no any movement for swing bowlers at all. Whoever got the strong inform batting line up will be given a upper hand in those pitches and they can take the full authority of the match by going after even against the inform balanced bowling attack. In this world cup, fast and bouncy wickets were given for the matches between Australia Vs Ireland and West Indies Vs Bangladesh. That’s evident what the reason behind that act.

    It’s ridiculers umpires took so long to make decision to cover the pitch when the rain came for the second time when Sri lankans were batting. Match having been disturbed once, why did they allow the pitch to be soaked by rain.

    Now it’s history, Australia crowned as world cup champion. They are a very proud sporting nation and deserve to be unbeatable considering the effort they made towards the game in all levels. However, No one can say, there’s no team come closer to Australia. Yes there are 2/3 teams close to them namely Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa who were the semi finalists. It’s a myth that the gap between Australia and rest of the world is immense. Any of the above teams can beat Australia at any time. There’s no lot of difference between these teams. Who cares about the history and records as long the game play at the right spirit? If the incidents what we have seen in the past going to repeat again and again, the day the cricket lovers leave the game not very far. That’s for sure! Save the magical game!!!!!

  • Freddie on May 2, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Just got back from St Lucia and Barbados. Congratulations to Australia for taking the cup home again. They are a truely powerful side. Many thanks to Mahela and the boys for making us proud to be Sri-Lankan (although I am technically not). Sitting in the rain for the game to start in the Kensington Oval on the 28th, I felt very proud to be there,and be part of a great moment whatever the outcome. Although I knew after such bad rain and loosing the toss,game being reduced to 35 over and so on,we did not have much of a chance beating mighty Aussies, there was a glimpse of hope that we might be able to catch up, then Jayasuriya went and light got so bad there. Nevertheless, we had great fun. We gave Gilchrist standing ovation for his achivement and enjoyed watching McGrath for the last time. However, judging by the response we had from people (including Aussies)when we went around in Barbados in Srilankan caps, there is no doubt that Sri-Lanka has won hearts and minds of Cricket fans. If you call that magic, I suppose Sri-Lankan team was magical. For most of us who left Sri-Lanka long time ago, the memories of "Big Matches", food,noise and music brings back the magic of enjoying Cricket in a peaceful and more settled era of living in Sri-Lanka. Us Srilankans enjoy good Cricket no matter which nation plays it. It was in evidence in the 2007 finals when Aussie and Sri-Lankan fans had fun together. Srilankan players cannot match Heydon,Symonds and the likes for physical power, but as for those who suggest that they should toughen-up mentally like Aussies, all I can say is that, these players are from a country that seen so much human loss in the form of suicide bombers,political unrest, it is an achivement for them to get to their training and practice. When they are abroad playing they must worry about their loved ones constantley. Yet they play and entertain us and that's mental toughness. Making abusive remarks to the opposition players and releasing torrent of abuse (like Tait did at the Sri-Lankan super 8 match against Srilanka)is not mental toughness. I don't understand why the best team in the world such as Aussies feel the need to do that. Especially when they do against Srilankan players it is almost funny. Most unpleasent thing Australian players probably have to put up with on their way to practice is dog poo on the pavement or someone who threw-up previous night's 26 pints of larger with dinner they consumed, whilst Sri-Lankan players at times have to dodge body parts scattered by bomb blasts. We learnt how mentally touch the Australian team was (together with WI and ENG) when they refused to play in Srilanka in 1996. So please my friends, humour us with your tales of Aussie mental toughness and that's why they do "sledging", tell us it is the tougher side that use language mostly referring to sexual organs, Sri-Lankans have sense of humour. Sri-Lanka is not an underdog side anymore. Whilst most Cricket fans respect Australia's ability to be the "Super Power" in Cricket, I think most people supported Sri-Lanka hoping for a change. It's nothing personal against Australia just human nature. You can have too much of a good thing. Of course Aussie fans will not agree and that's only natural. They have every right to be proud of their team, who woudn't? But it would be nice if the some Aussies took victory with a bit of humility. That would endear them to rest of the world a bit more. However, I saw some hope at the South Africa - Australia match when an "Aussie fan" who had a bit too many to drink tried to be macho and verbally abused Andre Nell at South Africa (who is no angel himself) on the boundary. I was surprised at how many Aussie fans around me showed their displesure at this. I learnt something that day. Despite the racial and other abuse Srilanakan players such as Sanath,Murali received in Arujuna Ranasinghe's day (which he stood up to quite rightly), there are decent Aussie fans who just want to have fun without being hooligans. To most Srilankans, Cricket is an escape from harsh reality, so what if we are fantasists. Little bit of fantasising didn't harm anybody. We can hope too can't we?There is a huge welcome planned for returning Sri-Lankan team on the 3rd of May, If I was living in Srilanka I would be in front row cheering them. Being 2nd best in the world is no mean achivement. Thanks for the memories boys, you done us proud. No effergie burning for us, thank you. P.S. My apologies for 26 Newzealanders for the remark that NZ team should come with a health warning "watching this team play can cause death (by boredom)". It was a joke, Fleming is a great captain. Looking forward to welcoming you to Srilanka to enjoy Cricket in 2011(for those of you brave Aussie fans who makes it, lion larger is very good and it's only AUS$1.50 currently, likely to remain under AUS$2.00 for the next decade). Now I am off to my fantasy land to await ets all dream about 2011's magical moments, I am supporting the Irish.

  • Prince Salim on May 2, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    Fully agree with Geethike - "WORST COMMENTATOR EVER" I would request Ranjith Fernando to do another job which will suits him. Please.... we don't want to hear your voice anymore, how come the higher authorities does not look into this?

  • Luxman Gurusamy on May 2, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    Why no one is talking about cheat Gilly in the finals.

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2007/4/14470.html

    Why?

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on May 2, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    The series in Abu Dhabi is most likely to be FIXED as it has no relevance whatsoever!

    It bet there won't be a white wash by either team.

  • NL on May 2, 2007, 10:28 GMT

    Hey PurpleBaron... how does it feel to have such an awesome cricketing team... but your not able to do basic math. 2.4 runs an over is 120 runs given its a 50 over game, not 140. So congrats on having such a good cricket team and being this great cricket team's supporter, but enjoy working at macca's for the rest of your life, chump.

    oh and caro, nice reference to the human rights situation in SL... coz Australia treated the aboriginals just swell didn't they... ahh well.. its not like it was their country to begin with... oops. it was.

    Now onto the actual final... gilly played awesome but lets see him do that in pitch black. If he had, then i would readily admit that Australia are the best team in the world. Actually scratch that, i already admit that... only thing i'm saying is Sri Lanka had it in them to beat them on that day as they weren't even outplayed on the day (EXCEPT for gilly's blistering innings). Think about it.. all wickets fell as soon as any sign of rain came... jayasuria and sangakarra were achieving the 8 runs an over for a decent while during the middle of the game and then at the first sign of possible rain they had to almost immediately pick up the run rate for the DL system. Had it not been for this they could have kept cruising an achieving the 8 runs an over required... I'm not saying they would definitely have won this but the rain and darkness certainly didn't help. The bowlers weren't even doing that well, except for bracken and hogg who bowled excellently, hogg especially.

    I don't know how anyone supporting Australia can disagree with that claim... and its not a very big claim.. i'm just saying it would have been a different game had the conditions been the same for both teams. Not that Sri Lanka would have won. All i want is for them to admit that this was not a fair final by any means.

  • Aus fan on May 2, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    Cannuck (May 1, 2007 1:01 PM),

    You are a gentleman and a scholar.

    I hope everyone reads your post. This blog would improve if more people adopted your spirit and tone.

    Now that things have calmed down we can simply hope that rancid nationalistic fevour on any side does not leave a bad taste in the mouth.

    After all it is only a game - although, we admit, the finest game in the world.

  • vijitha herath on May 2, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Adam Gilchrist´s use of squash ball in his left glove (bottom hand) at world cup final– Comment

    I would like to discuss the effects of this method in scientific terms. A squash ball is a rubber ball so that when applied pressure unlike cricket ball it compresses and when the pressure is released it take original shape. In short it acts like a spring (e.g.: motor bicycle shock absorber). So what happen 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 hit 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 release 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 become faster resulting the ball traveling further (more 6s and 4s) before hitting the ground. The down side is because the bat travel faster than normal the batmen might loose control of the bat. This happened once in the Adam Gilchrist´s innings. If you have any doubts please try to do it yourself and see the result. In brief Adam Gilchrist´s use of squash ball allowed him to his the ball further in the field.

    An interesting statistic: Adam Gilchrist faced 104 balls and hit 13 4´s and 8 6´s All the other Australian batsmen faced 127 balls and hit just 7 4´s and 2 6´s (Hayden, ponting, Symonds, Watson, etc) Sanath Jayasuriya who has most one day sixes had no 6s in his knock of 63

    Is this method legal? I don’t know (look at rules books) Is other batsmen using this method? I don’t know either

  • rext on May 2, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    Would the ignorant uninformed racist Ranil please advise us all which Asian Nation Australia raped or ruled? He can help rewrite our history! Would the great self important joke Javed Khan acknowledge that the Umpires that ended Australian Test bowler Ian Meckiff's career were Australian? And the opinion that rain somehow cost Sri Lanka a deserved win is pathetic. Adam Gilchrist gave us an extra 45 balls in our innings and SL NEVER looked likely to make up that defecit! As for sledging, how the hell would Australian players know what was being said to them in Hindi or Urdu? And they wouldn't care anyway! Would any of your Aussie bashers acknowledge our post-Tsunami game to help rebuild Gaul or the hundreds of millions we collectively gave to victims of the catastrophic Pakistan earthquake? Will AliBaba please list his examples of Aussie "arrogance" that are so burned in to his tiny mind? Viv Richard's legendary arrogance was nothing more than a supreme belief in himself, and don't give me that crap about the West Indies being universally loved, they weren't!! Asians may have loved them but only because they weren't white and were winning! It's not our fault you were born Asian and with a collective chip on your shoulders! Ask the hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis, Indians, Sri Lankans and other Asians who live in Australia and the tens of thousands more who want to, WHY DO THEY!! Because they will get a fair go here, that's why!! We don't think we are better human beings than Asians, but you think we do! I'm really tired of people who migrated to live in the West but endlessly criticize our values. It's your problem, not ours so wake up and grow up! This mentality of many writers on this blog clearly shows why Asia was so easily able to be ruled by foreigners for 500 years. Why is it that the only thing you can resort to is racism, it's not our fault we were born white!! It's not a crime to be white and to win is it? Australia won because other Countries, Asian included, are expert at losing!

  • F@H@D on May 2, 2007, 7:15 GMT

    Hi everyone, The tournament format was simply pathetic, the teams of heroes like india and pakistan became zeros due to the result of only one game !!! the underdogs and unknownz of ireland became heroes just due to one game. Either the initial pools should be containing of more teams or the super eigth teams should also be divided into pools or you can adopt both the policies ... In this regard the world cup would be lesser long and might be consisted of more interesting matches

  • Lankan on May 2, 2007, 5:12 GMT

    Aussies were the best team and there is no doubt that they deserved that win. What leaves a bitter taste in people mouths is that the tournament itself went too long - highlighted by the fact that the final itself went too long! I wonder how the world - let alone Australia would have reacted if Sri Lanka won in that fashion and Australia had the play the last 3 overs in the dark.....Gilchrist you are a genius! What a display! I wished you got 1 more run. Your deserved the 150. Lankans - hold you head up high. Sportsmanship rained supreme in that final even if the result was tarnished.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 2, 2007, 4:34 GMT

    khansahab why do you want me to comment on Abdul Razzaq? Perhaps you have missed out what I have said about him earlier and not once but quite a few times. Nothing personal against Abdul Razzaq, but he has got the "Pain-do-est" look on his face all the time. You can't make out whether he is happy or sad or neither. And he such a confused person who doesn't know whether to wear a cap or a helmet, so he wears both, you expect me to recommend Abdul Razzaq for the post of a captain? You must be joking! The man who can eat boiled spinach and nothing but spinach three times a day for two months and then faints in his hotel room due to an unknown disease called "weakness", you want me to think that he is fit for the job to lead the team? He was O.K. before as a bowling all-rounder but, right now he is a shadow of his past. No one, not even Bob Woolmer advised that poor chap not to use long handle bat in the test matches or when he has to play a defensive innings, it is OK to use long handle for slog overs, because of the wrong grip he was unable to play a short pitch ball or a rising delivery. Basically, he is just over the hill, if the PCB selects him in the team now, then I would say that they have redefined the hill. The same goes for Inzamam for test matches, he should retire gracefully, but that word is unheard in Multan.

    I dunno why people are so anti Afridi? As a Pakistani supporter, I have never ever pinned my hopes on Afridi's batting, I am not an admirer of him for his boom boom batting or big time hitting, but he certainly has the leadership material in him when compared to the available resources they have on hand. His presence in the team is always very warm and dynamic, its more like the fear that Shoaib Akhtar creates in the minds of the opposition, he is like that and if he fails in batting he performs with his bowling. Its my opinion and I don't care what people think of him. Some people recommend Kamran Akmal or Salman Butt for captaincy post. Once again nothing against them personally, but one is a meek little guy, squeaking endlessly from behind the stumps, you may call it chirping but he is definitely squeaking "Eeesoop Bhai, Eeesoop Bhai" and dropping catches when he is supposed to hold them. The other little guy is constantly buttering, I mean muttering something before playing a shot and only God knows what he is muttering? But the end result is, he edges the ball into the slips to get out cheaply. And I have never seen him communicating with other players while fielding. Anyways, everyone sees things differently and thats my view.

    Ashaq bhai; a kooky calling someone an eccentric is a bit bizarre LOL. Its like, the pot calling the kettle black, anyways thanks for browsing back and checking out the Phakirs ..... woteva!

    Btw, Wasim Saqib, Imran Khan is a pathan from peechay say but he is not a Pushtoon. I know the whole family from Zaman Park Lahore, and none of them speak Pushto, they are Urdu / Punjabi speaking Khans. The point that the other person was making was not about Khans by name but, Pushtoons like, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Yasir Hameed.

    Now, something for the Naadaan from Sharjah, I am talking about the one who is constantly abusing me as if he is the product of one of my unintentional mistakes. The way this poor creature is crying out for asylum and adoption and due to my negligence towards his cries, he has started abusing me on this blog. It makes me think, if I ever knew this was the result of my unintended mistake, the least I could have done is, give him a better name, but what is done cannot be undone. As they say that a name is like a cover of a book and I have said this before that the name Arslan represents the qualities of the frontal and posterior ends of human anatomy. (find out the meaning in English and Urdu) I think he needs a boot checkup 'coz it could be an acute case of hemorrhoids and there are simple and effective home remedies to treat it before it becomes a real PITA. Or, it could also be a chronic case of rectal aneurysm, which not only makes people restless and hyper, but it also causes blindness and lack of sanity. So, better do something instead of neglecting your own precious rosy backyard and don't let the old thorns make you cry. And dearest of all Arslan.Chanda, being so young and khoobsoorat you are in the wrong place and you should not be here among the adults or retirees as you refer us. If you are unable to crack the codes of "Net Nanny or My Nabyoo" talk to Mummy and Daddy and tell them to get you a real Nanny.

    Taleem say jaahil ki jihalat na gayee Naadaan ko ultaa tab bhee Naadaan he reha

  • CD on May 2, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    To Cannuck

    There has been a lot of dribble in these posts lately and can I say how refreshing it is to see a post like yours. I sometimes wonder where people's common sense goes. You're right, there were people on this blog bashing all things Australian. The culture, the cricketing team. And making bold statements about what Sri Lanka was going to do Australia who didn't posses the same "Magic" that they did. Even though bereft of that "Magic", Australia has managed to make each team look like a club side this tournament. I salute your sportsmanship and hope that others can show the same.

    I am Australian and can I say that I am glad we faced a team like Sri Lanka in the final and I was a bit nervous when Sangakara and Jaysuriya started hitting out. It was a shame that Jayasuryia threw his wicket away like that.

    I also hope that inflammitory comments about Murali stop as well. Opinion will always be divided to an extent about his action but bringing it up with the pure intent of causing angst to Murali fans has no honour.

    I hope everyone strives to see through perceptions and racial lines and all the other biased crap that gets fed to us by blog writers, and looks for good cricket.

  • Tony on May 2, 2007, 1:45 GMT

    where are the effigys of Aleem Dar and Ranjeet Fernado? Aussie cricketers play hard and tough because you have to here! For a nation of 20 million, the performance is outstanding. Its amazing how many national sides come here and are defeated by a state side in their warm up matches.

  • Damitha Samarajeewa on May 2, 2007, 1:40 GMT

    Gilchrist press conf: Squash ball does the trick for Gilchrist.

    What about the above news item? I think Sri Lankans are proud loosers and Aussies are disgrace victors.

    Our guys don't cheat, I am truly proud of my team. Keep up the good work guys! you are the World Champions to me , and if someone does not like this hide behind the bushes and shut the heck up!

  • andrew schulz on May 2, 2007, 1:20 GMT

    Kamran, you appear to be blaming the format for the pathetic performances of India and Pakistan. Maybe India could complain about their draw, but otherwise they were beaten fairly-what more could you want? Don't blame the system for the shortcomings of two teams who may have missed the last 8 under any system.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 2, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    Everybody is entitled to express their opinion on this Blog,we can even have difference of opinion, but lately a certain group of individuals have started to pick on Javed A khan on a personal level,Javed A khan is one of the most valuable contributors to this blog,he has a unique sense of humour which some people find offensive and some just get envious of his writing skills but without him this blog will become dull and boring. Although Javed Bhai does not need anybody to defend him as he himself can take care of anybody but on this current blog i have noticed he is deliberately trying to ignore these offensive and provocative comments as he does not want to turn this blog into a personal war zone. Mr Durrani,L phakir and Arslan nobody on this blog is interested in reading your distasteful posts,so either keep it civil or move to another Blog.

  • Sani on May 2, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan, first I'd like to congratulate the Aussies. They were fantastic, and they truly deserved the cup. But not to be forgotten, Sri Lankans did a great job in coming through to the final and fighting out what seemed like a losing battle keeping a straight face, despite all odds.

    And I agree with you people that the closing ceromony forgetting to pay tribute to Woolmer was very bad, it just put the 'cherry on top' to an already unprofessionally handled tournament.

    And all this talk about 'power Vs magic' I believe is to do with the differences in our cultures. As a Sri Lankan living in Aus (for the time) i find Aussies very aggressive (not in a bad sense) it's a no-nonsense, do-it yourself culture which heavily relies on rules and regulations. Therefore they don't take extra steps to make people feel better. It's just a 'take it or leave it' approach.

    On the other hand subcontinent cultures are more sentimental, we tend to value human relations more than rules and regulations. And so we go the extra steps to keep our good relations, show our gratitude etc. And of course the 'smiles' as Tony Greig would say.

    But in no way does this mean that the Aussies are dominant or ruthless. We just feel like that because we are not used to their way of life.

    So I think we should forget about our personal/ cultural differences & emotions, and concentrate on the game in a professional way!

    Aussies are the best in the game (for the time being) and if someone else wants to defeat them, they'd better stand up and prove it, there's no point in lashing out our frustrations towards each other. --*--*--*--*--*--

  • Nath on May 2, 2007, 0:10 GMT

    Australia hasn't lost a World Cup match since 1999, Sri Lanka has lost 3 in the last month ... and still we have people posting on here stating that Sri Lanka are the better side. It's just laughable that people can be so parochial and one eyed that they actually believe that.

    I don't mind if people refuse to give Australia credit, their results can speak for themselves, but I just wish some people writing here would be honest. Instead of coming up with all manner of ridiculous reasons to withhold credit for the Aussie team, just admit admit the reasons are jealousy and dislike of 'whities'. It's palpably obvious anyway.

    Congratulations Australia!

  • Darian on May 1, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    i wonder though how upset Ricky and co. would be had the been subjected to the such humilation the sri lankans endured as playing bat-ball cricket in the dark however unreachable the scores might have been ?

    also, what would have been the case if the score was indeed within reach--say a 18 ball 30) and say australia was batting? surely there would have been serious protests and not just form Ricky.

    this match should not have been played on that day! how embarassing it is, in the first place, that the showpiece of the tournament is reduced to a 38 over slogfest? at the very least it disadvantages and takes the game plan right out of the hands of the sri lankans (for thier strenght is middle over cricket) and at best, it might as well have been twenty20 cricket. (would fifa dare take away even 20 mins from a football world cup final whatever the conditions maybe if they coul dbe forseen? probably not)

    it is simply a failure on the administrative front to schedule this game in the interest of saving money etc etc. IT actually provided the greatest oppertunity to salvage some face and return cricket to the cricket loving public: icc only need reschedule the match and gave complimentry acess to all ticket holders. Both teams would have had a fighting, even chance the next day as oppose to the one sided, unfortunate and pathetic fiasco that was the world cup final we saw

    shame on all of you businessmen!

  • Teece on May 1, 2007, 22:53 GMT

    Posted by: Geethike De Silva at May 1, 2007 6:26 PM

    Amen to that one brother! That guy is terrible. Seriously, I can't think of one of my mates who couldn't do a better job. He only ever played a handful of internationals anyway, so it's not like he's there for prestige.

    Another shocking SL commentator is Aravinda de Silva. Us Australians produced Richie Benaud, of which we can be proud, but I continue to wonder why Bill Lawry is wheeled out again every summer.

    Time to start recruiting more commentators like Nasser Hussein, who 'thinks like a captain and talks like a journalist'.

  • Awas on May 1, 2007, 22:02 GMT

    I know I am somewhat off the topic but I have to say this. It was shocking to see what was being said on yesterday’s Panorama on BBC about Bob Woolmer. He was worried that religiosity had taken over the team. Some players preferred to play their Tableeghi sermons loudly for everyone in the coach to listen rather than talk cricket. Bob even asked PJ Mir to ask the player concerned to keep it to himself and listen through his earpiece but PJ didn’t dare. Now what did PJ get in return, after he dared to speak openly about such things? He has been condemned with a Fatwa and running for his life now back in London. It was even insinuated in the programme that some players were angry with Bob disliking their extreme religious practices rather than concentrating on cricket and that his murder could be due to a Fatwa? What a shame!

    I mentioned this in one of my previous blogs. After the world cup exit; before taking the flight to London, Maulvi Mushy asked the team to congregate at the Kingston Airport lounge for prayers and also during the flight to London, despite objections from the cabin staff. Now, any sane person would know that this is dangerous if suddenly there is turbulence and one of them suddenly goes flying in the air thudding over a child or a frail old person. Isn’t that why it’s quite acceptable to say in-flight prayers whilst seated? Such religiosity is fanaticism not Islam.

    PJ mentioned, during play [I presume practice] some players would ask a substitute to take their place so that they can go and pray. I think PCB needs to change the whole culture of the team back to cricket from religion. When sitting for an exam, you don’t suddenly get up to say prayers in the middle of your paper. Similarly, when you are paid to play cricket that is what you are supposed do. Or perhaps they are so uneducated they don’t understand concept of an exam or a test or real Islam. The likes of Inzamam would serve the nation better by getting a job in a mosque than play cricket for a living.

    On a lighter note, I would like to share a joke with you guys that I just read in a newspaper. It has been said even alleged to be fact that the team’s half-baked religious fanaticism was best reflected by captain Inzamam-ul-Haq who responded to an English journalist’s congratulations on the birth of his son with these words: “Thanks to Allah, it’s a team effort.”

  • mubi on May 1, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    world cup is over--aussies have won--congrarts to them--now lets talk abt the upcoming tournment --PAK VS SRI in Abudhabi. new captain (malik) and jaywardena!!head to head its gonna be a cracker of a game! i hope all the senior players like murli vaas malinga and jazzuria come for the tournament!! my prediction pak win the series by 2/1

  • Geethike De Silva on May 1, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    Yes Sri Lanka is blessed with talent, passion and sportsman ship. BUT WE ARE ALSO CURSED WITH THE WORST COMMENTATOR EVER. Mr Ranjith Fernando, the man responsible for single handedly murdering the reputation of Sri Lankan cricket by his horrendous commentating. I know for a fact that all Sri Lankan cricket fans hate this man more than they hate anything else and I am surprised he is still alive after being cursed by millions of fans.

  • Arslan on May 1, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    This advice is for folks trying to reason with Uncle Javed A Khan -

    " Jawab-e-Jahilaan Raa Khamoshi Bashad".

    A Jaahil (Baba Javed in this case) takes any word of reason as a sign of weakness, however, he fears nothing more than his opponents' silence.

    You can pour your heart out if there is an intellectual challenge but some fights are not worth fighting for; so guys don't waste your time with this old chap. It's good to see he accepted the reality in his last post by saying "no one can teach new tricks to an old dawg " - So no matter how hard we try 'yeh dum (tail) seedhi nahi ho sakti' - hahahaha

    Alas! no matter what you do he will respond to your post because this retired person has nothing better to do in his life. Let him be the so called KING of this blog.

    Uncle : Now, don't say that I am jealous of you (lol) and go back to your wife and kids instead of wasting time here otherwise they will become DESPERATE HOUSE WIFE and KIDS too - :)

  • khansahab on May 1, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    Javed Bhai, I was curious about your praise because praise (as opposed to criticism) coming from you is like Shahid Afridi keeping the interests of his country above his own :-)........ Very rare, and unheard of............... My Urdu is nowhere as strong as yours but I reckon you imply “feminine” when you say “niswani”. Attention seekers? Yes I concur to a significant extent. Your assertion (and my concurrence) will not be taken lightly by the mostly one-dimensional and “hollow” posters on this blog. May I respectfully add that generally “khawateen” are not the most astute strategists when it comes to cricket.

    I do believe I submitted reasonable grounds for my criticism for Afridi. However, you are right when you say that people have different methods for observing things. Regardless of that truism, I believe that oneness of thought and purpose is what really fuels the success of a people, an organisation, a country or any other platform. Hence, I thrive on persuasion and allusion. Call me a dreamer but if you don’t try, you won’t succeed.

    I am being perceived as a Punjabi-hater on this blog. I have been a victim of “mob sentiments” which work to instigate the downfall of potentially revolutionary ideas and movements. This is pathetic; I am being victimised for speaking my mind. Nowhere have I encouraged Punjabi-bashing and most of my criticism is light-hearted and made in good faith. I have stated repeatedly that this is free speech and not hatred-preaching. How many times have I stated that all Pakistanis must work together and become united? You state that we all have our sentiments and biases owing to our cultural and family backgrounds. I want to bring these biases and accusations into the limelight so we can have cordial discussions and attempt to clarify misunderstandings. We need to be more than just “people who represent difference provinces and ethnicities.” That is the status quo and it has not and will not take the country forward. I am disappointed that of all people, you think of me as a biased and prejudiced person.

    Also Javed Bhai if you care to reply, I would like to know your thoughts about Abdul Razzaq. I am not requesting for essays, a couple of lines will do. You have spoken at length about Malik and Afridi, but not uttered much about Razzaq.

    I try hard to refrain from these political innuendos because this blog is about cricket. I really do. Well at least it gives us something to chat about when the topic of the thread isn’t very interesting. :-)

    On the point about Malcolm Speed, I do believe that some action must be taken. Malcolm Speed has been behind much of the recent reprimands and penalties suffered by cricketers from the Subcontinent. It is time that the Subcontinent gives him a taste of his own medicine.

    Further revelations regarding Tableeghi culture and how it irked Woolmer, have come to light. I am greatly exuberant about this forthcoming Sri Lanka series. Despite the probability of a flat track and Pakistan’s decent record in the region, I believe it will be a competitive series. I hope this new era for Pakistani cricket is free of Tableeghism, bias, painduism, nepotism and of course, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir, ABDUL RAZZAQ, Faisal Iqbal and Kamran Akmal (all these names are included in either of the schools of thought that precede them).

    I am surprised at how people are putting forward their ideas to change the WC format so that teams like India and Pakistan can go to the Super Eights stage with less difficulty. Why bother? If Pakistan can’t beat Ireland does it even deserve to go to the next stage? Pakistan got beaten by Ireland; it could just have easily been beaten by any other minnow team. The problem is within the team, not outside of it. Yes I know the format wasn’t brilliant and that the WC was badly managed. But that doesn’t mean Pakistan deserve to go to the next stage more easily if they can’t beat a club side. If Musharaf was Hitler he would have had all the Pakistani players lined up and shot one by one. The team was rubbish, the captain was rubbish, the assistant coach was rubbish and the problems could have very easily been averted if some common sense would have been used. That is the tragedy of the situation.

    Finally, Mr Durrani, you are entitled to your opinion as much as Javed Bhai is entitled to his. Javed A Khan believes in himself and will not cease posting comments. I hope he does not anyway, because if he does this blog will become somewhat lacklustre. Whether you love or hate Javed A Khan, he is an integral part of Pak Spin. There is a lack of education, insight and prudence in our society which is reflected in every sinew of it. Javed Bhai is one of the few individuals on this blog who promote education, reasonableness and insight.

  • Ashaq on May 1, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    Congratulations to Shuja Kidwai for standing up to what has descended in to nothing more then bullying against Javed.A.Khan. on this Blog.

    What is usually a bit of banter has become quite tasteless, Browsing through the previous thread I came across the deeply offensive remarks by this L. Phakir character. I think if he had a brain he would really be dangerous.

    As for Javed.A.Khan the guy has his own unique style addressing issues okay his a bit eccentric,but so what.I think he along with Euceph Ahmed are probably the wittiest guys on this blog.

    Okay many of us have strong disagreements,very rarily is there any hatred being expressed.The most brilliant thing about this blog is that we have people of vastly different backgrounds coming together and expressing our views.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 1, 2007, 15:43 GMT

    Posted by: Ashruf at May 1, 2007 2:05 PM

    Ashruf - you are right about Malinga, but first lets talk about Murali and his doosra which in my opinion even after several tests conducted on Murali, his doosra is still very suspicious - remember Greg Chappell recently raised this issue? Murali has used his doosra very often in this WC. It is also a fact that he has been tested more than any other bowler in the history of the game. The Australians went on complaining, lamenting, brooding, whining, debating and then finally concluding it after conducting the anthropometry assessment tests, the opto-reflective 12-camera Vicon System tests, which records 250 frames per second, reportedly it has a margin of error of approximately 1 degree in data collection. And they came up with this theory that Murali has a natural 35 degrees of elbow flexion while standing, which I don't understand how they measure it? Anyways, based on that they say that during the delivery action it is reduced to approximately 24 degrees, again a question mark! Therefore, any bio-mechanical assessment of his bowling action must take this 24-degree angle into account and it is even more complicated than that when they compare the same data collection for fast bowlers.

    Therefore, the logic in reducing the margin for fast bowlers compared with spin bowlers is based on the lower speed delivery of this classification of bowler. However, while run-up speed and length of arm are generally higher for fast bowlers, spinners such as Murali actually have a similar rotational speed of the arm system. I wonder how, but this is some weird logic mixed with some scientific blabber to which I don't agree but, I am quoting the info below from the report which has cleared Murali based on the following:

    * Murali has now reduced angle of run-up with a straighter approach; * He delivers now from closer to the stumps; * He has adapted technique to become more side-on; * And he has re-aligned the feel in the delivery stride to become more angled towards the on-side.

    In short, they have given up on Murali after Shane Warne has surpassed his record and gone into retirement. Besides, Ponting & Co., thinks that Murali is no more a threat for the Aussies and they have proved it in this WC.

    About Malinga Slinga Like most of you, in my opinion his action is also questionable BUT neither the ICC nor the Aussies would touch Malinga. Because, the legendary Jeff Thompson used to bowl with the same slinging action and he was a hero along with Dennis the Menace Lilly Willy. And at that time no one used to talk about these things. Besides, there was no Bio-mechanics Laboratory in the University of Western Australia at that time.

    If they prove Malinga's action as illegal now or even call it a no-ball, then they have to go back into history and discard all the achievements of Jeff Thompson who is still a hero for them and a very active commentator. Interestingly Shabbir Ahmad's bowling action is somewhat similar to Malinga's and even the Pakistani legendary Fazal Mahmood's action. (I have seen some old videos of him bowling, which is not the same as any of these three bowlers) But, Malinga's action is definitely much more slanting and his arm is bent much lower than Shabbir and Fazal Mahmood's and definitely it would be interesting to see how many degrees he bends his arm or whether he actually has a hyper-extension arm like Shoaib Akhtar and R. P. Singh?

    So, imo they won't call him a chucker, but may be, may be, if Malinga takes 4 more wickets in 4 balls against the Australians and beat them in Australia next year then, they might think about coming up with something new. The Australians play more mental games than any other team in the world. That is why I have been stressing the need that Pakistani players must be more educated and mentally more prepared to handle these mental games and must be able to come out as winners in these tough situations.

    Shuja Kidwai, well said, I am glad to see that there are some people on this blog who can see things in the right perspective, thanks.

  • Ross Hannan on May 1, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    What an unbelievable amount of twaddle has been written in thus blogg. Australia crushed Sri lanka simple as that.

  • Valavan on May 1, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    Actually ICC is working against legal cricket. Some of Malingas delivery doesn't look like legitimate. I dont say thats because of sling action, but the arm movement just the second when he delivers, because as i can see Shabbir, Jeramine Lawson, Shoaib Malik have been caught for illegitimate deliveries, i dont think Malinga does something better. I have seen SL fans abusing others for saying their premier spinner and pacer to be called as chuckers. I can understand thats their passion to support their teams. SL indeed have a good paceman VAAS, but none brought any controversy on him. Why is that? Thats because Vaas is having one of the perfect classical action during bowling. This shows that whenever u make new rules somehow some tacticians try to exploit the weakness in the laws. Many SL fans commented about Jeff Thompson. i dont know how many did see Jeff 's bowling during his prime. ICC is just an organization, when ICC makes a mistake, all try to speak against ICC, which is needed. But when ICC implements laws over classical cricketing to exceptionally include controversial cricketers, all the teams with controversial cricketers bring the fact that the rules are within ICC requirements.If all you fans going to accept ICC rules, then accept all what it gives, not just the rules flexible for your own teams. I remember issues of Ashley Giles negative bowling, but if the rules are not breached, its legal bowling. there is no such term called negative.Ashley is the only spinner who can pitch the bowl outside legstump in such a way that bowl will hit the pads.I remember many times Tendulkar and lara were tested by ashley. Coming back to Malinga issue, he should play with a more legitimate and legal action. By accepting all these exceptions inbowling, its only going to become worser in future cricket.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 1, 2007, 14:50 GMT

    Omer Admani- Imran Khan was a pathan and punjabis worship him to this day,its not a matter of punjabi or Pathan,Look at Younis Khans Performance and then take a good look at his Personality,its funny you are blaming punjabis for prejudice but even after looking at Younis khans performance you want him not only to be in the team but be a captain.Regardless of what was quoted in that article,based on his performance in WC 2003 and 2007 do you think he will bring honor to pukhtoon people.

  • Awais on May 1, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    Come on Grow up Australia has won and should have won. I donot want to husrt anybodies feelings but Srilankans are not as talented as being portrayed.If you Tillakaratne's and Chamara Silva's batting powers a talent then you must have gone nuts.They are a very boring not a very exciting team.Infact the most boring cricket team after Zimbabwe.First over and Sangakkara is up to the stumps for Chaminda Vaas and then Jayasuria keeping a negative line.What Rubbish?They donot have flair.

  • Ranil on May 1, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    Time for reflection! Congratulations Australia in the first place!

    The highly reputed German language Swiss newpaper NZZ wrote at the start of the world cup: Colonial Game!! At the end world cup it wrote: Outside the Anglo Saxon world, the world cup had no meaning. It continued: in contrary to the wide belief that Cricket is a boring game, it is said to be a "Hard Men's" game!!

    I always thought Cricket was a gentle game! If it were a hard men's game, SL Cricket would not be there, where it is today.

    Unlike games like Rubgy, Boxing or even Baseball, Cricket gives a chance to the not so physically strong to play and excel. To ball at 150 kmh one needs to be strong. But cricket gives the physically weaker, a chance to also ball with spin. One needs to be quite physically strong to hit the ball for a six. But cricket gives a chance to score, also by hitting a boundary along the ground or by collecting singles. In cricket, timing, placement and artistic stroke play also has a chance just as much with power hitting. Theoretically in a 50 over game, a team can score 1800 runs: 6x6x50. As this is hardly the realistic case, we know, that cricket is no so much a hard men’s game. This is what the sarcastic articles in the Swiss newspaper forgot to identify. After the final I started think if NZZ was all that wrong. It was power hitting that won Australia the game.

    May be many SLns wouldnt like to accept what I write, because we like to think we are big, even if we are small :-)!

    Around in 1990 we lost a one-day series to NZ. A friend of mine asked me a question and answered himself: "what do you think the problem of our cricket is? I think our cricketers lack power!” The friend had gone to the same school that Mahela went to and later went on to win a Silver Medal at the Asian Games in 200m for Sri Lanka. Till that time he had participated at many international track and field meetings and had had his observations. He told me to observe a European around the lower arm area close to the wrists and the lower leg around the Achilles. He said I would soon realize how small our bone structure is. He asked me to compare a structure made with thick wooden log with one made of thin sticks. He further said our thin bone structure is one major natural handicap we face, in international sport competitions.

    He and I both, used to train at the Torrington grounds in Colombo, adjoining the SSC, the headquarters of SLCricket. Sometimes cricketers of the national team came there to do some fitness runs. At times, we looked in surprise! These did not look all that fit! Nevertheless, a few years later they brought us the world cup.

    It is true, one does not need to have the power level of a national level 400m runner, in order to be a internationally respected batsman in cricket. Cricket calls for other skills; timing, technique, placement, quickness. On the other hand one can be as strong as Mike Tyson, but still could not score runs in cricket.

    Our schools are the breeding ground of our cricket. I also played some little cricket at junior level at school. Before practices, we ran two rounds around the ground and did some stretching and then started practicing batting and bowling - the skills. Building up power or even conditioning was never a question. We never saw a weights training set. May be after winning the world cup96, situation might have changed in SL schools. I don’t know.

    When one sees Tharanga, Chamara, Dilshan and Arnold and compare them to Symmonds, Hayden and company, I feel we have room to develop. The height and the bone structure is something that we will never match. But developing power can be done. Susanthika develeped enough power to win a medal at 200m in Sydney (In fact her coach was doing the fitness training for SL cricket team for a short time).

    Power is the Energy exerted per unit of time. And Energy is the Force multiplied by the distance it traveled. In the end, power is virtually Force per time as for both Hayden and Tharanga, the distance the bat travels before it hits the ball would be quite the same. Stronger the batsman’s arms are, more force would be exerted on the ball, and with that more likely chance that the ball will go over the boundary. And the more power the shot is executed with (force applied in less time), more likely the chance that the ball will travel faster, before a fielder could get to it.

    The shorter the game will be in duration, the power aspect will be important. In the end, what is important is the number of runs scored, not the artistic stroke play or technique. And if the pitch condition is so, that it gives no chance to spin, then physical strength will rule over and cricket will be a "Hard Men's" game.

    As it seems Australia's success is not a simple cricketing success, but one iceberg of scientifically driven, successful sporting system. Australia’s success in other sports like Swimming speaks volumes for it. As for SL, one has to be thankful to all those who contributed to bring together a troubled nation. At least for a short period of time the SL team was able to send home flowers with sweet news, cutting across different religions and cultures, cutting across rich and the poor. Any other sporting team of SL, be it Rugby, Basketball or Volleyball, will not be able to send such flowers home. Physical dimensions play a bigger role in these sports. In cricket we can still make up. The high school cricket coaches need to be guided, not only about improving cricketing skills, but also about improving different aspects of physical fitness – including strength and power. I am sure the ministry of sports can help SLCricket in this area. And SL will find a gamut of foreign countries to help; from Germany to China – and even Australia.

    Thanks Gilchrist! You taught us a lesson, although it was hard to take :-). Wish you good luck in your future endeavors!

    As for the other player, who tried to creep in during the world cup: Amnesty International - their typical western arrogance; the arrogance that they think they do everything right and others wrong - seem to be a chronic illness. They raped us, reminding us of 500 years of colonial rule.

  • WASIM SAQIB on May 1, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    A lot of guys have been posting the link to an article in Daily Dawn about Inzimam culture,and quoting it as if it was an official statement from PCB,the official statement about Inzimam's future was published a few days earlier in Daily Jang,and was made by the chief selector himself,saying "Inzimam will be the key part of the test team,and his test career is not over" also acknowledging his services for the nation. I will post the link later on as today Jangs website has some broken links as far as the Archives are concerned.

    I am not in any way in favor of this,as I truly believe that Inzimam was a key to our failure in world cup alongwith Younis Khan and some others, and Inzimam is not fit for international cricket anymore. His career should have ended at least a year before the world cup,alongwith Razzak,Afridi,and Rana.And younis should never be a part of the ODI team. Mr Razi Ahmed-USA quoted that I am always in state of denial, I think he should read my posts carefully as I never defended any Player whose performance has been Poor,its funny that a lot of people on this blog from karachi and Nwfp pick on just Punjabi players,and completely turn a blind eye toward the performance of players from their areas, Younis,Afridi,and Sami are the key example. This is a shameless display of Bias and prejudice, If we look at 2003 WC and 2007 WC younis,and Inzimam were the worst performers,in 2003 Afridi's performance was disgusting,but somehow Afridi and Younis are not criticized,Mr Riaz you talked about Honor,do you think you can have honor by promoting bias and prejudice, I dont think so, you will only get shame and humiliation. What we need is a transparent selection based on performance,their are so many young players from karachi who are performing so well in the domestic cricket,I strongly suuport their Inclusion in the team in place of these losers.If we all support for a strong national team,and make our criticizm fair and only based on performance and not other things only then we will have one voice and a strong National team.Thats my point of view,if you cant understand it then I guess you are In denial and not me.

  • Alibaba on May 1, 2007, 14:37 GMT

    Congratulations to Australia for winning the World Cup, although I wished that someone else won this time. Australia was certainly the best team, but Sri Lanka was not far behind and IS capable of beating Australia. Rain definitely played a role in Sri Lanka's defeat. Australia played on a bouncier pitch and their run rate might not have been THIS high in a 50-over match; approach to batting changes as the number of overs go down. Rain (slowed the pitch down), rain stoppage (broke the continuity of the innings), and poor light during Sri Lanka's innings was the final blow. Add to that the world's best umpire's rare mistake of Jayawardene's lbw decision. We will never know what might have happened on a good-weather day in a 50-over match. Australia might still have won, but the match probably would have been much more exciting.

    There is another reason (other than one team's dominance) why I would have liked another champion. I don't like arrogance, off the field. The West Indies team of the late 70's and early 80's were probably as dominant, but they had supporters all over the world. (It is debatable whether that team would have beaten this Australian team, because the approach to the game has changed so much.) They were a joy to watch and Clive Lloyd was not arrogant and did not allow expression of arrogance. Perhaps, he understood that Cricket is just a game. And, arrogance "is not cricket."

    *Ciao*

    PS: Next WC will probably have a different feel. Many of the game's stalwarts will probably retire in the next four years, probably bigger in number than previous one WC to the next.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 1, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    Quote: "Posted by: Omer Admani at April 29, 2007 10:46 PM

    Dear Was Younis the culprit or victim?,

    No matter how much you try, Punjabis won't take a pakhtoon captain. And people here, as was the case, wouldn't support a pakhtoon captain. That is the sad story, but it is the story" Unquote. ----------------- Omer Admani, I agree with your views on this subject, you only need to change the last word of your sentence ...... replace story with reality.

    Durrani you have just joined the crowd and LOL at your insipid, bland and tasteless comments and don't be so envious old man, you have to live with your limitations no one can teach new tricks to an old dawg you get my drift? ;-)

  • Ashruf on May 1, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    Many fans, including myself feel that Malinga is having throw balls. His style and form is good, but the way he releases the ball while holding his hand totally away from his body seems to violate the regulations of cricketing.

    I'm not sure how ICC ignored this matter or even to investigate on how Malinga was balling.

    Because of Malinga's throw balls (violation of rules), many good teams, including India, Pakistan and South Africa had to face unfortunate early exits from the Super 8.

    Any comments?

  • Shuja Kidwai on May 1, 2007, 13:56 GMT

    Pak Spin is unique. I have been reading comments on this blog for a very long time and rarely participated in debates or even in expressing my own views. This blog is very interesting and different from other blogs and Mr. Kamran Abbassi deserves all the credit. It is another matter that all of Mr. Abbassi's predictions about the world cup went wrong. But, who could have thought that both India and Pakistan would make an early exit from the world cup? So I guess he kept the interest of his readers alive by addressing other more interesting issues than world cup, such as the two vice captains theory and thats what makes this blog more funny or should I once again say "unique"? I think it is the diversity of comments that come from various corners of the globe that makes it unique. Thanks to Mr. Javed A. Khan of Montreal, Canada for setting up this trend of writing the place of his residence with his name and also for his wonderful comments about cricket and some hilarious comments when it is not about cricket, which makes me laugh and thats why this blog is unique. Euceph Ahmad thought it was funny and called Canada a tehsil thats funny too, but now so many people on this blog follow this trend so we know who is from where. Apart from Mr. Khan, I have also been reading the views and comments of some of the other regulars like, Euceph Ahmad, khansahab, Ashaq and Mawali etc. and thoroughly enjoyed them. In his recent post Mr. Khan talked about "biases" and how we handle them etc. I totally agree with him that we all have biases against each other but we don't admit them. He seldom hesitates to call a spade, a spade but without any malice towards anyone and Ashaq has confirmed my thoughts by saying; *Javed Bhais remarks are made in Jest, with no real malice intended* its so true.

    The point to be noted here for those who think otherwise is whenever he has expressed his views about the strategy, game plan or the players performance etc. he did not ridicule them personally but only in the context of the game and he is right and he also has the right to do so like we all have the right to criticize a player's performance. I don't know if you guys remember that he defended Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd. Asif and Inzamam ul haq very strongly when everyone else were cursing them and were against these players, even on this blog so many people were criticizing Shoaib and Asif for doping and were asking for a life ban, also about Inzamam's poor captaincy and lazy attitude in ball tampering case, he defended these players and wrote against WADA, ICC and Hair. I also remember in one of his posts he was asking khansahab not to discuss about the wives or the personal life of the players, which is something very sensible of him. He wrote against the tableeghi culture in the team, but when someone attacked the Pakistani culture about segregation and integration he came up defending very strongly and responded so well that I must salute him for his patriotism that he has for Pakistan. And Mr. Durrani I have noticed your subtle and indirect criticism towards him without a name being mentioned I think its all fine, but you seems to be taking matters to heart on his making fun of Rameez Raja's accent, how funny that you shiver with a hahaha... hold your breath to keep a good grip on your prison pyjama which may fall if you shiver and say hahaha at the same time! Btw, who doesn't make fun of Raja? I think it wasn't just Raja but he mimicked the accents of a few other commentator's as well. I think it is a good observation and it was also hilarious and that makes you wonder how old he is or how much time he has at his disposal? You went on making some weird character analysis of a person and that is weird, even more weird is, you and those others who criticize people about WASTING TIME time on this blog actually need a self assessment audit before passing a judgment on others. Because you are wasting more time than him by reading his comments. No one is forcing you to read them, you are sitting in front of your computer screen and you have nothing else to do in your life so you are reading that crap, that is, if you think it is crap. Don't you have a mouse to click and move on to another page? Mr. Durrani no one is forcing you to stick around here.

  • Cannuck on May 1, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan living in North America who is wondering where all my fellow Sri Lankans who made such noise on these blogs have suddenly vanished to. What happened to all the big talk of bashing the Aussies, making Kangaroo curry etc.? It's not a secret that I too supported my team, and rooted for them. I enjoyed the way they played and wanted them to beat Australia and win the cup, but unfortunately I think many of our fellow supporters took it a little too far, with their comments especially against Australian fans who didn't support us. Granted there were some really bad posters who ignited with enough fuel about Murali's chucking and Seldging etc., but many of us replied back asking them to calm down and not put the cart before the horse. Not all of Australia are racists, it's just they are very competitive on the field and use it to mentally throw off the opposition. In the process some may have crossed the line, but you can't label a whole country for that. After all Arjuna stood up and gave them back deservingly so, but that doesn't mean all Sri Lankan Captains are like him either, as proved by his successors. I wish Sri Lankan posters on these blogs understood this fact and didn't get emotionally charged, an on the same token I hope Australians do realize not all Sri Lankan's hate you mates.

    It's one thing to dream on, but you have to face facts as well. In this case none of them gave enough credit to Australia for being the best team in the world cup. I certainly did so and therefore I can congratulate them for winning the world cup. Well done Australia you were the better team on this world cup, and we will try to beat you again next time around. This doesn't mean I rooted against SL or a traitor... It's just that when the game is over you have to first acknowledge it's a game, be sporting enough to admit we lost and congratulate the winners. This is what some of us who have actually played the game do, after it's over. I hope some of the SL bloggers gone into hiding would come out and do the same... that's if you really want the rest of the world to respect us and our Cricket team's "our brand of cricket".

    My only wish was the final was played with the full 50 overs, and without the chaos of the weather. This is not an excuse for loosing, but I am sure even the Aussies would have preferred to find out what could have happened had they played the full game of 50 overs. I wonder if the ICC made a mistake (AGAIN!!!) by not postponing the game to Sunday instead of shortening it to 38 overs. After all they would have had a forecast for the day and would have known it was going to rain later that day as well. I wonder what the weather was on Sunday over there? The result would have been the same but we could have seen an exciting game, with SL giving their best chasing down the total. We did well at one stage with Sanath and Sangakkara clicking well, but we all saw when the weather got bad and Sanath saw the D/L target, he instantly tried to increase the total and got beaten by a ball that skipped extremely low off the pitch, that too probably due to the weather/rain (this was supposed to be a bouncy wicket remember?). It would have been fun for Cricket lovers to see Jayasuriya trying to match Gilchirst's excellent knock. What an innings it was... It explosive just like Jayasuriya was in his hay day...

    Finally thanks to Jeff Kogler for remembering and acknowledging the brute force at the top of the order that Australia now employ, was originally introduced by the Sri Lankans in 1996. Also to other Aussies who posted and didn't say I told you so... and even acknowledged Sri Lanka did well. To my Indian fan Aditya... just because Aussies scored 281 in 38 overs doesn't mean they would have automatically scored 400 had they batted for 50 overs (It looks good on paper for statistic purpose and would have probably worded in book cricket.... LOL). There's a reason why Aussies could explode with a shortened overs, knowing the chances of all their strong batting wouldn't fall in a such a short period. However had SL won the toss we wouldn't have been able to be so explosive because our batting depth wasn't as deep as Aussies. The mind set changes and strategy comes into play with each change, on and off the field in this game. I am not saying we would have won if it was 50 overs, but you are wrong to assume automatically 281 in 30 overs translates into 400+ in 50 overs automatically. Ask anyone who has actually played the game how things work.

    So all in all it was a good WC for our Sri Lankan boys... you did extremely well, made us very proud with the way you played the game. Ricky and the boys, congratulations once again.. enjoy the cup for the next four years till we meet again!

    Cheers!

  • zafran on May 1, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    i honestly think that sri lanka were undone on aturday....by only two things..one gilchrist the second the weather.Sri lanka wud have had a better chance if it was a 50 ove match and even the toss went the aussie way..even if gilli scored his runs at about a run-a-ball i think sri lanka had a better chance of winnig...even after all that power from gilli,sri lanka had a reasanable chance when sangakkara and jayasuriya were heading them closer to the win..but again the fear of rain..that obviously was a threat made them to give the charge too early..and loss to loose their wickets.But some thing has to b said..the better team on the day won,and the luck favoured the best too

  • jumbo on May 1, 2007, 12:40 GMT

    Murali bowls outside the laws of the game. That's a fact and they had to change the rules to fit him in. Argue against it all you like, it's still a fact.

    The Australians were deserved winners of the WC because they were streets ahead of every team on every level. Pathetic sob-stories about how Murali was bad done by because certain umpires followed the letter of the law won't change that. Welcome to reality people.

  • Usman on May 1, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    Dear Janaka,

    On the 16th of April - Sri Lanka did win the toss, were bowled out for 226, and Australia chased the runs with 7 overs and 2 balls to spare, with 7 wickets in hand.

    "This doesn't mean on a normal day, Australia would perform same way." I think Australia performs no matter what the conditions, no matter who wins the toss.

    Can everyone please stop all the jealousy and learn to copy the Australians instead of putting them down for being better at playing cricket than everyone else? Cricket is a team sport, and Australia is the best cricket team.

  • Andrew on May 1, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    Magic won. the fact is, Australia have been so much better than other teams, it has never got close enough for there to be any close 'magical' moments. but Gilchrist more than made up for that. simply awesome. Only England in 2005 have overcome this Australian supremacy

  • Isuru on May 1, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    Maybe if you don't know about how some so called 'human rights groups' are biased towards a certain party and influence the information/way of thinking on the rest of the world... they should keep their stupid comments to themselves. And I don't think there is any reason to get racial in anyway... Caro.

  • Razi Ahmed - USA on May 1, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    This is a great moment to understand the importance of the word HONOUR. In last 8 years we have produced some shameless, gutless, harmless player and they are the true picture our cricket infrastructure. We have totally relied upon foreign coach but master card can buy everything except Honour. Our players have learned how to negotiate a deal with advertiesers, PCB, TV,Media but they never learned the job itself. Now compare ourseleves with AUS, NZ, SA and SL and tell me do we deserve to play in super eight. The other day Inzi was telling the people of pakistan that all the big team are loosing matches against weaker opponents. He was not talking about Australia how they have been sustaining their wins. As a good leader he should learn that if you target the star then you will be able to hit the moon. We are getting bankrupt in every walk of life from performing art to economy. We have people like Saqib always remain in the state of denial all the time.

  • Jawwad Riaz on April 30, 2007, 22:07 GMT

    The move to force the game to continue in the bad light could not have been anything except a last ditched attempt to please tv sponsors.

    There is no way in hell a 5 member committee, the ICC all have a perfectly synchronised brain fart over rules 6 year olds can tell them: The match is over if there is bad light and no chance of improvement of bad light. The match is over if 20 overs have already been bowled. What a bullshit explanation.

    Some members' of the ICC have all the characteristics of classic white collar criminals: Elusive, Jaded, Single-minded, Quoted as calling an obvious failure a success, using words like stakeholders, shareholders, sponsors, money, revenues ... all in one sentence.

    *sigh*

  • Dr KM Husain on April 30, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    Nice thought, too bad it did not pan out. Unfortunately for the rest of us, weather we like it or not, the Australians are in a class by themselves. Still nice of you to stick your neck out.

  • Prodigal on April 30, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    I think Australia deserved to win the tournament. Inspite of the farcical and ridiculous drama towards the end of the finals - thanks to the incompetance of the match officials , the Australian victory was never in question for the entire span of the match. Though many may dislike Australia's dominance (and their off-field slandering) its a fact that a conspicuous , if not glaring, gulf exists between the champs and the other teams . Its high-time that the rest of the cricketing world does a relaity check on what could be done to make themselves competent enough to even make such tournaments meaningful. Otherwise, the ICC can very well scrape the tournament as with any other tournament if one knows who is gonna win at the end of it.If making money is the sole purpose of such a tournament , I will suggest the ICC to rather stage a tournament that the majority of the cricketing world(which ofcourse is the Asian lot) may like to see. People may prefer to watch a tournament featuring India , Pakistan or India and Bangladesh (in the current scenario - I think many Indians would prefer this match-up to the ever-popular Ind Vs Pak).

  • jamil on April 30, 2007, 15:53 GMT

    yes i chose MAGIC ... and I still believe that the rules caused loss of an exciting match - Gilchrist played a wonderful match against Sri Lanka - and Australia was definitely humbled by Sri Lanka - if the match had been stopped during rain, D/L would have helped Sri Lanka - why? coz when the ball starts coming at 2 inches from the ground to the batsman, the match is already over - yes Australia played the whole world cup in a dominating manner, but Sri Lanka was a better team and got robbed off, at least, of a fighting chance - all hats off to Aleem Dar to ensure return insult to Ponting - Dar followed rules! Just wish Bucknor had agreed to Dar when covers were suggested - oh well, may be next time ...

  • Sal on April 30, 2007, 15:39 GMT

    As an Aussie supporter, I fear this win and the comprehensive sweep of the tournament will just lead to more references of Australia as arrogant and the "bullies" of cricket. Sad, but I guess everyone has their cross to bear. Certainly the great Muralitharan still has to tolerate derogatory comments about his action, despite willingly undergoing ever test asked of him. Unlike previous teams, I certainly think this Sri Lankan team is magical.

    Not much has been said in the media of the Sri Lanka team's conduct during the game. Well done to Sri Lanka, and especially for the way you accepted the result. Jayawardene showed genuine maturity and dignity even during the farcical end. You deserve a hero's welcome upon your return.

  • Kashif Malik on April 30, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    Sri lankans should b proud of their achievemants

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 30, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    The news that the Indian Board could make a move and Malcolm Speed could face no-confidence motion is an interesting one. Here it is:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/current/story/292875.html

    I think it would be a good move from the Asian Group to act when the iron is hot, especially since the 2011 WC would be jointly hosted in the sub-continent by this group. I was demanding Speedy Gonzales resignation even before the farcical ending of the WC with so many follies and fallacies in the format. Speed was trying to defend the stupidities of the match referee by saying, no one would be axed! Why? Aren't they accountable? Especially since huge amounts of money from the other boards is being used to run this white elephant and they keep on employing more and more bureaucrats for no reason. I think Niranjan Shah is right, its time for the other boards to place a no-confidence motion and get rid of this dimwit. WADA is another such rogue organization full of dimwits.

    When I think about these two bureaucratic organizations, I get a feeling that they must be full of vegans at least in the literal sense i.e., what the vegans are famous for - how many vegans do you need to change a light bulb? First, they will write a 400 pages manual and spend another 4000 hours of reading and discussing it - likewise, how many ICC officials you need to make a rule? And how more needed to implement it? A simple bad light decision ended in a farcical manner, the ICC is a laughing stock now. The ever confusing D/L method must be scrapped and a more simple method must be devised. I wonder if you play a 20 over game and then decide it on D/L method is really absurd.

    If Kamran Abbassi can initiate a new thread on this topic, we can discuss this subject at length.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on April 30, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    When and if will Aussie dominance end?

    Just cannot see another country coming close to pose a serious challenge.

    Well done Australia for high quality cricket but surely for cricket to have any relevance we need competition.

  • Ash Zed - saudi Arabia on April 30, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    It sounds like music in my ear that BCCI may come up with no-confidence motion against Speed. This is most certainly welcome and refreshing news.

    Malcolm Speed has always gives the impression as if he is Mr. Perfect and he can NEVER do anything wrong. The whole world raised objection for unreasonable long WC but he kept on saying the WC duration is perfectly fine until he finally accepted the fact. I always get the idea he thinks of himself the most complete and natural administrator who can never commit any mistakes or errors.

    However, the reality is that Malcolm Speed is one of the most complicated, rude, stubborn and bureaucratic person having big ego problem who has simply ruined this beautiful and simple game of Cricket. The way Speed has changed the game where match referees keep punishing international players for every simple act of sports aggression is really deplorable. A game without emotions and aggression is like robots playing cricket. No wonder why stadium are poorly attended when the real charm is taken away.

    Nevertheless, if Indian board can take the lead, I am sure all other boards will welcome this move from India. At last cricket will be free from Monsters like Speed and Hair.

    Let’s join hands to make this game free from bureaucracy by kicking out His Highness Malcolm Speed.

  • Matt on April 30, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    Guess the magic has been and gone and now the cricket world can go back to sleep. The best team won.......and magic had nothing to do with it!

  • PurpleBaron on April 30, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    Aussie Cricket supporter. One eyed blogging is supreme. I suppose it gets the "hits" if you tell people what they want to hear - our team is better than Australia, our team has more magic than Australia, our team deserves to win more than Australia. It's laughable.

    how good is it to be an aussie cricket supporter in the last 10 years. 4 finals. 3 wins in world cup. Juggernaught baby. ashes (lost it 18 months ago, but rectified). champions trophy. everything. got the wood on south africa. we are simply too good. we never lost a match in the world cup by less than 50 runs. thats a run an over. our average winning margin was 2.4 runs per over. 2.4 thats 140 runs. we simply are in a league of our own. It really doesnt matter if the ICC stuff up the next tournament, cause we will just win again. no point in having it, just give it to us. we have not lost a world cup game this century !!!

    Juggernaught doesnt even capture the way we dominated at this tounament. this is against the best in the world, and 2.4 runs per over average winning margin. it blows the mind. Credit to gilly in the final. hayden for his imposing batting, ponting for his batting, mcgrath took more wickets than anyone (and wrapped up the man of tournament a match early), Hogg (excellent player), bracken (although he should cut his hair), tait. Not so sure about watson, but some of his batting was exlplosive. Amazing that hussey hardly got a bat - he was a professional fieldsman, and not one of our last 4 batters ever batted in this world cup, Mcgrath said he only batted 4 times EVER in 4 world cups. that statistic speaks wonders of our dominance recently.

    Imagine being a South African cricket supporter. or India, or Pakistan. Most of those "magic" players have never won a world cup. None of the current players would have. Tendulkar, Lara, Ganguly, Flintoff, Dravid, Pollock, Smith, Cronje, and AUSTRALIA have won the last 3 times. How depressing would it be to be a follower of cricket in another county. Even the captain of sri lanka knew we were better when he agreed to play on in the dark. The only thing that was up for grabs in this tournament, was whose pants would be dacked to their ankles by Australia in the final. and Sri Lanka had that done to them this time, although they did play as well as they could. And to the people above who say it would have been different if it had gone a full 50 overs. Wake up !!!! Aussies scored 280 odd off 38 overs with wickets in hand. AUSTRALIA would have scored >400. No chance Sri Lanka could have scored that many, as many of you have said there is only 1 powerhitter in Lankan team.

  • oracle on April 30, 2007, 11:07 GMT

    wishful thinking is a good thing but against an australian cricket team it becomes non existant.Sri lanka in my mind would of beaten any other team in that final period...they played like winners during the tournament...but unfortunately ran into the best cricketing nation in the world in the last 20yrs maybe ever...i hope with murali and jaya gone they can replace them with some budding champions cause i know for a fact the australian cricket academy has superstars penned in for mgrath and gilly hayden to an extent.Theres no stopping this juggernaught...it aint no one two three off..there already planning for the next one ..to all the other nations there is something you can aspire too australia has set a benchmark and a precedent lets pray to god that some other coun try can take up the challenge.....its sad to see that bob woolmer was ignored he put his heart and soul into cricket ..were others were lacking i salute you..REMEMBER my good friends asian aussies whoever dont use the word world champions loosely its not a one hit wonder...and i can guarantee in 2011 they will once again come at you with full force...UNDEFEATED WORLD CHAMPIONS I CANT SAY ANYMORE ...

  • sri lankan on April 30, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Well, as a close follower of he Pakistan cricket, I think the problem relies not on the team's talent but external politics that it involved in the Pakistan cricket. I would love to see people like Imran,Abbas,Miandad come into picture. Please get rid off Aamir Sohail and Ramiz Raja from any position that has influence to the Pakistan squad.

  • Aussie Dave on April 30, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    Firstly I would like to congratulate Australia on a dominant World Cup. Like them or loathe them, no one can deny that they were the best team of the tournament.

    What I would like to take issue with is all the 'us against them' talk. Can't we just enjoy the game itself? I enjoy watching Sri Lankan cricket almost as much as Australian (You always enjoy your team just that little bit more), and watching Malinga destroy batting lineups and Jayasuriya blasting bowlers out of the park is one of the reasons why I watch cricket. Can't we enjoy watching champions play each other, rather than having to bring it down to a racial level? Yes, Murali was abused here a while ago. To the vast majority of Australian cricket supporters, this was a disgusting act, and we were disappointed when he decided not to tour here. Racism should have no part in the game of cricket. If you are opposing a team simply because of the country they are from, you need to take a good hard look at yourself. Hating Australia for it's dominance ignores the brilliance and skill of its players which should be acknowledged. As a kid I hated English teams and hated it when they won - now I'm older, and I can appreciate the skills of the players, and despite losing the Ashes to England in 2005, the series was the most entertaining series I can remember. It was a credit to both teams because both teams struck at each other, struck back, and played hard cricket. Don't hate the country, love the game.

    And as to the whole 'mechanical, evil Australia' talk - this argument of Australia being a machine is ridiculous. Hayden and Gilchrist are two of the most unconventional batsmen around; very few batsmen around will attempt to hit opening bowlers for six in a WC final in the first couple of overs. Shaun Tait, who I personally have faced (and been terrified by) is an intriguing, exciting bowler to watch, because he is the exact opposite of a machine - you never know if the ball is going to be so wide as to threaten the square leg umpire, or an inswinging yorker of immense pace and ferocity that cannons into middle stump. Incidentally, whilst he is more accurate than Tait, Malinga looks equally terrifying and hopefully will stay around for a long time. It would be fantastic to see these two young bowlers go at it for a long period of time, like we saw with Warne and Murali for years. Australia's strength is not that it is a machine, it is that it has such a wide mix of quality players to choose from.

    Go the Aussies for 2011. I just hope the tournament is better organised and doesn't have such a horrible incident as the Woolmer murder as this one. Cricket's premier tournament and the fans deserved better than this.

  • David Sealey on April 30, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    And magic, true magic, triumphed indeed.

    You need to rethink your definitions and even status as a true cricket fan.

    Magic is not the triumph of luck over excellence.

    Sri Lanka is the one Asian team worthy of true respect - they play with skill, with commitment and with vigour. They give as good as they get. More importantly they tend to play with the individual humility and discipline to achieve results as a team - the qualities so lacking in India and Pakistan. Unsurprisingly they are the Asian team most like the Australian team and I am sure most Australian cricket fans, like myself, look forward to continuing success from them as they continue to develop their players.

    Having said that, apart from Murali, their individual capacities for brilliance do not in any sense exceed that of the Australians and a proper review of this tournament proves that wherein magical excellence put results beyond the vagaries of luck.

  • Noman Yousuf Dandore on April 30, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    You touched upon changing the format of the World Cup; I would like to primarily discuss that:

    How about introducing a two-tier qualifying system, where only the defending champion and the host nation get an automatic qualification.

    Prior to the World Cup (WC) in some other country/region, remaining top 8 teams (call them Set 1) should be divided into 2 groups where teams play against each other to get the other 4 teams for WC’s main round (top 2 from each group). And at the same time, next 8 teams (Ranked 11-18, call them Set 2) play in some other country to get the 4 best teams out of them.

    Bottom 4 of Set 1 play top 4 of Set 2 (divided in 2 groups again) in the World Cup host country to get the top 2 teams to complete the main round lot. Then in the Main Round 8 teams in total play on round robin basis ala '92 World Cup to get the get the semi finalists. 31 matches in total in the Main Round, where every deserving team will be playing, after coming from a proper qualification system.

    I know it's a bit complex but it will serve both the purposes, involving Minnows and getting the best cricket in main rounds.

    There will be no squashing of Minnows by the top teams as teams like Bermuda and Netherlands would find it difficult to make it even to the second tier of qualification. Whereas teams like Ireland and Kenya will have a chance to make a name for themselves.

    P.S. On the topic of the blog, I fully support the views expressed by 'vas'; we should all adopt that route.

    Cheers!

    Noman Yousuf Dandore, Karachi, Pakistan!

  • laurz on April 30, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    "There is a variety in their bowling--slingers, swingers, and doosras--that gives them the best chance of humbling Australia. "

    so? Australias bowling attack consists of slingers (tait), swingers (bracken)and wronguns (hogg)

    SL's bowling attack is varied as many say.. but Aussie attack is arguably even more varied and interesting to watch

  • Fahad Khan on April 30, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    haan bhai ... kamran bhai !! hogya aapka magic poora.. Australia deserves to be the king of cricket. Hate em for watever reason u may, they just simply rule... and being a professional journalist, how could u even post something like this.. it was really childish.. A team who dominated the tournament (talkin bout before the final).. had already shown that they are the best. They are the champs.. just go back n look at the margins. Cricket belongs to Aussies. Hoping for That sorta team to lose a final is amazingly unfair on ur part (given the fact that ur own team pakistan is the biggest embarrasment u can talk bout)...

    Hell with power, or magic.. I choose Australia... the kings.. n gods of cricket.

  • Amuthan on April 30, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    I agree that the moments belong to the Sri Lankans though Australians had a outstanding performances throughout,the weather put Sri Lankans into more pressure which I beleive Jayasuriya was hasty.Also the ICC being so experienced should have been more thoughtful in conducting the finals without having much chances of the weather to play the main role...anyway we Sri Lankans are very proud and happy about our players and well Done....

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 30, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    khansahab haven't you heard of this phrase: 'curiosity killed the cat'? So, don't be so curious just accept it. Or, I have to say just like George Bernard Shaw said, 'Half of the Americans are not fools' and they were quite happy with that accolade, so if you you don't like the compliment, I can always take it back or may be add "in" to it.

    For the time being leave aside the riffraff, I mean the "niswani" gender 'coz they are simply attention seekers. So lemme come to the point straight away: Its very difficult for you to change my stance and vice versa. So, no matter how much you write, I am not going to be convinced on that subject. You know we all have different views and a blog is not the right place to even think about convincing people to change their views or accept yours or mine. Even in real life, I have never ever thought of changing someone's views or tried to influence them through a conscious effort. So, by writing a post here in a virtual world and hoping that I have done a job or I had the last word is like day dreaming. No Sir, I am down to earth and practical and don't indulge or even believe in day dreaming.

    I simply express my views like you and everyone else. Whether you like or not, agree with me or not, it doesn't make any difference to me. Because, we all come from different schools of thought, different cultural and family backgrounds and we all have our prejudices, biases, preconceptions, and what not and its not easy to change it just like that. Philosophically speaking, this kinda thinking i.e., holding biases based on provincialism, jingoism in my opinion is a cortical clutter which I think is the most apt phrase for the kinda distracting barriers we come up against in our everyday life when dealing with people on that basis.

    The irony is, most of us recognize that we do have these kinda biases but, we fail to realize how vast a range it encompasses and how great an influence it has on our actions and how deeply it is rooted in our psyche. Once again, it is very easy for me or anyone to discuss this subject in a forum like this, only to show that I am very humble or I am very broad minded and I have a very philosophical approach towards life etc. But, reality is far too different from the so-called words of wisdom that I have just spoken and I am not saying that I am any different from others i.e., when it comes to tackle biases. Because, this is a kinda belief system which we all have (I am not talking about the religious belief, but our own belief system in general that is in handling relationships) is not easy to get rid of. In fact we cling on to it until and unless we are really influenced by someone and that is very rare.

    Whenever we see someone in limelight or in focus, we either praise or criticize and thats how we react. It is human nature to react and some people react emotionally or attack someone personally and when they do it to me, I don't get pissed off, I actually enjoy it, sometimes I ignore and sometimes I give a tit for tat reply. But, that is always in a light hearted way. Because, there are other things in life that one needs to pay serious attention and not on a petty criticism and that too on a blog?. And I know when I respond, not everyone likes that kinda style or sense of humour. So what? You cannot please the whole world, you cannot make everyone happy but, some people enjoy, appreciate and some criticize and some taunt and abuse mais, c'est la vie. It happens to the avatar of this blog Kamran Abbassi, people get upset with him and not only complain, criticize they actually curse him and abuse him by using vulgar language. And this is not restricted to Kamran Abbassi, we all do that, criticize Dr. Naseem Ashraf, Malcolm Speed, President Musharaf, Bush etc., and people have done this to kings and prophets, so who am I or you for that matter? And why should I feel bad? :-)

    As regards your other curiosity about the length of my posts, you think its decreasing? Actually you are being modest, I don't have a problem with typing, I type faster than the speed of light, hence I can type a lot without making any effort. :-) But, I want you to take a lead in this rat race! ;-)

    Here is an example of copy pasting by "Raashid Shunthoo at April 29, 2007 5:42 AM" he/she copy pasted my post. I wonder what kinda pleasure he got from aping, but the world is full of weirdos.

    And Shuja Kidwai thanks for the compliments in the previous thread, I have thoroughly enjoyed your comments about the dog which happens to be a Moghul or a Rajput from behind and LOL @ your suggestion on asking Phakir to nominate the dog for the post of a Vice Captain.

    Btw, those who have not read today's DAWN about Inzamam Culture can read it by clicking on this link below:

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/04/29/spt3.htm

  • vas on April 30, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    Wonderful feeling for Australia. The more deserving team won in the day. Simple as that.

    Rather than resort to hahahas or 'i told you so' retorts, let this be a lesson to the rest of the cricket world. Instead of indulging in superficial ideals of 'magic' and 'fantasy', embrace the situation for what is. Sri Lanka were gallant in defeat, and I see great things on the horizon for them, as long as they maintain the attitude and professional approach they have improved under the tutelage of Tom Moody.

    NZ's professionalism is held back by the sorry fact they don't have the pool of players necessary to maintain consistency. If they had half of the pool to choose that India and Pakistan enjoy, they would be a cricketing superpower. South Africa's problems are strictly in the head, where they can look amazing one moment, and look utterly ordinary the next, especially in the face of stiff opposition. And the West Indies need to move into the new world of professionalism if they are going to recreate their glory days of yore.

    Setting aside the ever-improving Bangladesh and absolute no-hopers Zimbabwe, that just leaves India and Pakistan. Two cash-heavy cricket teams with a bevy of talent but immense lack of professionalism in all areas. Their players play for their own personal gain, their administrators are self-made capitalists with little interest for the betterment of the game, and their fans latch onto fantasy over the pain of reality, and perceive said fantasy for reality. Coz judging by Kamran and numerous bloggers here, thats the only viable conclusion. Ahh, Jean Baudrillard would be proud at such imaginations.

    Let go of criticising the Australian team in time so you can learn a few things about the game. Study it for its aspects. Combine natural talent, flair and 'magic' for skillful application, dedication and study. You do that, you will have a successful cricket team. Of course, such fickle societies that hold their teams on a pedestal when they succeed and burn effigies of them when they fail will never apply such methods. They would rather demonise a team full of hard-working champions to compensate for the set of misfits that represent their respective nations.

    And if this still is beyond you, then speaking from an Australian perspective, I doubt we care what you guys think. Hate us for all we're worth, and demonise us to fulfil ur miserable souls. And while you do that, continue the burning of effigies, the stoning of private property, and the constant backstabbing that has so far proven to be the downfall of Indian and Pakistani cricket...

  • Khurram on April 30, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    Srilankan MAGIC? where it went? It was a rubbish column to say the least... and yes Im a Pakistani.. but not foolish like all the others above who just are so biased that they cant see the reality and continue to think SriLankan Team as magic, beauty and other lavish adjectives for them...

    Yes in the final we saw magic...The name of the magic was ADAM GILCHRIST... he alone has more magic and charm than all of the SriLankan Team combined ...same can be said about many other cricketers in the present Aussie team! Make no mistake Gilchrist, Ponting, Mcgrath are all time greats of Cricket..

    P.S. i dont know why all the Pakistanippl support SriLankans so much when the truth of the matter is they dont give a shit to us as they are more rational and judge things on the merit while we continue to remain illogical and unreasonable

  • Teece on April 30, 2007, 4:50 GMT

    A lot of this is orientalist crap.

    I always thought ill of Tony Greig for crooning sickeningly about the 'little' Sri Lankans' 'big smiles'.

    Similarly, the 'magic' attributed to subcontinental players seems like a relic of the 'orient'. It is a silly way that white people used to deal with cultures that are different to their own, by shrouding them in exotic mysticism.

    Notice how a lot of these 'magical' players from countries like SL and Pakistan are also seen as mentally weak or immature. Anything good they do comes from magic, anything poor is from a child-like lack of grit or reasoning.

    It seems that a lot of cricket fans from these countries themselves are adopting this patronising dribble and trying to use it to romanticise their cricket experience. This is fine; it can be fun to cheer for the 'innocent' over the bad guys.

    What it's doing, however, is setting up SL as a country of naive children who deserve to win just because a team attributed with more strength and therefore less right to win just beat them in the Final.

    I don't think that the SL team thinks like that themselves. Nor do I think Kamran meant anything but to say, in a fairly tired and trite sort of way, that he's rootin' for the underdog.

    But I'm starting to think that some fans believe this 'magic' rubbish. It's dangerous, because if you get bitter about a team that is tough and professional then you are bemoaning good cricket. Australia have taken the game to a new level, and it is time to stop being sour and start toughening up. Stop celebrating being passive, because no team is without its share of hard nuts anyway. Sangakkara seems like one, and he's wonderful for the team.

    And stop this arm-waving rhetoric about 'magic'.

  • Janaka on April 30, 2007, 4:48 GMT

    Sri Lanka lost the final of World Cup 2007.

    Would it have been the case if the match was played on a day with clear sky and normal weather conditions and full 50 overs ? We never know. However there were so many things at the same time went against Sri Lanka.

    For Sri Lanka,

    § Sri Lanka lost the toss.

    If Sri Lanka won it, Sri Lanka would have batted first and set a target for Australia to chase on a pitch, Sri Lanka's spinners would be more effective.

    § Match was reduced to 38 overs

    When the match was reduced to 38 overs, Australia knew that they would not be bowled out. So from the first ball was bowled, they could afford to attack with such a good batting strength. That has not only unsettled Sri Lankan fast-medium bowlers, but also forced Mahela to introduce Murali and other slow bowlers with a relatively new ball. That led spinners also in-effective. The situation forced Malinga to change his tactic from aggressive to accuracy. This was why even Gilchrist could not hit him initially.

    § Bad weather

    Weather condition was not in favour of Vass's bowling style. He is a swing bowler. He usually needs a bit of humid condition to swing the ball. So, the weather was not in his favour. He opted to bowl giving bit of a width with the intention of getting wickets, while Malinga bowled slow and straight. Mahela and Vass knew that without wickets you would not be able to contain Australia for long. Gilchrist had all the skills and luck to avoid gifting his wicket. If, Gilchrist scored his century even with a run a ball, Australia would have reached 236 in 38 overs. Then if Srilanka continued with the rate they achieved, Sri Lanka would have ended 226 in 38 overs.

    So there is only 10 runs difference. Easily the result could have been gone other way.

    Now you can see that how much weather has played a role in this outcome. Don't forget that Australia had a continuous run in their 38 overs and Sri Lanka had to deal with rainy condition during their batting.

    Basically Sri Lanka had skills and strengths, which would work only with certain conditions. This applied to Australia also. On this particular day, the conditions have collectively gone in favour of Australia. This doesn't mean on a normal day, Australia would perform same way.

    It was not Sri Lanka's day. There is no doubt that Australia is No.1 in Cricket. However, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan had a different set of weapons to combat it as other cricket teams like NZ, SA, WI, ENG had the same weapons Australia possessed and Australia had far superior quality weapons.

    So, Sri Lanka failed as the conditions were not suited and it would happen again under these conditions. However, think of how Sri Lanka overcame all other cricketing greats during this tournament. Tiny Sri Lankans (compare physical power of Aussies) have done their best although luck was not with them at the final.

    Do not undermine what they have achieved so far and support them in future.

  • Jameel Tajwar on April 30, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    World Cup final is the biggest event of Cricket and it was sad to see the game was decided over unpopular D/L calculation. A 50 overs match is different kind of a game as compared to 38 over match which was further reduced to 36 overs.. Only once out of 52 matches played we should care about the game not the TV sponsers and big corporations. The fact that organisers knew that it will rain again when Sri Lanka will bat. The Game should have postponed and played on sunday. This would have allowed us to observe a complete game of 50 overs.A die hard cricket fan. Congratulations to Austrailia for a dominent performance for last three yearas. With all fairness for the next world cup they should send Austrailia "B" team.

  • Jude on April 30, 2007, 3:18 GMT

    Had it not been for the rain the final moment would have truly been Sri Lanka's......damn rain.

  • chris on April 30, 2007, 2:52 GMT

    Huh? Where have all the below posts disappeared to?

    Aussies are arogent and need a lesson from MURALI. He will take 7 wickets and show RACIST aussies that he is the greatest. Jaysuriya is the best batsman of all time and will prove it while Ponting watches and is very mad.

    !!!!GO LANKA!!!!

    The lion for sri lanka will eat the arrogant kangaroo with some malinga magic. He will also take 7 wickets!!!

    Thank you all my subcontinent brothers together we can make sri lanka beat the boring aussies!!

    !!!!GO LANKA!!!! --------

    Glad that this typical crap can stop now. It will start up in another 4 years when some other pretender thinks they can beat Australia

  • Trevelyan Anthony Vanderhoven - Colombo on April 30, 2007, 2:51 GMT

    Yes...... My prediction was wrong.... May be got carried away with my team in the final. As I said earlier, AUS deserve the cup. Its unfair if they had lost to us after beating ALL. The tournament should be organized properly so that the best teams enter the 2nd round and finals and matches not duplicated. MY congrats to AUS. Anyway we as SriLankans enjoyed the moment despite several air attacks !!!!!!!!! But the drinks continued and the party was onn........ For details mail me... trevelyan777@hotmail.com

  • Aditya on April 30, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    I've seen a lot of comments here that seem to suggest that playing a full 50 over game would have, somehow, worked to Sri Lanka's advantage. To all those chest thumping Sri Lanka fans out there, I say this, if Australia had batter 50 overs, they would have scored over 400. Try to understand that they were on 281 at the end of 38 overs with Symonds and Clarke at the crease! Are you saying that Vaas and Murali who went for over 6 runs/over would have suddenly discovered magic and restricted the Aussies to less than 350? And did the Sri Lankan batting lineup have the ability to chase 350 runs against McGrath and co? Give credit where it is due. After Gilchrist's 149 there was no way Lanka could have won.

  • Adstow on April 30, 2007, 2:45 GMT

    Pull your head in Anwar! If by the weather playing a major role, you mean that had Sri Lanka been given 50 overs to chase Australia's score from 38, then you might have a point! Sri Lanka were outplayed - pure and simple!

    One thing I don't understand is the constant Aussie bashing on these blogs. Some of you take so much spiteful joy in seeing Australia faulter. As I recall, when West Indies were dominating the sport, nobody wished failure on them!! And I doubt anyone could argue that Viv Richards' swagger, or Curtley Ambrose's refusal talk to opponents - even after the game - doesn't smack of the same bullish arrogance that makes Australia so despised!!

    Bottom line! Just because the bungling CEO of the ICC hails from the same Antipodean land as the most successful team of the last decade, it does not imply some conspiratorial Western regime against the likes of the innocent, charming and 'magic' Sri Lankans!

  • Ashaq on April 30, 2007, 1:37 GMT

    Full respect to the Australians for taking cricket to another level.Its all about optimum performance,the Australians have become masters at it with every player performing beyond his abilities.

    Whilst in other countries the Unfulfilled potential and wasted talent is a perrenial problem.Australians have developed a system where every player trys to exceed his physical limitations and perform over and above his skill level.They deserve full credit for that.As for the attitude of the Australians its all about winning,on the field you take no prisoners,the Australians have set the bar so high,It is up to the rest of the world to try and catch up.

    It seems that my dear 'Brudda' Javed.A.Khan. has himself become a topic of debate.I think the readers should realise that most of Javed Bhais remarks are made in Jest,with no real malice intended.I speak as someone who has argued with him on almost every issue.To be honest his alternative way of addressing most issues makes this blog quite interesting.

    They say that success in any sport is about having a winning gameplan and being able to apply it.Once You find the weakness of your opponent,the strategy then is to expose it without deviating the slightest.

    The example I would cite is that of Kiran Ahmed ('The Warrior Queen from Toronto') she rather then engaging in long and endless debates with Javed.A.Khan ('The Scholarly Intellectual King from Montreal').Has stuck to a simple and effective strategy of labelling Javed.A.Khan. a complete "Nutter" and accused him of being totally "Insane". Now our 'Scholarly King' try as he might has been unable to counter the strategy being used against him.

    The trick is to never play according to your opponents strenghts,so rather then engage in some scholarly debate.The 'Warrior Queen' has refused to budge from her winning strategy.The 'Scholarly King' however realising his 'Kingdom' of this blog was under threat has even sought a compromise by proposing marriage. However the 'Warrior Queen' knowing she has the upper hand has refused any compromise.

    Usually in sports when one team exposes the weakness of a player.Then all the other teams will exploit the same weakness of that particular player.In this particular case Kiran Ahmed has labelled 'King' Javed as a complete "nutter",So all the others who have become tired of the reign of Javed.A.Khan.have also labelled him a "Nutter".

    As for myself realising full well in what direction the pendulum is swinging,I say the 'King'is about to perish long reign the 'Queen':~)

  • Jeff Kogler on April 30, 2007, 0:30 GMT

    As an Aussie Cricket fan, I say well done Sri Lanka. How good is the SL team to watch? In the hype about our cricket team we forget that they were thrashed ny Eng and NZ not so long ago. And more importantly we forget who invented the brute force approach that Australia now emply through their upper order batting. SL did. And when they did the one day game was changed significantly.

  • Omer Admani on April 29, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    Dear Was Younis the culprit or victim?,

    No matter how much you try, Punjabis won't take a pakhtoon captain. And people here, as was the case, wouldn't support a pakhtoon captain. That is the sad story, but it is the story. I read that article, and however much blame lies with Inzamam, our Pakistani brethren would keep on calling him great despite his pathetic performances outside the subcontinent and all that he did leading upto the world cup.

  • varuni on April 29, 2007, 20:34 GMT

    The moment truly belonged to Sri Lanka ... I hope they will be given a heroes welcome back home. Well done and have safe trip back to the open arms of your devoted countrymen!

  • Anwar on April 29, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    Sad to see Aus win so convincingly against Sri Lanka. Weather played a major part in it. Presentation eas horrible as they did not acknowledge Bob Woolmer in any form. To me, they should observe moment of honor in his honor. PCB should take up with ICC this issue.

  • Durrani on April 29, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    I have been reading your blogs and more often than not they make sense ("two vice captains" did not) in my opinion. Australia is a superior team by far, but the Sri Lankans are not far behind (Australian coach may be ). Now that the fat lady has sung, in my opinion the Sri Lankans were a worthy opposition capable of beating Australia had it not been for the bungled administrative decisions. Reducing an almost two month long tournament to 38 overs per side was stupid. Chaos at the end another feather in ICC's cap. Nothing to take away from the Australians, a team that has 6 or 7 top order batsmen with S/R in 90's speaks volumes of their supremacy (and healthy averages to go along the S/R).

    I also enjoyed the hubris and arrogance of one certain individual who likes to "I force you to read my....."(his direct response to a blogger who commented on your site) for one or two reasons.

    First he may be your alter ego as you continue to let him pester (petty irritation) decent folks with quite derogatory language to make things "interesting" and more marketable. I argue against this reason as you would know the difference between a "play card" and a "placard" and although this person pounces at others typographical errors or mis-spelled words, he does not. The readers can get to it in his response to a reasonable guy by the name of Ashaq in a post on 04-15-2007 at 3:33 p.m. The title of the article "Younis Khan, a committee, and a circus". He also made fun of Ramiz Raja's accent. He is some real clown!

    Second, the bewildered commentators are trying to guess who is this guy with so much time on his hands and so little or no sense or decency. Some think he is an older guy, retired but the language this man uses is not the one a gray haired person would use ( unless he is a total waste ). My guess would be a goal bird albeit housed in a medium security facility. A guy in 30's with a lot of time and access to a library ( prisoner's rights )....!

    I came across his rantings as he uses bold letters unlike any one else. He worries that no one will read his ramblings. I guess he is a "victim" of the guards who "probably" do not pay much attention to him and make him feel "little". His bold letters are a blessing in disguise as well. One can use them like light house warning lights and avoid wasting wasting their time on his lunacy!

    I am not sure that you will post my comments, but some very feisty commentators on your site have tackled this "little man syndrome" quite well. Bravo! But in my opinion this little man needs to be ignored. He will not like that at all and may shape up or ship out.

    I shiver! Hahahaha!

    Durrani

  • Was Younis the culprit or victim? on April 29, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    Most of you guys passed the decission in haste to condemn Younis Khan for his refusal to accept the captaincy. But no one really tried to dig out the truth or even thought about trying to find out what were the elements that forced him to go to take such a stance. Well, I will paste for you an article recently published in THE DAILY DAWN's sports section which will help you find out a little ammount of truth. It will help you tell the Younis's side of story. Read it carefully and then decide if Younis desserved the humiliation he recieved from the whole nation.

    Selectors to have final say in touring squads, playing XI: PCB moves to end ‘Inzamam culture’

    By Our Sports Reporter

    KARACHI, April 28: In a bid to get rid of the ‘Inzamam culture’ in the national team, Pakistan's cricket authorities have stripped the new captain of powers to have a final say or exercise the veto power in the selection of a touring squad or playing eleven, well informed sources said on Saturday.

    The sources in the board confirmed that now the selection committee would have the final say in the selection of a touring squad and the playing eleven.

    “In the past when Inzamam was captain the selectors could give him their input and views on selection matters but he (Inzamam) had the final say and veto power in these matters,” sources in the PCB disclosed.

    The board's ad hoc committee, while approving the appointment of Shoaib Malik as captain two weeks ago, decided that the team should be rid of ‘Inzamam culture’ as it had created a lot of problems and headaches for everyone including the selectors.

    “The committee also felt that it had led to Inzamam gaining unbridled powers in the team and, with Wasim Bari’s extremely weak presence as chief selector, a number of blunders in selection matters led to the World Cup debacle,” he said.

    The source disclosed that the committee had also reached a consensus that Inzamam should no longer be entertained even as a Test player although he has himself outlined his desire to continue playing in the Test team after retiring from One-day Internationals and stepping down as captain.

    “The main reason for shifting the balance of power from the captain to the selectors is that some board officials believe Inzamam will try to use his influence on young Malik and with a group of players still playing loyal to him, may end up calling the shots. So this could also be termed as a pre-emptive measure,” the source opined.

    He said in future the selectors will sit with the captain, coach, manager and vice-captain while selecting a full squad or a playing eleven but their decision would be final.

    “Which means that the board has given the selectors complete powers to override any move by Malik to draft Inzamam into the Test side,” the source said.

    The source disclosed that the board had also taken note of the fact that senior batsman and vice-captain Younis Khan had developed a mindset to stay away from the captaincy and was even pondering leaving one-day cricket because of the non-cooperative attitude of a group of players towards him.

    Younis earlier this month not only refused the captaincy offered to him but also turned down a chance to fly directly to Abu Dhabi next month and play in the three-match one-day series against Sri Lanka. Younis told the selectors he was more comfortable playing for Yorkshire in the English county championship at the moment.

    “The board realizes that there are other reasons for Younis wanting to distance himself from the team at the moment. They are also aware how a group of players — loyal to Inzamam —had ganged up against Younis when he captained Pakistan in the Champions Trophy last year, refusing to even speak to the Peshawar-born batsman,” the source said.

    The source added that the board was keen on former captain Imran Khan — a great supporter of Younis — to speak to him and make him change his mind on the captaincy.

    “But Imran refused point blank, saying he was upset with the way Younis had surrendered and he would not speak to him on this topic at all.”

    Critics of the game feel that the real test for the board and selectors would arrive when South Africa tours Pakistan from Sept 25. That is when the board would know if it has been successful in clearing the team of ‘Inzamam culture’ or not.

    X------------------X---------------------X

    Now I would ask some of the frequent posters here who rubbished when some people here tried to point out the pinjab factor. Well, what do you say now?

  • Tridip on April 29, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    Sorry mate. The predictions, hopes, prayers etc. in this blog are always so awfully wrong.

  • Kanishka on April 29, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    Day after the Final, time for reflection. Being a Sri Lankan I have to give credit where it is due, congrats to the Aussies they played great cricket throughout and Gilchrist pulled off a performance of a life-time to ensure a triple. But I have to say how proud I am of our team, they have also showed how far they have developed and playing quality cricket throughout. It was a shame that the careers of our senior members could not be crowned with a another world cup. In a situation of utter hopelessness the players put up a great fight to chase down an improbable total come rain, come darkness. An appreciative public await your safe return!

  • imran on April 29, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    Australia epitomizes what a professional cricket team should be like. I am ofcourse a supporter of Pakistan team, but you can not help and be in awe of the Australian team. They are not junk gully players, they go about tackling there opponnent in a methodical manner, that only professionals would understand. People in most of the world think that you can get up in morning, put on your whites and go play cricket. Australia proved that it is a learned art, and you can get better and dominate if you can learn the science of the game. All kudos go the Australian team. Although a Pakistan lover, I am thoroughly impressed by the Aussies, and can only wish that Pakistan players can understand the game.

  • Kerashey on April 29, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    Australia were just too good yesterday. They were the best team in the tournament by far. They deserved to take this one. Kamran- in response to your moments for Sri Lanka, I beg to differ, it was Australia who had the moments in this one; here are my three moments for them, McGrath's 3 and Australia's spearing 27/5 against RSA in the semis, 149 off 104 for Gillie yesterday (in spite of all his detractors, and lastly, Ricky Ponting's captaincy and use of his bowling attack throughout the WC, given that this was considered their weak link in their defence of the title. We have lauded Imran for 1992, Arjuna for 1996, Steve Waugh for 1999; Ponting played all his cards remarkably well and while it is true that someone on the playing 11 clicks always, this is the very aspect that separates them from the rest. Ponting uses his resources and Buchanan harnesses his resources better than any other team. Kudos to them. Like Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Michael Schumacher, this Australian team was playing in a league of their own.

  • Neil Pennell on April 29, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    I am complete cricket tragic and as one-eyed an Aussie fan as you can get but I would have been more than happy if the Sri Lankans had got up in the final. Not to worry. Jayasuriya and Sangakkara looked the goods for a while but it wasn't to be. The debacle at the end just compounded my disappointment. The Sri Lankans are a terrific bunch of cricketers and thoroughly deserved their place in the final. However, my gut feeling was always that if Australia batted first then they would win because one of Hayden, Gilchrist or Ponting would find that extra gear. It was Gilchrist this time. However, that is all history now. The real reason for my contribution to this blog is to again congratulate Kamran for writing another piece that he knows full well is just going to stir up a whole heap of poorly informed, nationalistic, pro-asian, anti-Australian chest thumping. You were doing well for a while there Kamran. You almost sounded like you really believed the Aussies are worthy of some honour (despite the fact that they couldn't produce any "moments" in the tournament) but then you had to throw in the line about "Murali triumphing over the country that has brought him the most humiliation" That line says more about you Kamran than it does about Murali. Murali's last 2 trips to Austalia have generally been met with broad smiles and warm acceptance. Ask the man himself. Australian fans seriously just want to see the best players playing against their team and Murali is the best opposition bowler going around. Why do you think the recent ashes series sold out months in advance? Someone beat Ponting's gang and the interest in the series went thru the roof. Murali's "humiliation" was a long time ago and is something that the average Australian fan took no joy from. This Austalian team likes to win. That is undeniable. The comments of Vas above are right on the money. To suggest that the Aussie team are racist and the worst sledgers and bad sports and so on and blah, blah,blah is just hilarious. The Sri Lankans have learned a lot from Arjuna Ranatunga in the verbal stakes. Funny that he was the last world cup captain to beat them. He was a real fighter and in 1996 his team were deserving winners. The Sri Lankans might smile a lot and look as innocent as 5 year-olds but they play it tough on the field both in their cricket and with their mouths. Do the Australian team respect them less because of it. Absolutely not. They respect them more. Do I respect them less. No. So please can we give the anti-Australian rubbish a rest. The comment that made me saddest was that of Raj above when he said,"It is time that we Asians stood together and put the scheming Western nations in place". I'd suggest Raj that you need to spend a little more time with your family and a little less watching cricket on the television. In Australia we call it "sour grapes" when someone is such a poor loser. As for you Kamran, I'm fully expecting your next blog to be "Ponting's a good captain but Imran was better" or something equally divisive. You are as predictable as the rising of the sun. I'd love you to prove me wrong. Try saying something nice things about this Australian team without using the word "but" in the same piece.

  • aftab on April 29, 2007, 13:53 GMT

    Congratulatios to Super Australia. I feel very sorry that during the final speech the ICC Head PS didn't say anything about Bob woolmer.What i was axpecting that they not only will pay tribute to late Woolmer but also announce the trophy of the world cup to be named as Bob woolmer trophy but they totally ignored his services for the game of cricket and for the ICC as well.Kamran,what you think am i right?

  • Morgan on April 29, 2007, 11:45 GMT

    I'm afraid there is as much magic in the Aussie game as the Sri Lankan game. Why is there any less magic simply because they were overwhelming favourites? The way they play the game is a sight to behold.

    Congratulations to SL for putting up a great fight and playing brilliantly throughout the tournament...Unfortunately for them Australia were untouchable and may rightly be considered the greatest ODI team of all time.

  • Omer A on April 29, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    To Kiran Ahmed: Loved your post! It's great to see someone can shut up the machine that is Javed.A.Khan. His bias has become laughable on the blogs but because we live in a free society, we have to tolerate freedom of speech. Although, in his case, its hard to sit back and read the views of someone who has called for the appointment of a gilli-danda player as the Captain of the national team!! Ps..So what do you do in Toronto to put monkeys back in the Zoo?!

  • Caro on April 29, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    I watched a cricketer today who was charming, ebullient, brilliant, everything that a hero-cricketer should be. His name was Gilchrist. He's an Australian, and HE was the MAGIC

  • Shahid Mahmood on April 29, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    Dear abbasi, could do me and a lot of others a favour. As your voice is much louder than os, please tell the pakistani board and players just one thing that these announcements that we are starting to build a team for the next world cup is cheap and tried. Cricket is a on going game, tommorow will everybody forget about WC and think about another important series. In cricket you just build a team and not target a wc which is to come 4 years later. In Pakistan we talk about building teams for wc and go down in wc as flushed toilet, so please just build a team and nothing more, even when everybody knows that it is impossible if do not build the structure first starting from the top.

  • Faridoon on April 29, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    So much for the power or magic debate. What a great batting performance from the Aussies. One man, Gilchrist, won the game for them, given it was a shortened game, no one else got a chance to contribute.

    You can't help but admire this Aussie side, what a team, what solid performers, bravo! Those who don't admire them are just bitter losers, you know who you are!

    Well played Australia, congrats. Well played Sri Lanka, congratulations on being runner-up. So long and good luck to Glenn McGrath and Sanath Jayasuriya and thank you for entertaining us for so long and giving us something to cheer about.

  • Aqif on April 29, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    Australia won. Srilanka really fought well though. I must say this is the worst final I have ever seen. Reduced to 38 overs, bad light and rain throughout. I just feel the victory for Aussies is a bit hollow.

  • Tariq Salman Alvi on April 29, 2007, 7:35 GMT

    Australian proved them again that they are the best team in the World and it looks like that there is n challenge in sight at the moment. Teach Chinese to play cricket and I am sure in a very short time they will catch up with the best. You need commitment and Australian have shown this commitment at all levels. They are the team who can play without the stars and win because of many back ups for every position. Other nations must learn from them and not make individuals as superstars but let them play as part of the team, so it is the team work which counts. We all join hands to congratulate them on winning the world cup three time consecutively. We also give the Sirilankan due credit which they desreve by trying to fight the best. Other teams need to work on the talents they have and teach them disciplin, unity and fitness.

  • Scott on April 29, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    What would be magic is the author presenting a neutral view. His writings pale into insignificance however when compared to the anti-sledger. If life was that black and white we'd all be in a hollywood movie. So congratulations to the evil empire for winning and commiserations to the good guys for making it to the final. The Lankans can be proud of their efforts and so can the Australians. Oh yes.to the anti-sledger.......your writings are but a blemish on this page.

  • James W on April 29, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    You chose magic Kamran and you got it! It didn't come from Murali, or Vaas, or Malinga, but from an Australian (oh dear!) by the name of Adam Gilchrist. Enough magic to last you an eternity, hope you're satisfied.

  • Raashid Shunthoo on April 29, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Thank goodness finally we are discussing about the World Cup on this blog. A few days ago, in one of the previous threads, I wrote about the current WC debacle and demanded Malcolm Speed & Co.'s resignation not only due to the financial losses that incurred 'coz of the ICC's serendipities and stupidities but, also for the horrendous format in which the teams were grouped. And, my point that in 1992, if the same format was used then Pakistan may not have reached the second round i.e., IF there was any second round!

    Now Malcolm Speed is forced to admit the mistakes and fallacies after Ali Bachar, Ken Gordon and the whole world is talking about the financial losses and debts arising from the WC. Its a shame that the ICC, especially Speedy Gonzales is trying to sugar coat the problem by saying the format was too long. Thats all ! There is no mention of 'disgustipatingly' pathetic poor planning, or a word about the serious lapse in security which resulted in the Bob-ul-Omar Tragic Chapter and about the one sided matches with no interest in the tournament, neither from the viewers or the spectators. A simple sorry should have sufficed the issue instead of saying the format was too long. What a load of cow manure, is he from the Royal Family of the Great Britain that he cannot say sorry? Just like the Queen went to Jallianwala Bagh in 1997 almost 78 years after the massacre, stayed silent and did not open her "Royal Bootha" to say sorry!

    Back to the WC, after the one sided semi-finals the WC has reached its climax and I hope Sri Lanka plays just one game. All they need is Jayasuriya, Sangakara and Jayawardene to play Baila the Sri Lankan music. The skipper has so far done a good job and batted well, the other two needs to contribute decently and then let Murali's doosra, Malinga's slanting yorkers and Chaminda's drifters do the rest.

    Australia has proved their might and so far they are unbeatable in this WC. But, all Sri Lanka needs to do is play one game, just one game, and they will be through. Whether they win this WC or not, they have proved to the rest of the world that they are the second best team in the tournament. I am glad to see the team with the chokers tag were humiliated as usual and could not reach the final of any WC since they are participating. I only wish this last match to be a nail biting thriller rather than a one sided cake walk. Sri Lanka must bring Australia's stratagem to naught and that will be the magical music of Baila. Viva Lanka!

  • rext on April 29, 2007, 5:41 GMT

    So the final has been played, another worthy contender but ultimate pretender crushed, and your inferiority complex, racist based nonsense and resentment of the success of others has been exposed for what it is! You got your wish as there was plenty of true "magic" on display but it was the magic that comes only after hard work and discipline as Adam Gilchrist showed us all. Australian cricket, and culture, is based on unity of purpose, accepting and responding to reality, planning and determination, not the wishful thinking, fairytales, fantasy, self deception and superstition that pervades and paralyzes so many Nations in a social, economic, cultural and thus cricketing sense. But neither yourself nor many of your child-like respondents should feel too embarrassed, because once more you fell naively into the trap of letting your desires rule reality. Magic in any area of life is the result of talent and hard work not a substitute for it!!!One should first define success and it's elements and then truthfully acknowledge where one falls short, not simply resort to resentment of those who have achieved what you cannot! Your resorting to farcical notions such as Qadir better than Warne, or Akram better than McGrath, in complete denial of the facts displays an attitude unfortunately shared by many of your respondents and shows clearly why your cricket will always have potential, and nothing more! But more than that, it's sad that when the World so desperately needs unity and understanding that so much racism is directed towards non Asians through your blogs and comments (and I assure you such comments are not made in non Asian press or blogs) and I sincerely urge you and your readers not to descend to those depths simply to soothe your entrenched feelings of frustration, disappointment and resentment!

  • Stu on April 29, 2007, 5:05 GMT

    I guess a magic performance was what won the World Cup after all. It just happened to come from an Australian, rather than a Sri Lankan. (And I'm sure you'll probably get another chance to whinge about Australia in a couple of years time.)

  • Sameer A Malik, Michigan, USA on April 29, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Nice topic but you tried to cover too many topics in that little message anyways it was well quoted.

    So, Australia wins again, they are truly dominating the cricket world and i dont see there downfall in near future. When i saw the final being reduced due to rain, it tilted more into Australia's favor as Sri Lanka lack the big hitting options, we might have seen a slightly better encounter provided the match being 50 overs a side but that didn't happen and Australia passed the barrier rather easily and comprehensively too.

    Talking about the format of the tournament Pakistan and India had one bad game each and they were out of it (Another 4 years wait starts again), according to the format no matter bad or good, both these teams deserved to be out of it but it not only affected these teams and nations badly but also affected the whole world cup, Super 8's became a mere formality and there was absolutely no fight for getting into semi finals a mediocre team like New Zealand easily reached semi finals and on top of that we witnessed a bunch of one sided and wasted games whom results could never leave any impact on the world cup. Some serious discussions and planning is required for the next world cup.

    And yes, some people are using this blog for flirting purposes and some people are attacking each other's personalities, i mean thats ridiculous, as most of people on this blog are Pakistanis not living in Pakistan, we are provided a platform to share our views so we should not misuse it.

  • Troy on April 29, 2007, 2:28 GMT

    Well i guess magic doesnt make up for pure class and talent, and the less we mention the absurb ending the better. Aussie Aussie Aussie OI OI OI!!!

  • waj on April 29, 2007, 2:03 GMT

    AUSTRALIAN TEAM=TOTAL DOMINANCE,Of course I doubt they can pull this kind of World Cup off in 2011 cause' most of their big players would probably be retired by then.

  • Imran Iqbal on April 29, 2007, 1:10 GMT

    I just read Shoib Malik's comments about targetting next WC, which in my opinion is too early to talk about. One must have vision but it's not the right time to talk about it. You have not yet started. Instead of talking big pay attention to basics, professionalism, teamwork and game itself. Focus on your game pal and enjoy it. Don't try to put yourself under poressure from the get go. Let your game speak for itself like Aussies. We (fans) can only hope for the best and wish you all the best.

  • Sam Davison on April 29, 2007, 1:04 GMT

    Congratulations to Australia on winning a record 3rd World Cup!!! A truly amazing achievement and surely they are the best ODI side to have ever played. No doubt Kamran Abbasi will find a way to make some sort of snide remarks about the victory but nothing can change the fact that it was an incredible achievement. It is just a little sad that instead of being able to praise Australia when they deserve it he continually has to resort to petulant detours. When Shane Warne retired Abbasi ran a piece claiming Qadir was better. When McGrath was retiring he ran a piece saying 'remember Wasim'. Of course Qadir and Wasim were champions Kamran, but your inability to be gracious in the moment of pride for Australia is undiginified and portrays you not as a quality cricket-writer, but just another partisan punter who has found his way on to the Cricinfo staff. Get a life...

  • Imran Iqbal on April 29, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    No team can beat Australia when as long as they play to their potential. That's the message they sent out in this WC. They are atleast 10 times ahead of best of the rest. Ponting is not only the great batsman but also the best captain in cricket history. Other teams must learn from Aussie professionalism rather than hiring Aussie coach(es) and pinning all the hopes on him.

  • khansahab on April 29, 2007, 0:57 GMT

    Mr Javed A Khan from Montreal, Canada, Thanks for calling me a “decent person” in your previous post although I am somewhat curious as to why I deserve the accolade? I may be decent but you are the King of this blog. You said you prefer criticism to flattery; I garnish you with both. However, lately I have noticed that your comments are lacking reason and penetration. They don’t seem to be coming from an unusually learned or seasoned man anymore. The average length of your posts has also decreased. I wonder why? You have received considerable criticism from Kiran madam’s supporters lately and maybe you’ve taken it to the heart?

    You mentioned that I complain about Pay&Do dominance in the team but I really don’t want to discuss politics again. I don’t mind that dominance unless there is direct or indirect discrimination against Urdu Speakers or Pathans. I have already stated that by choosing Malik PCB have incorporated the “best of the bad lot”. You made a rather bland remark that Afridi has “better record in terms of performance.” I have repeatedly insisted that the opposite is true. I don’t think Malik will prove to be a world class captain, but I would choose him over Afridi any day of the week. When I look at these two individuals I don’t care who the Pathan is and who is the Pay&Do. They were both captaincy candidates and Afridi (I’m sorry to say) is dumber of the two. Owing to the Pay&Do background I know Malik is a potential Tableeghi, but Afridi seems to have the Tableeghi mindset as well.

    The way Gilchrist batted made it look like Australia would end up winning. The Aussie dominance is not good for cricket. I am shocked by the ICC and how it wants to change the face of the game. Cricket should remain cricket and should not turn into baseball. Twenty20 is a money-maker and will continue to make money but Twenty20 should only be played once every four years or so. The seeds of cricket’s destruction were sown when this concept of Powerplays etc was implemented. They say “if it aint broke don’t fix it” and I don’t see what was so wrong with the old rules. My father is an avid follower of cricket and yet he gets confused about the Powerplay system. We had that horrible Supersub concept which thankfully has been relinquished. Part of the problem is that cricket is not as popular as other sports in the UK and New Zealand. The ICC wants to make cricket more exciting for these countries and I think that is one of the reasons why cricket is becoming a “slogging and sledging” game. Since teams in the Subcontinent don’t mind this “slogging and sledging” system because the way grass roots cricket is played in these countries, slogging is usually the norm anyway, so we might well see cricket being turned into something like baseball in the next 10-15 years. This would mean that countries like USA become more interested in the game which would be excellent in terms of money-making. It is a pity that you need to change the roots of a game in order to make it more appealing to a segment of the world. This applies to USA but also to UK and New Zealand where cricket is dying in the schools and academies. I am not an expert on West Indian weather but I think being a tropical climate, you would expect it to be a rainy region all the year round. However I think the winters would be less troublesome and also mild in terms of temperature. Why could this WC not be planned for the winter if it was necessary to arrange it in West Indies? The matches being shortened or cancelled because of rain was a plain farce. Only a minority of matches were thrilling to watch for a neutral observer. Australia bulldozed their way through. Pakistan and India played like sissies and were thrashed. I agree with Mr Wasim Saqib insofar the tournament being a satisfying one for NZ and SL fans. I don’t think we’d like to have another WC though where so many matches are affected by the rain and are one-sided contests. I think SL were outclassed and perhaps they did their best. At least they showed some spirit when Jayasuria and Sangakarra were batting, unlike the “sissy” way our shameless and pathetic batsmen batted. I can’t believe Kamran Akmal is involved in the current training camp. I can’t ever forgive him for playing that stupid shot he played vs Ireland which led to his dismissal.

  • beijomacio on April 29, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    The momenets belong to Sri Lanka? What are you huffin', dude? Honestly the bias of sub continental mentality against the rest of the world is staggering. If anything, the moments belong to Ireland for their dumping of a lazy, bloated Pakistani team from the comp and Bangladesh for their annhilation of arrogant, underachieving India. And to Australia for owning the tournament since day 1. Sri Lanka get nothing but a cheque for turning up.

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on April 29, 2007, 0:43 GMT

    Death of Cricket 28 April, 2007

  • M on April 29, 2007, 0:20 GMT

    Well its all been played out now, but I think its ironic casting the Sri Lankans as as freedom fighters against an oppressive Australia. Cricinfo has frequently documented the dominance the sub continent, with its massive audience, has dominated cricket administration. Tours riddled with cash-cow events, bullying members off the international umpires group, all the while mismanaging their local games to the point of scandal all just highlight the fact that it is the game that is the underdog. Every time a team, like Australia but it could be anyone, wins a series through skill and quality of play it is a blow against those forces that want to own and sell cricket off by the pound without a single thought for quality. THEY are the source of this mythical romantic notion that you are attributing to SL. if you REALLY favoured the underdog, the romantic ending, the magic finish, you would have supported Bangladesh or ireland but instead they get spat on as tainting the series or hijacking places in the final from more deserving nations. You cant have it both ways. Either the better team wins, or the better selling story wins. Sport or marketing. Thank god sport won.

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 28, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    Well as expected Australia have won their third WC in a row,they were the best team in the tournament all along, however Srilanka put up a valiant fight,their bowlers however bowled to one single line and became too predictable,the pitch was not helpful at all however if the srilankans had varied their line and bowled occasional short of length balls they would have been more sucessful. But Australians defended their title with swagger and style,they elevated their game when it counted the most,thats the strongest attribute of this Australian team they can always raise their game to another level,they are fearless in their approach,the bigger the match the better is their response,no other team in International Cricket have these attributes,currently their is a huge gap between Australia and the rest of the teams and the Aussies are going to rule the cricket world for quite some time.

  • Arshad Kazmi on April 28, 2007, 22:59 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS TO AUSTRALIA FOR A WORLD CUP HAT TRICK

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 28, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Finally the WC has come to an end after 47 days of madness in the Caribbean. But, not without a few more comedy of errors. First, the final was spoiled by the rain, then the confusion over D/L method and then the bad light which was offered to the SL players and they accepted it, followed by a brief OZ celebration. Then the decision to play the remaining three overs the next day! Which is really absurd and stupid. The match restarted and ended in a farcical manner. Anyways, had the 50 overs been played the result might have been different. The IF's and But's theories will continue but, the current Australian team is insurmountable and invincible. They have completed a world cup winning hat trick and what a co-incidence that each time they won they had to play against a team from the sub-continent. Even if they had lost this one game they would have still remained the number one team in the world.

    khansahab; the comparison avec Vaughn was based "only" on the ODI performances and I still hold my view as correct. As regards the captaincy job you never know the capability of the other person until and unless he is made a captain. Secondly, we were talking about who else is available for the captain's role in the Pakistan team? If you think the one who has been named as the captain is more suitable for the job, then wait for a while, only time will tell whether it was a good decision or not. Besides, you are the one complaining more about the Punjabi dominance in the team and not me. I would like to see a Pakistan team and not just a Punjabi or a Pathan team. I wrote in one of my previous posts that, "one is an angry Pathan and the other is an arrogant Punjabi." And on the domestic circuit the Pathan has a better record of leading the team. Also, he has better record in terms of performance. Once again the selectors have proved "your point" that they prefer the Punjabi dominance in the team. Therefore, if you are happy with Malik's appointment then stop complaining.

    Here is something for a Desperate Housewife who needs big time attention. In her seven lines post she mentioned my name four times! Wow, what a desperado, come on bibi stop worshiping me. It seems like when you are ignored you get more frustrated and your obsession seems to be growing bigger by the day. I must quote this Faiz Ahmad Faiz's verse, which is very apt for you.

    wo baat saaray fasanay may jis ka ziker na tha wo baat un ko bohat naagwaar guzri hai

    And a big LOL for getting pally with Kamran Abbassi and calling him Kami ahahaha, bibi stop this flirting and pungay baazi based on the notion of Kuch nahee hai to adavat hee sahee it will make you more obsessed and more frustrated. Take a chill pill and stop watching TV soap operas.

  • Scott on April 28, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Power and precision wins again! Go Aussies! 3 in a Row!

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 28, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Javed A Khan- The world cup has been exciting not only for Bangalis or the Irish but it has been exciting for SriLanka, Australia and Newzealand also,I agree with you on South Africa,and also agree that the match between England and WI was pretty exciting but what about the rest of the matches,WI entered the tournament as one of the favorites but failed to live up to the expectations of millions of fans and the Cricket they played was exteremly dull and disappointing. Pakistan and India because of their performance in the WC not only disappointed the fans all over the world,but also created financial Problems for their own boards and ICC, it will be hard for these teams to get the same amount of match fees, and their sponsorship revenues will also decline. I strongly believe that their should be no Guaranteed spots for any teams as you suggested, there is no precedence for it in any sport,however I think if we have only two Pools instead of having four pools we will still be able to see some matches between the heavy weights,and the minnows will be tested throughly before they progress into the second round. The only thing we can protest with ICC is for the Playing conditions.The pitches we have been getting lately in ICC tournaments are not consistent with the pitches other teams are getting and this clearly shows discrimination and bias on part of ICC.

  • iron LION zion on April 28, 2007, 22:13 GMT

    it is 3.30 a.m in colombo. And any dream of winning the world cup went out of the window. However,while the cricketers were having their moments on the field, in Barbados, Sri Lanka was having a nightmare of a moment of their own. An alleged terorist air attack ,to the city of Colombo took the mind away from cricket of all the fans .

    It is a sad thing to happen. but i guess life is full of unexpected things.

    But i agree with the comment that "the moments belong to Sri Lanka". It is indeed the truth ,not just limited to the players but the fans as well.

    We are proud of our players. You guys did very well to be where you are today.Have a safe flight home. We will be there to welcome you.

    Long Live Srl Lanka Cricket.

  • calgary highlander on April 28, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    SriLanka wallop the Aussis and then Pakistans absolutley slaughter SriLanka in AbuDhabi and gain tons of confidence in themselves and their captain after having beaten the WC CHAMPIONS. Great stuff is coming in the future for Pakistani cricket.

  • Shocked! on April 28, 2007, 19:04 GMT

    Watching the Cup final I thought I'd check this blog for the first time since the sour grapes of 'McGrath had an okay career'. And what do I find? More anti-"white man" (and I do find it hard to believe that I that particular phrase on a 'respectible' forum in the 21st century) garbage. They're magic because they're Asian? They're magic because Australians sledge and sub-continent countries don't. They're magic because Australian money is ruining world cricket. Anyone who holds this view in particular needs to take a long, cold shower and then spend some time in the room of mirrors. When 'Australian' money has a death count, maybe then you might have a chance to feel morally superior. Maybe.

    As for magic from the Sri Lankans...well I guesss there was Muralitharan and Vaas' vanishing act from the last time they were supposed to play Australia. But then Australia has seen that particular trick from Muttiah so many times now, every time his team are due to play against the best team in their home country, for example.

    Not a lot of magic in watching a couple of spinners ping the ball in at the batsmans legs either. I just saw Aleem Dar make an Australian run disappear! Fantastic.

    Congratulations to those who have been able to keep a level head with their responses here. And congratulations to those who have been so over the top that they gave me a good laugh, especially those who manage to somehow twist the occassion into another opportunity to wish the long retired Shane Warne would come back and play for their country.

  • shahzad on April 28, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    I cross my fingers for Sri Lanka. I do not care the extreme pain and lack of sportsman spirit of Caro who wrote the first comment of this bolg.

  • Ranil on April 28, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    Caro,

    the way Aussies are being bashed here is just similar to Amnesty International and the Western Media bashing the SLn government.

    In the Australia - Sri Lanka context it is populist to support the Sri Lankans from many "neutral's" point of view. And similarly it is populist to bash the Sri Lankan government just like the AI did. And it is not populist to criticize LTTE murder machine that kill the very people they claim to liberate - the Tamils. If AI is not populist and is genuinely concerned about human rights, they can go around Tamil Tigre organized sports festivals (where cricket is also being played) in Europe and other parts of the world and distribute a similar ball, "Prabakaran, play by the rules". And try to get the media attention.

  • Gugu on April 28, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    I choose magic :)

  • khansahab on April 28, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    My heart says Sri Lanka, my mind says Australia. I know SL have the potential to beat Australia, but Aussies perform the best in big games. Such is their mental strength. It would be nice for SL to be crowned world champions though. The Aussie domination makes international cricket appear lacklustre. We need more competition. After Pakistan and England were ousted, I was supporting New Zealand as I would have liked Australia’s little brothers giving Aussies a taste of their own medicine.

    Coming towards Pakistan cricket, Inzi has expressed his desire to play county and domestic cricket in order to impress the selectors for Pakistan’s Test squad. I think Pakistan still requires Inzi’s services as an anchoring batsman, but I don’t like Inzi’s attitude. I think all he is vying for now is to break Miandad’s record of most Test runs scored for Pakistan. What other motivation can be there for someone who has been disgraced is such a manner and yet wants to continue playing? This shows that Pakistani cricketers only play for themselves and not for their country.

    Shoaib Malik appears enthusiastic about leading Pakistan. When he was asked about whether he has garnered support of the seniors, he responded that Younis and Shoaib Akhtar have offered him their support. Is it a coincidence that the two least likely players to play regularly for Pakistan in ODI’s have expressed their support? What about the views of Afridi, Yousuf and Razzaq (although Razzaq does not deserve to play on merit, the only thing he really deserves is one hell of a long break)?

    I hope the selectors make the wise choice in omitting Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Faisal Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal from the 15 man squad. We must now have a policy of “consistency prevails” which means that these losers should be kicked out. I admit players like Hasan Raza and Misbah-ul-Haq were not impressive when they debuted, but we have to keep in mind that they were played a long time ago and they have been consistent in their domestic performances. In fact Hasan Raza played his last ODI in 1999. It’s funny how it works in Pakistan; continuous consistency is ignored while occasional flamboyance is appreciated.

    Mr Javed A Khan from Montreal, Canada, forgive me for challenging your thoughts but recently you defended your stance on Afridi as captain by stating that Michael Vaughan averages only 27 and yet captains the England side owing to his leadership skills. Perhaps you overlooked a comment I posted not long ago which was addressed to you. I wrote in that comment that firstly, Vaughan at his worst is a more consistent batsman than Afridi. At his best he once topped the batting rankings. Secondly, Vaughan is shrewd. Afridi doesn’t look like a bright bunny to me. Thirdly and most importantly, Vaughan is the calmest person even in times of adversity. Afridi is hot-headed and impulsive and anything but calm and composed. If Afridi had brains he would have refrained from taking disproportionate action on that spectator which resulted in his ban. He should have thought that the WC is looming ahead and he must be at his best behaviour. I have been relieved to see that Afridi has his fair share of critics on this blog and that at least some people are not blinded by his rare and awfully inconsistent razzmatazz. Big deal he captained Karachi Dolphins and made 49 in one match- he could just have easily scored that knock is a less important match or even if he was not captaining because there are no ifs and buts for Afridi. If anyone should be credited with the Dolphins’ success, it should be Fawad Alam who deservedly won the many awards he won that night. Afridi is not a team man and he has done very little for the team’s success. People talk about the times when he has come to bat in a situation where Pakistan need to accelerate the scoring and he has changed the course of the match in one over. I admit there have been such occasions, but only a handful. What I have witnessed countless times however is that he has come to bat where the team needs someone sensible to anchor the team but he has ended up playing a lousy shot and getting caught at mid-off or cover. Yes Afridi has made a name for himself, has benefitted from many endorsements and gives cricket its sex appeal and excitement, but after all the fun is over what really matters is how consistently you have scored and how many matches you have won for your team. If Afridi lived in England or Australia he would have found it difficult to maintain his place even in a club side. It is only in Pakistan where we can consciously look beyond statistics and keep people like Afridi and Razzaq in the team.

  • MANSOOR on April 28, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    HA HA HA . AUSTRALIA WOULD WIN EASILY. INFACT VERY VERY EASILY. ACTUALY THIS IS A LITTLE THING WHICH IS PRESENT IN EVERYONE S HEART . WATCHING THE UNDERDOGS TURNING THE TABLE. BUT IN CASE OF AUSSSIS, IT IS NOT EVEN A REMOTE POSSIBLITIY. NO CHANCE FOR LANKANS.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 28, 2007, 13:45 GMT

    About the format: First, a few words for A R. April 28, 2007 5:08 AM

    A R: There is a saying that; "If you pray for rain, you better leave the house with an umbrella." if one doesn't have that kinda conviction then one shouldn't do anything superficial or do it just for the heck of it. I think there are other ways and things to do in life to kill boredom and monotony. I am sure that when you posted your thoughts you knew that someone will read it and may be someone will respond it too, didn't you?

    I agree with you that may be Malcolm Speed himself doesn't read this blog, but the ICC is a billion dollar industry and they have a PR department, a research department and to get a feed back after an important event they have hosted, they need to keep a track of public opinion and media response especially from cricinfo. IF they don't then they are a bunch of idiots who are there to run a huge organization and don't know what is market research or the value of public opinion which is very important for organizations dealing not only with products but, services. As regards Kamran Abbassi, he does read the posts and even responds occasionally. Just two or three days ago, in the previous thread about the vice captains he responded and even defended his "bonkers idea." Thats one of the reasons Pak Spin is more popular than other blogs.

    I have noticed that after Kamran Abbassi initiates a topic, the other journalists, sports critics and columnists often use the same topic, ideas, thoughts, lines and even the same jargons. (Like some people here are aping my jargons, I am not talking about khansahab - who is a pretty decent person but, there is another pseudonym character called L. Phakir. I dunno if his L stands for "Love-Do"? And whether it stands or not is another issue for the poor Lakir ka Phakir but, he seems to be a "gene-ass" as he can measure his dog's IQ and he came up with a brilliant theory of "braggadogio") Anyways, the last time even Dr. Nasim Ashraf issued a statement in response to Kamran's questioning on this blog about the PCB's hasty decision in appointing a captain, he said: "the PCB will not make hasty decisions." You are right that no one can read all the posts or the whole stuff, but you skim through the blog and if someone is making any sense or trying to get some personal attention you do get to observe it, right?

    As regards the format, imo as per the ICC rankings the first top 6 teams must automatically qualify for the second round if there is one in future and even if they loose the first round, they must be accommodated. There has to be a system to accommodate them, otherwise the WC would loose its charm and interest. Imagine if Australia and SA were out instead of India or Pakistan? Perhaps the Australian Cricket Board would have scalped Malcolm Speed's head.

    SAQIB to a certain extent you are right in saying that apart from India and Pakistan for the rest of the world the WC has been pretty exciting. Yes, for the Irish and Bangladeshi fans definitely they must have been pretty excited. But, the majority of the cricket fans or viewers are Indians and Pakistanis and they are not only in India and Pakistan but, all over the world. So you cannot rule out the feelings of a billion plus people. And I disagree with your views in the penultimate paragraph of your post. I think the match between West Indies and England was one of the best in the tournament. Both teams knew that they are out of the WC and were playing only for pride and it was an excellent thriller and fans of both these teams were pretty satisfied with the performance. The team that always disappoints their fans is South Africa.

    This reminds me of Kamran Abbassi's BMJ article on Javed Miandad's last ball sixer. The South Africans seems to have the same effect on their psyche as the Indians had after the last ball six by Miandad. South Africa have been in exile due to the apartheid movement or whatever for such a long period and when they arrived for the first time in 1992 WC in Australia, they had a very good side on paper and were tipped as potential winners. At that time the Australian team was the weakest ever and this SA paper tigers still failed to qualify for the finals, because their players do not have that temperament for big games or when it matters. If they are labeled as chokers, I think they deserve that tag. This was their 5th attempt and they still could not reach the finals of any of the world cups they have played so far.

  • EAMIRAN on April 28, 2007, 13:37 GMT

    Ausralia is a better team and deserve to win. Regardless of the result, they will continue to be the no. 1 side in the world. The rest are pretenders to the throne.

  • Suntan on April 28, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Go Lankan Lions!!! Cup is yours

  • Dingo on April 28, 2007, 13:08 GMT

    There is no doubt that Ceylon has the most exciting brand of Cricket in the world presently.. Madman Malinga’s 1st over of the semi-finals was the most amazing I have ever seen since the glory days of Lilly and Thomson. Prediction for the final? My money is on Australia, but my cricketing heart will root for Ceylon.

  • chad on April 28, 2007, 12:55 GMT

    go SL. lets hope that sl can wipe the smiles off the faces of those arrogant aussies.

    im not an aussie basher, but isn't this aussie team simply bad/unpopular winners. They have never ever gracious to their opposition. there is no doubt that the current aussie squad are a great cricketing team. But over their reign they have been a blight to the great game of cricket.

    Unfortunately they have never come under real scrutiny because of their winning ways. There is simply a prevalent distasteful culture within this aussie squad.

    They have become bigger than the game itself. The way of the aussie cricketer consists of their constant back chat, their on-field verbal, constant questioning of umpiring decisions and the very un-sportsman like behaviour of their captain.

    don't mistake me for a aussie basher. this current squad has produced some world class cricketers. good luck and the best of luck to the pigeon post-cricket. However nothing would make me happier than to see the aussie embarrassed this evening. They need to be brought back down to planet earth. go sl

  • jassy on April 28, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    To add to ....

    Posted by: WB at April 28, 2007 8:06 AM

    In response to the first response to this post by Caro: The writer of this blog refers to the "charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike" manner of the Sri Lankan cricketers. Not the nation as a whole.

    A look at countries other than those from "which the writers of this sort of rubbish" comes yields apartheid; enslavement and subjugation of a third of the world; mandatory detention for immigrants and the massacre of the aborigine people (Coniston for example). Those are off the top of my head. So sod off and read a book

    I think the last bit should have said sod-off and LEARN to read a book you ignorant moron. Pilger woudl be a good start for you...and he's an Aussie !!!!

  • Anti-Sledger on April 28, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    The Final is amore than a clash of magic versus power...

    It's a clash of cultures in more ways than one... It's a clash of gentlemen versus brawlers, It's a clash of importance in playing well versus win at all costs, It's a clash of sportmanship versus agression, It's a clash of smiles versus curses and swearing,

    It's a clash of spirit in which the game is played and for the sake of the game let's hope that it is that spirit that comes out the victor today.

    Australia can win the next 10 world cups on the trot all they are worth, but their record is but a blemish on the history of the game!

  • Sheharyar Ahmed Siddiqui from Karachiii! on April 28, 2007, 12:46 GMT

    I hope and pray Sri Lanka wins today.

    Would like to comment on the format.

    The worldcup should really start from the super 8s -24 matches 2 semis and a final so thats 27 days and wud be a thriller everyday,hopefully

    A qualifier tournament like the one which is played prior to the football worldcup should be played by the teams to qualify.May be 4 or 6 teams should automatically qualify and the rest should play each other to qualify for the event.

    Even though Pakistan played poorly.No excuses but they had only two poor days and the worldcup was over for them.

    People who have played cricket or atleast know something about it must be understanding enough that anyteam can have two poor days on the field,the bad thing was that Pakistan had them in the worldcup.

    Best of Luck to Sri Lanka!

  • Ramzan on April 28, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    it is true that Aussi's are the best, but we are the only one can upset them. winning the toss, batting first, passing 275-280 will bring us the game 60-70%, then Murali and Vaas will take care of the rest with the help of nightmare Malinga....Go Slanka Go.....most of the cricket world with u....Best of luck

  • Robbert Wolters on April 28, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    what a load of crap. both teams have roughly the same amount of mecurial players in them, and both have had memorable moments in this world cup. if sri lanka are to win, then they simply need to play better than australia. so far no team in this world cup has done that. that makes australia the favourites (and justly so). it makes me smile when other countries are waiting for mcgrath and warne to retire. how about beating australia at their peak? i think most countries are getting the thrashings they deserve!

  • Taraka Perera on April 28, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    SRI LANKA stands for Super Resiliant Invincible Labouring Ability Nettling Knowing Asians! good luck Sri Lanka

  • Sudhir on April 28, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Looking at the performances so far, what makes people dream that Shri Lanka has ny chance ? How they loose will depend upon who wins the toss and who bats first. It is not Gully cricket but world cup final. It is surpriing that no team has been able to give Australia any close fight. They have not lost to Bangladesh or Ireland too... match fixing or not. Does Shri Lanka has a chance. Think from head and not heart and acept the reality.

  • Ajit Singh on April 28, 2007, 11:17 GMT

    Sri Lankans dont deserve to win. Australia has been the better team by far for a very long time. If Sri Lanka win, it will be a freak thing. Sri Lankans are only in the final because India and Pakistan screwed up their own chances, otherwise both teams are 10 times better than Sri Lanka.

  • masc on April 28, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    how disappointing that the majority of the posts reflect some form of racism......

    Back to the cricket, please. It's a game, not life and death, the comments here are much worse than any sledging heard on the field

    I reckon BOTH the Aussies and the Lions have plenty of magic....I hope it is a great game, but please no tie - a bowl off would be the pits!

  • Hilal Suhaib on April 28, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    In Response to: Posted by: Caro at April 27, 2007 11:28 PM

    Caro, Your point further glorifies a Sri Lankan victory. Yes sri Lankan as a 3rd world country has been battling to fight terrorism. A two decade long war will have human rights issues involved. Bravo to you an amnesty for stating the obvious! The australian team lacks and flair and the world is bored of their routine victories against mentally weak opposition. Its like watching the same movie over and over. The lions are here today to change that.

  • Johanne on April 28, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    No doubt, Aussies are the better allround team on recent performances. They deserve to win.

    However, so does Sri Lanka. They have come up the rankings very fast and may well be able to match and even better the Aussies on their day. Let's see if their day is today. They may deserve to win too.

    Either way, cricket is the real winner. May the team that plays better on the day prevail.

    To Posted by: WB at April 28, 2007 8:06 AM

    Well said, Sir ... well said. What can Amnesty International's opinion of their human rights record have to do with how magical, charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike the Sri lankans are? This is about character of sportsmanship, not character of nationhood. Enjoy what's on offer in a sports page as this and leave the politics of prejudice to another forum.

    The British attained to their ascendancy as a maritime power through oppression and subjugation of less materially advanced civilizations. That did not stop these civilizations from admiring and respecting their sport and character of sportsmanship... among other things.

  • Blues fan on April 28, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    Interesting reading the sentiments of some of the writers here. It is dissapointing that in some respect they see it as an Asia vs Australia contest. Time to grow up guys. It's the sort of attitude that cricket can do with out. It's not a racial contest. They are the 2 best teams in the world and this game is perfect for cricket. If Australia wins then so be it. Cricket will not die. I will give you that tip. Rather than complain about 'perfect' Australia, Borrow their techniques, their attitudes,professionalism. It is time to bury the tired arguaments of Asian magic and try to win the bloody game!

  • Takkun on April 28, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    vas: very well said, i agree 100%.

  • aravinda on April 28, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    I guess it's only natural that the underdog will be supported. It's funny when a team does so well that we look for other characteristics to point out such as the sledging and so called poor behaviour. Come on Sri Lankan supporters let's get behind our team but cut the crap about the 'magic'. I'm not too sure what has been wrong with how Australia has got to the final. Let's not celebrate mediocrity. India has turned that into a fine art. Come on SL

  • Shahid on April 28, 2007, 10:13 GMT

    Power !! of course power.

  • Lalith on April 28, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    Re: Caro's comment... Dear Caro, you are in the wrong blog. I think you have to find another blog to present your opinions about human rights. This place is for people to share their views about the Cricket World Cup.

    My heratiest wishes to Mahela and the rest of the team. Well done Sri Lanka, well-deserved to be the winners. You can show people like Caro "how magical, charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike the Sri lankans are". Good luck!

  • Kiran Ahmed - Toronto on April 28, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    Btw Kami...how come you're STILL allowing the Afridi-fanatic Javed Khan on your blog? Didnt you see the report on animal planet? There's a province-wide look out for one Javed.A.Khan who escaped from the Montreal Zoo, just last week. By harboring an escaped monkey from Quebec, you're making the French very angry indeed! Next thing you know, you may end up talking and thinking like Javed Khan! As it is, you're having a hard time after your wild-two-vice-captain theory so the last thing you need at this point is confused thingies like Javed Khan corrupting your mind! Act fast, Kamran...Kuch Karo !

  • srivathsan on April 28, 2007, 9:55 GMT

    I had predicted that the finals will be between australia & srilanka.It was a guess based on the current form of the teams. It has now come true & let us wish SRILANKA all the best.My support to SL is not that they are from sub continent but Australia has been too much dominating & it is not good for the game -so they deserve to lose.I agree with JAVID A KHAN that malcom speed should step down for the rotten shedule the ICC has prepared for this WC.Iam not suggesting this bcos both india & pak are out in the first round.You should not judge a team by just three matches. KAMRAN,you have not mentioned about ur format-you should have given that.My suggestions are as under. A) SUGGESTION 1 PLAY ALL TEAMS AGAINST EACH OTHER & BASED ON THE POINTS SELECT FOUR TEAMS FOR THE SEMI. B)SEMI. SHOULD BE TWO MATCHES EACH AMONG FOUR & TOP TWO WOULD GO TO THE FINALS. SUGGESTION 2 A) FORM ONLY TWO GROUPS SO THAT MORE MATCHES A TEAM CAN PLAY & TOP TWO TEAM OF EACH GROUP WILL GO TO SEMI.REPEAT AS SUGGESTED ABOVE FOR SEMI,& FINALS. SUGGESTION 3 TOP SIX TEAM AS PER ICC RANKING WILL STRAIGHT AWAY GO TO SUPER EIGHT & THE REMAINING TEAMS PLAY FOR THE OTHER TWO SLOTS.THEN SEMI & FINAL AS SUGGESTED IN SUG.1 THIS WOULD BE BETTER BECOS ICC RANKINGS TAKE MATCHES PLAYED ALL OVER & CONSISTANCY DERIVED. Time frame can be reduced by playing matches at different venues simultaneously.This will suit sub continent very well as icc/host . need not worry about collection For fear of elongation iam not suggesting best of three finals but it will be good if feaseable.

  • Kiran Ahmed - Toronto on April 28, 2007, 9:50 GMT

    Both teams are strong. They both deserved their place in the final. Australia, for me, are the favourites because of their mental strength and intensity when on the field. They always look like they are there to win and their attitude is aggressive and succesful. Ponting is definately the best batsman in the world at present, and I really dont mind who wins. Sri Lanka have done well to get here however on paper, I think Australia are definately the better side. Both teams would deserve their win, as a neutral, I hope the best team wins - I dont have any particular preference. All this talk about Sri Lanka winning to stop Australia's dominance is nonsense...firstly a World Cup final will never erase Australia's accomplishments since 1994-95. Secondly, if Australia is so far ahead of everyone else..its not their fault but the fault of all the other cricket boards around the world for not producing players good enough to compete with the Aussies. I like the way the Aussies play cricket..and they deserve all their success. If Sri Lanka win the final, they too would deserve this win because of the manner in which they have been playing, however, they would have a lot of work to do to become the best team in the world, even if they are the ODI World Champions. Here's hoping for a great final.

  • AusBoy on April 28, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    Win or lose...we'll booze... Lanka.lanka..lanka....oi.oi.oi...

  • Aussie fan on April 28, 2007, 9:29 GMT

    Magic to me would be to see Glenn McGrath holding the World Cup high above his head after Australia win, with McGrath taking 4-5 wickets in the last game of his wonderful career. That my friends is Australia's secret weapon in todays final. The Australian team are determined to send their friend and teammate into retirement having won 3 World Cups! That will truly be magic!!!

  • Neutral on April 28, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    Aussies think they are the best, but, rest of the world needs to prove that it is not the case. Sri Lanka single handeldy has taken a great fight against them from about 1995. In the past 4 world cups, Aussies were consectivly in Final, but no one could beat them except SL, and everyone should wish, pray and hope that SL will do its miracle once more. Aussies are too much, they disgrace cricket. They bring their inhuman, uncivilised Footy ways into cricket, the gentlemans game. Neutrals wish for a SL win bcos Aussies are a disgrace to cricket and the mankind. Whole World,,,, lets hope SL Lions deliver things for us! Its the wish of UK, Ind, Pak, SL, West Indies, Bangladesh, NZ. Aussies dont respect anyone bcos of their past, they insult britishes, NZs so hardly, and do the same for Asians, so no difference to anyone. So entire world here is backing Sri Lanka, the honest smiling friendly lions!

  • mohan perera on April 28, 2007, 9:21 GMT

    Best of luck to SRI LANKAN team.They are the most brilliant bunch.They have done the job so far with magic.I love them as they are well mannered.Did u see the Malinga's over to NZ Ross Taylor?He could not read a single delivery.what malinga did?innocent smile to taylor and he enjoyed the moment.what about Andre Nel of RSA?We saw how he reacted to such situations.sri Lankans are bringing decipline to the game.Any tru lover of cricket will never want rubbish or filth from cricket.no matter which country, good cricket will be true pleasure and enjoyment for true cricket lover.We need good cricket.Play the game with the ball and the bat.we love it. Thats why sri lankan team are magic.they play good cricket.they play deciplined cricket.They are calm and cool.It's a pleasure to watch them playing and they kept their country very high on the map.Best wishes to sri lankan team to give us a very good match and to win the cup.

  • MT on April 28, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    I have to admit I 'm getting a bit tired of the "Aussies are brutes, Sri Lanka are magic" comments. Which team indulged in gamesmanship with the bowler stopping in his rup up before the last ball to see whether the batsman would pull away? Which team rested in key bowlers in a match to give it an advantage in the final? These tactics, if Australia had tried them, would no doubt be decried as cheating, but since Sri Lanka is the one doing it, then it is called smart.

  • Imran Zia on April 28, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    Before the World Cup started I had predicted that Sri Lanka would play the final. There is a sense of eagerness and flair about the Lankans and seem destined to take the Cup. Most teams have struggled because they have been overambitious and trying to score too many runs. Australia hasnt had a decent competitive match and this could go against them. I batting first Lankans put 260+ on the board I am sure Aussies will struggle. BEST OF LUCK SRI LANKA!

  • Trevelyan Anthony Vanderhoven on April 28, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    ONE more thing..... SL will win... Hmmmmm.... Jayasuriya 20 or less Tharanga 50 - 75 Sanga 100 + Mahela 50 Chamara 35 Dilshan 45 Arnold 20 Maharoof 20 & 1/50 Murali 3/45 Vaas 2/35 Malinga 2/55

    My bet SL to score 275 + and Aus ALL OUT by the 44th over.

  • Trevelyan Anthony Vanderhoven on April 28, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    Read all comments. As a Sri Lankan and getting ready to watch the match at home having a party with my friends we back up our guys to win. But........ considering the way Australia has played we know its fair and they deserve a win more than us. Can AUS keep the cool and stop sledging. Its not the victory but how its achieved . Let me go now........... and get the BOTTLES ready........ BYE !!!!! GAHALA DHAMU KOLLO... (Lets win BOYS)

  • Aqif on April 28, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    May be it is jealousy but ill definitely opt for magic. All hats off to the australians for attaining perfection in the game, but they seem too "perfect". Correct. As if a computer program programmed to win. Whereas with Sri Lanka, we see them working, huffing, puffing. i'd like to see SriLanka win! I reckon thats better for the game overall!

  • Dinuka on April 28, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    I choose magic, and let's hope our Sri Lankans will win. Australia wins all the time, its so boring. Come on Sri Lankans, the trophy has our name written on it!

  • WB on April 28, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    In response to the first response to this post by Caro: The writer of this blog refers to the "charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike" manner of the Sri Lankan cricketers. Not the nation as a whole.

    A look at countries other than those from "which the writers of this sort of rubbish" comes yields apartheid; enslavement and subjugation of a third of the world; mandatory detention for immigrants and the massacre of the aborigine people (Coniston for example). Those are off the top of my head. So sod off and read a book.

  • Mustafa Chagla on April 28, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    Can you share the world cup format that you think is ideal?

  • DS from NZ on April 28, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    SL team possess no magic. Its all hard work, similar to aussies. Only difference is Aussies got money and technology much more than SL. However SL team has more natural talent and natural talent is much more attractive than mechanical excellence. SL win means we have a hope for cricket's future. Aus win means the game is sold for money and lost forever.

    Go SL you must win this for us, all and for above all for the game of cricket.

  • Tariq Salman Alvi on April 28, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    I would like to see game of cricket as winner and then I will agree with Kamran that we have two different types of teams one with poweplay approach and the other with variety in the bowling as well in batting. Sirilankan win will boost the cricket in Asia where bulk of the population and cricket mad crowed lives with less funds to feed the extraordinary talents available in the region. It is time that ICC should look at the facilities available in Asia which provides them the maximum funds. So these funds should be diverted to these countries to improve the facilities and to provide support by funding the academies, so that art of cricket could flourish. It is a pity that the West Indies team which used to be the King in the seventies and eighties have lost that edge due to internal problems and same goes with Pakistan and Indian cricket talents. I would be interested to see a survey of the cricket loving fans about their favourit team and the reason for their views whether it is divided on the basis of origin or cricketing knowledge.

    The format has to be looked at and changes must be made in future World cups, so that interest of public remains with the cricket.

  • AAAK on April 28, 2007, 7:40 GMT

    have u noticed the past three finalists including this one are all asian and include the Australia, and what has been the result of the last two ,absolute annihalation. the team of pak 1999 was arguably the best team in the tournament. the india team of 2003 was in the form of their lives, i think both those teams were better than the current sri lanka XI and that's why i predict yet another asian anniahlation by the aussies!(i am an asian by the way)

  • Robert on April 28, 2007, 7:31 GMT

    Well don't know if there has been any magic in this world cup. I have watched every game and have failed to see anything that would qualify as a great game.

    Every game that had some meaning to it has been horribly one sided. I guess these things happen. It was the regularity of these things happening that causes concern. Will the final be the same?

    Good luck to Sri Lanka, as said in previous posts I hope someone other than Australia win it. Just to break their strangle hold on cricket. But as you do quite rightly point out who can argue that Australia really are heads and shoulders above the rest.

    If I were to place a bet it would be a lot of money on Australia to win once more.

  • musath nizar on April 28, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    i choos my favorit lions go guys break the record

  • Valavan on April 28, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    the gap is too big. so we want srilanka win. Srilankan win is good for cricket? rubbish asian mind. Aussies didnt become supreme with the help of icc or other orgs. they performed and dethroned WI in 1995. today's game indeed do not dethrone aussie from World Champion. WORLDCUP CHAMPIONS ARE NOT WORLD CHAMPIONS BUT WORLD CHAMPIONS CAN BE WORLDCUP CHAMPIONS. LONG LIVE AUSSIES LEGACY. I wish best of luck to both SL and OZ. I wish mukul and sowmya to learn from kamran bhai to write blogs

  • aravinda on April 28, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    This World Cup is a triumph for sling bowling

  • aravinda on April 28, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    I would love for Sri Lankan to win. How special though is this Australian team. One of the greatest of all time and a jewell of the game. Come on Sri Lanka but my what a great Aussie side

  • Shawry on April 28, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    Yes the moments havew indeed belonged to Sri Lanka, which is why Austrtalia are without shadow of doubt the more deserving team of victory. Sri Lanka have relied on moments of brilliance (Malinga) or moments of opposition implosion (England) to get to this point, whereas Australia has never been headed. Justice would surely be served with an Australian win, rather than a better on the day, or toss of the coin inspired result.

    As for poetic justice for Murali, for justice to be required a crime must be committed. There has been no crime. Yes, an Australian umpire (and crowds, and the Australian Prime Minister, called the throwing, quite rightly as it turned out. Could a player operating outside the laws of the game at the time expect anything less.

    A Sri Lankan victory would serve the game in Sri Lanka, and would be a financial boon for all involved, but it would also serve to disguise the seeming chasm between Australia and the rest of the world.

  • Zain Kazmi on April 28, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    We all could only hope that this final would be different from previous 2 finals.

    Iam not talking about australia's defeat but my point is that we want a thrilling match not 1 sided match which has been a track record of previous 2 finals. 99, pakisatn terribly dismissed on famous 132, and in 2003 against india really nothing to say after "Punters" inning he literally slaughter indian bowlers and match result had been assumed after aussies inning.

    so lets be optimistic that todays final 'd be different from previous and being an asian

    we hope its result 'd different as well...!

  • WASIM SAQIB on April 28, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    The world cup 07 has been too boring and disappointing for the Indian, and Pakistani fans but for the rest of the world it has been pretty exciting, people may have complained about the length of the tournament but other than Pakistan and India hardly anybody else has complained about the format.

    I think if anybody has to be blamed for a boring world cup and for the disappointment of the fans of these two countries, it should be these two teams, who came to play the world cup without any preparation and were expecting to win on the basis of their past reputation.

    When the rest of the teams were working hard to prepare themselves for this prestigious tournament, the players of these countries were busy signing lucrative endorsement deals, the boards of these two countries were guilty of selecting old players who should have retired at least two years before the world cup, these two teams not only betrayed their own fans but their early exit made the super 8 round boring, one-sided and unattractive as the cricket fans around the world had to watch too many one-sided matches, the whole tournament became too predictable and the element of suspense and surprise was completely lost.

    Besides these two teams England and West Indies also disappointed the cricket fans around the world by playing some slow, dull and unattractive cricket.

    However two of the best teams have made up to the finals, I have no favorites, may the best team win and I hope that we get to see an exciting WC final.

  • Muhammad Danish on April 28, 2007, 6:04 GMT

    I support Magic.

    Throughout the world cup only couple of matches were worth watching SIR VS ENG , SIR VS SA. Other matches were all one sided & Borning. May be the new pitches laid on almost all the grounds did effect the circket & most of the matches were one-sided affair.

  • magic on April 28, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    dont think too much. SL is well lubricated to win by 6 wickets and 9 overs to spare.

  • raj on April 28, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    Well written Kamran. Perhaps your best and most objective piece so far. Probably, it having nothing to do with pakistan might be the reason. The groundswell of support for Sri Lanka is heart-warming. It is time that we Asians stood together and put the scheming Western nations in place. Chris Broad of England reports Muralitharan when refereeing Aussie-SL. Previos day, he is spotted chilling out with the Aussie players. Darrel Hair brazenly defies lawas, rules and common sense in his one-eyed hate for the Asians. Yet, the western media and players continue to talk as if they are paragons of virtue and that Asian Boards are to blame. High time, God struck a crucial blow on these "White-men" whose burden it is to cleanse the cricket world,and rid them of their delusions

  • irfan on April 28, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    if aussies win ill admit they are truly the champs, and commend them for thier cricketing skills, and not so much hate them for thier on field behaviour. if srilanka win then well.... hahaa ill have the laugh of a lifetime looking at thier faces just like i did when i saw shane warnes fae when they lost in 94

  • HR on April 28, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    I choose Magic!

  • kamran beg on April 28, 2007, 5:32 GMT

    i am rooting for SL to pull off an upset. it will be a big boost for cricket in the sub-continent which SL is a part of. SL team is a great example of self-less cricketers fighting for one cause - win the cup - unlike their two neighbours - india & pak - full of egotistic, selfish players (case in point Younis Khan - who would not want to captain the national team?) and many others. GO SL - Beat the aussies.

  • Wolverine on April 28, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    What You have said is true that Aussies are a powerful & an awesome side.But in this world there are things that always don't depend on powerfulness. Cricket is a game where luck & magic plays a big part.

    It was the same thing that happened in 96 too. Aussies were the clear favourities at that time but the luck & the magic of the Sri Lankan underdogs helped them in some way for them to win the 96 glory. In that match Aussies did miss some straight forward catches & runout chances where as the Sri Lankans were able to grasp the half chances that came in thier way which made a huge diference. I hope & wish the past of 96 to be repeated today too.

    GO SRI LANKAN LIONS GO!. The whole counrty is waiting to see you guys repeat 96 triumph & bring the ICC Cricket world cup 2007 to Sri Lanka.

    May the blessings of triple gem be with our heroes.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on April 28, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    Dear Kamran Sahib,

    I was just thinking that why Kamran Sahib did not write about the current status of the World Cup 2007 which is at culmination point tonight and whoever wins, will be a big achievement. But you are, no doubt, absolutely right that the Australian is formidable and they have achieved everything which is rare to see in the cricketing arena. They are the team who has not lost anything match since 2003, let us see if Mahela could turn the table today. I was, of the opinion, that Sub continent will emerge victorious whether it is India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka and in other article I have put my weight towards Sri Lankan because they are one of the best prepared team for this World Cup. They have definitely their game plan and that is why they rested Murli and Vaas against the Australian. I think this trump card is going to beneficial for Sri Lankan. I think Sri Lankan have had their best ever combination of Coach and Captain. Both are young and energetic and it is a good lesson for others to gain something. Tom Moody is definitely going to be one of the demanding coach in the new era. He has done wonders with the Sri Lankan Team. His man Management has been excellent. Their dressing room atmosphere is fantastic. They are one of the best charming bunch at the moment and every member of the team is enjoying their cricket and therefore, they are going to lift this World Cup.

    Getting back to ICC format. Kamran Sahib, at least the authorities of ICC have been able to understand that this world cup is one of the boring and time wasting event I have ever seen. The format was absolutely not perfect and it was too long for the audience to watch cricket. Although, the real charm was gone with the exit of India and Pakistan and if they would have been in Super 8, there might have been some enjoyment. The ICC has now understood that India and Pakistan are the two cricket crazy nation and they are the biggest driving force of money. Money matters for ICC and even for Sponsors in India, they are dictating cricket board. In the recent interview Mr. Sharad Pawar has indicated this view.

    Kamran Sahib, pick up your mighty pen once again and write something about the deteriorating condition of the gentleman’s game since cricket has become money milking game. I think this game is loosing its charm because now the cricket lover is very sensible and they have understood this money business. Nobody is against earning money but you can not make money by destroying the game since everything has its limit and it is high time that we should put comma or full stop on this otherwise the indication is not good and we will forget this gentleman’s game – CRICKET.

  • Jack Baldrige on April 28, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    We all love magic. You are correct! Certainly..... the moments must belong to Sri Lanka

  • Shahbaz Faheem on April 28, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    Yes, For the sake of cricket Srilanka should win the cup, they deserve to win. Becoz the gap between Ausralia & the rest of the teams is huge and results are becoming too predictable and this has to be changed for the good of cricket. I would love to see Jayawardhene lifting the cup.

  • A R on April 28, 2007, 5:08 GMT

    As to format, I have my thoughts, and I will share.

    I think the group stage should stay the same, as is. Pakistan and India are the only ones to blame for their losses, to say that they were hijacked is absurd, there was a match, and they lost.

    After the first round you have 8 teams. Form a bracket, and then play best of 3 series through the end. I belive that ads up to

    Group stages

    4*(3+2+1) = 24

    Knockout

    4*3+2*3+3 = 21 (max)

    ==>45, which is a slightly better, while giving the good teams full chance, and giving the minnows full exposure. In addition, each match is extremely meaningful in a best of 3, so people will always be VERY into the matches. I don't know if you guys have watched NBA playoffs, but a Game 7 is always intense.

    Disadvantages: I guess logitistics/preplanning, due to the uncertain nature of number of matches. Also, by luck of draw, might lose possibly heavyweight match ups (like perhaps no India Pakistan) but in the end you will get good matches due to knockout and they will be more exciting because of the best of 3 format. I would thoroughly enjoy it. There is no dead rubber (except for possibly in the group round).

    Just my thoughts, as if Malcolm Speed and company or Kamran reads these posts (except for Javed from Montreal and Euceph).

    -AR

  • sathis nalaka fairly on April 28, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    Head says Australia but my heart says Sri Lanka. Magic of an tiny island can not be stopped only by power. Australians need to show magic to defeat Sri Lanka. But Master Magician belongs to Sri lanka in the form of Muralitharan Go Lions Go Get the Kangaroos Jugular vein. Stop them for good Long live Cricket....!!

  • Rajive on April 28, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    A country wakes up and all turn up the volumes on the radios and turn on their tv screens to catch the latest news on the game all of sri lanka will stay up for but the grand game is twelve more hours away. A country united chants in prayer and plays patriotic songs that makes a person stand still raising goose bumps! SL has already won what they wanted to win as they have played their brand of cricket and have given this long tournament two games that made a sports fans money and time worth against two formiddable sides. Swing, Sling and Spin echoes in a poets work when describing the SL Lions. When Malings turned at the far end of the ground that was eagerly awaiting to see this legend in making charging in like a black and golden haired Lion locking in for its kill. Woosh!! .... Wooosshhh!!! Wooooossshhh!!! followed by wow!!! were the words that came from another legend Michael Holding when the Mali deliveries went passed the blade of Ross whose tail [Tailor] was pretty much down every time that white leather ball went passed its outside edge. Win or Loose Sri Lankan Lions have roared and its echoeing in around the world and Even if the kangaroo is to jump away with a trophie in its belly with a quick hop the Lion will always be a Lion and will be the King in this Jungle of a game! More to come......

  • Faridoon on April 28, 2007, 4:37 GMT

    Well, even after all the shenanigans, the best two teams have made it to the final.

    The format was too long definitely. There shouldn't really be two group stages, thats absurd. Why not just follow the FIFA format. Have one group stage and then move to knock-outs; Last 16, quarters, semis and then a final. The last few games of the super 8 were so horribly meaningless, and then the two semis on two consecutive days were over in a flash!!

    I, for one, will not pick favorites even though I know that if you're not Australian you're probably routing for a Lanka win. But, whoever wins will deserve it. I only hope that its better contested then the semis.

    Good Luck to Australia and Sri Lanka.

  • Target on April 28, 2007, 4:37 GMT

    I choose magic as well. It's time for a change, for a better change!

  • vas on April 28, 2007, 4:33 GMT

    What magic are ppl so inspired about Sri Lanka? Honestly?

    While I understand neutrals supporting SL due to the mere fact of an another team triumphing, the media coverage of the WC Final in the last few days has been nothing short of a smear campaign trying to put Australia down. Exactly what magic do SL possess that Australia don't? Is it a slinger? That can't be it, as we have Shaun Tait. Is it a special spinner? That could be, tho Brad Hogg certainly is no mug. Is it a mercurial wicketkeeper-batsman? Sangakkara and Gilchrist are on par with each other in my opinion.

    Is it a smart left arm paceman? Can't be, as Bracken and Vaas match up pretty well. Or is it as a fielding unit, where most will argue that Australia is still superior to SL despite the latter's massive improvement of the last decade.

    So where does the magic exactly lie? Or are ppl emphasising SL's magic as a way to compensate the fact they fall exceedingly short of Australia in the power stakes? That's got to be it.

    Or is it in the sledging stakes? If ppl think that the Sri Lankans are a bunch of wordless saints, then let me destroy ur miserable dream right now. Sangakkara is as good an orator as they come, and players of yore (Ranatunga, De Silva) never did shy away from a word or two. SL give as good as they get, so its naive to target sledging and mental tactics as a quintessential Australian trait.

    Ppl have to detach themselves from demonising the Australian cricket team as a way to support the underdog. While it could be refreshing to see us lose tonight, for too long have the narrow minded ppl (esp in the subcontinent) failed to appreciate the skill and professionalism of Australia. They play with every bit of flair and exuberance that SL do, just with a bit more consistency. On that note, justice would state Australia should win tonight. That said, SL are an attractive team to watch and would be popular champions.

    But please, support your team without denigrating the achievements of others. Both have appealing cases to be champions, albeit for different reasons.

  • ARUNA GUNARATHNE on April 28, 2007, 3:54 GMT

    This time ASIA Vs Australia match is tend to us to show Asians strength. Sri Lanka is the member for asia to do this chanlenge. Sri Lankans will win world cup 2007 and all Asians support to that.

  • guymed from NYC on April 28, 2007, 3:48 GMT

    Every 1 is supporting Sri lanka other than Australians. I think Sri Lanka has what other Asians Lacked (PAk in 92 and INDIA 2003), They are more disciplined and They always put up a fight....Good luck to them..

  • Sriram on April 28, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    What a mouth watering Prospect this is. I hope Sri Lanka manage to steer clear of shark ridden aussie waters.

  • sunn on April 28, 2007, 3:40 GMT

    srilanka is tournament favorite and everyone wants sl to win but reality aussies are far better team than us.sl have much expieriences and hunger for the win that counts most.good luck sl even win or loose you are our heros

  • AMIN S. on April 28, 2007, 3:38 GMT

    Agreed with the format you suggested. This WC did not prove as good as it was expected for many reasons. I hope the next WC will be well planned. I still do not understand who were responsible (ICC or ground staff) for the green track provided in the PAK/IRE match. The ICC leadership needs changes. I am glad SA loose the semi final. They were overconfidence and too proudy so they deserve the defeat. I respect the Australian team for their wonderful playing ability but I wish Sri Landa to won the WC and keep Asian representation on top. Even if they loose, they are (SL) still the Champions by their excellent performance. Both Australia and Sri Lanka deserve to be in the final and whichever team wins or loose they both are champions by their standard. Thank you Mr. Abbasi for this informative column.

  • MN on April 28, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Kamran, just once I would like to read your article and not finish it having to sit through your anti-Australian sentiment. Please, just acknowledge that Australia, as has been thoroughly demonstrated throughout this event, are the best team in the world, and are, in leaps and bounds, the most deserving team to hold the world cup aloft.

    If Sri Lanka do win this thing, please, by all means, throw these comments back in my face, but don't deny the Aussies of the respect they have worked so wonderfully hard to earn.

    I, like everyone else, am certainly hoping for a close contest. But I would not at all be disappointed if it was a walk over, because it would accurately reflect the place that the respective teams are at.

    For now, I'm going to make some coffee and tape my sleep-deprived eyelids open, as we all wait for the greatest spectacle in cricket. Good luck to both teams.

  • Kabir, LosAngeles on April 28, 2007, 3:05 GMT

    I believe "tomorrow" belongs to SriLanka. Yes Australia is unbeaten and formidable opponent. But I believe this cup is belongs to Lankans. I agree if Srilanka can win the toss and bat first and put around 260 or 270 on the board, they will be in good shape.More over we are all tierd of too much of Australia.Lets get behind SriLanka. " GO LANKA GO"

  • Omer Admani on April 28, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    it should really be reason or magic, or scientists or tricksters. I pick magic.

  • Pratik on April 28, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    I would support the Lankans too. But, but, but ... with the sort of form Aussies have been in, I can almost see Ponting lift the cup. But then, so many of my predictions have gone wrong this world cup... Hope I am wrong this time too. :)

  • waj on April 28, 2007, 2:29 GMT

    I agree, anybody other than a Australian will be rooting for Sri Lanka who was also the last team to win the World Cup not named Australia. If Australia do win though i truly believe that the Australian side we have unfortunately witnessed for the last three World Cups are the best team collectively to ever play the game of cricket. Afterall they are on the verge of building a cricket dynasty here.

  • Ashaq on April 28, 2007, 2:17 GMT

    True without the Sri Lankans this tournament would be as exciting as watching paint dry.The Icc got this whole format wrong big time.The way they out priced the locals from the live games ,was criminal,Greed is a dangerous thing.

    Javed.A.Khan. My my my I have definitely hit a raw nerve have'nt I.I take it all back It dont look like you ever had the RHYTHM or the RHYME. Well My 'Brudda' it was not I who made a marriage proposal on a cricket blog. After the firm rebuttal You stated that I am looking "for someone with more finesse", I think that even EENIE,MEENIE,MINEY and MOE would consider that to be a pretty lame excuse.

    I feel for you my Brudda still looking for someone at your age.Dont lose hope Bro all is not lost. Javed Bhai maybe its time you got rid of that Blue Blazer and the old school tie it just aint cool.Being able to quote Shakespeare may have been Hip back in the day,but in the 21st century its makes one look a little nerdy my dear ole chap.So may be you should go down to the HOOD and learn how to be cool from the Bruddas out there.Get some new threads and wear plenty of Bling,bling hopefully that will bring you some success,and you wont need to serenade yourself to sleep by listening to Elvis Presleys tune "Are you feeling Lonesome":}

  • acd on April 28, 2007, 2:12 GMT

    yeah i choose magic too..murali shut those jealous aussies... the whole world knw u r better than shane warne they have to accept it now

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on April 28, 2007, 2:09 GMT

    Thank goodness finally we are discussing about the World Cup on this blog. A few days ago, in one of the previous threads, I wrote about the current WC debacle and demanded Malcolm Speed & Co.'s resignation not only due to the financial losses that incurred 'coz of the ICC's serendipities and stupidities but, also for the horrendous format in which the teams were grouped. And, my point that in 1992, if the same format was used then Pakistan may not have reached the second round i.e., IF there was any second round!

    Now Malcolm Speed is forced to admit the mistakes and fallacies after Ali Bachar, Ken Gordon and the whole world is talking about the financial losses and debts arising from the WC. Its a shame that the ICC, especially Speedy Gonzales is trying to sugar coat the problem by saying the format was too long. Thats all ! There is no mention of 'disgustipatingly' pathetic poor planning, or a word about the serious lapse in security which resulted in the Bob-ul-Omar Tragic Chapter and about the one sided matches with no interest in the tournament, neither from the viewers or the spectators. A simple sorry should have sufficed the issue instead of saying the format was too long. What a load of cow manure, is he from the Royal Family of the Great Britain that he cannot say sorry? Just like the Queen went to Jallianwala Bagh in 1997 almost 78 years after the massacre, stayed silent and did not open her "Royal Bootha" to say sorry!

    Back to the WC, after the one sided semi-finals the WC has reached its climax and I hope Sri Lanka plays just one game. All they need is Jayasuriya, Sangakara and Jayawardene to play Baila the Sri Lankan music. The skipper has so far done a good job and batted well, the other two needs to contribute decently and then let Murali's doosra, Malinga's slanting yorkers and Chaminda's drifters do the rest.

    Australia has proved their might and so far they are unbeatable in this WC. But, all Sri Lanka needs to do is play one game, just one game, and they will be through. Whether they win this WC or not, they have proved to the rest of the world that they are the second best team in the tournament. I am glad to see the team with the chokers tag were humiliated as usual and could not reach the final of any WC since they are participating. I only wish this last match to be a nail biting thriller rather than a one sided cake walk. Sri Lanka must bring Australia's stratagem to naught and that will be the magical music of Baila. Viva Lanka!

  • Ravi from OZ on April 28, 2007, 2:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka has the magic & Australia has the magic formula.

    I reckon it's Australia (Nothing is left to chance with Australians).

    By 2011, there'll probably be a coach, trainer, psychologist, dietician etc., etc., FOR EACH player!!!

    Cricket is NOT Cricket anymore. Money/Technology has spoiled this great game.

  • DM on April 28, 2007, 1:51 GMT

    I have abselutely no doubt it is 'magic' that's going to win this match for sri lanka. MAY THE TRIPLE GEM BLESS THE LANKANS

  • slick on April 28, 2007, 1:42 GMT

    oh c'mon mate, you just avoid the blooy facts an cheer the unerog you are four times older then me an i no about life more then you ever woul. THE WORLd CHEERS THE UNDEROG, AN WHEN THE UNEROG GETS TO THE TOP, THE WORL KICKS IT OFF.

    australia are on another leven, another league, another class, another level where they look down at hte cricketing world. do yourslef a favour, in your blogs dont talk about only "ifs" ,talk about the facts.

    australia to win again, to win one more time where no west indies team have gone, we will be recogniseD as the greatest cricketing team to even have played the game of cricket.

  • Owen on April 28, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    Yawn...

    Couldn't you have come up with something slightly original? I mean we've seen at least a dozen blogs with the "Australia power, Sri Lanka magic" theme. Surely even the fanatics who actually believe it's that clean cut are getting bored of it.

  • Adrian on April 28, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    You chose correctly Brother !

  • R on April 28, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    go magic!

  • Imran Iqbal on April 28, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    Thank God you chose a neutral topic at last and an apt one. No doubt Australians are the best and it's going to take one hell of effort to dethrone them. But for cricket's interest I wish they be dethroned. If not, at least Sri Lanka give them the fight cricket lovers have been waiting for so long... Go Murali go!

  • ubaid on April 28, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Go aleem dar. and since this is Pak spin. I would also like to congratulate asad rauf on a brilliant WC. He was even better than aleem.

  • Ahmad Raza on April 28, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    I could not agree with you more... I am looking forward to Mahela and Murali kicking Aussie ego out of the park. It would be cool if McGrath had a notable performance in his last match, but I'd like him to be on the losing side.

  • Dawar, believe me or not but facts are true on April 27, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    From last one or two decades cricket become like a professional business. Money is very much involving in the cricket. This is become more business oriented game.

    First time in the history of WC one player stood up against culpirts or mafia and put match fixing allegations on his own country man player.

    At that time most of us thinks he was lying or its a part of politics.

    But later we found this players was true.

    This player almost lost his career after telling the true. But we were not able to abolish this match fixing mafia. Now see in 1999 Pakistan was one of the best team of the world.

    In my opinion it was almost like a Dream Team of Pakistan. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akthar, Saqlain, A Razzak (when he was in good form), Saeed Anwar, Afridi, Inzi, Moin etc were in one team.

    And Pakistan lost against weakest team of that WC, Bangladesh. Pl. note all upset results makes WC interested.

    Now once again, Pakistan lost against weakest team of this World Cup, Ireland.

    SA & India lost against Bangladesh. Ok Bangladesh became little better team now compare to (1999) b4 but still it’s hard to believe they can beat SA outside Bangladesh. Pl. note next match become interested btw SA & England. Situation was like, only the winner qualified for the Semi Final. So we see lot of crowds in the match too.

    why Bob Woolmer has been murdered?

    Mushi speacility was a leg spin bowling and our only leg spin bowler Danish did not play the WC matches.

    why Mushi was the Coach of Pakistan team? He was ban by Justice Qyayyum for any designation with PCB. Who brought him and why?

    what was his role? Who removed Waqar Yonius from the Coach position?

    Answers to the above questions will take you to the truth.

    Cricket become business like .....

    I request to all business oriented players, please do not use name of Islam or ALLAH in your dirty business dealings. Islam is not limited to the beared or Salat. Islam is your complete way of living. how you deal with others? business or non-business, how you provide justice to other?, how you follow right path? etc

    Dawar LA, USA

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Shazad Ali Khan ( Johannesburg, South Africa) on April 27, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    Kamran thank you for putting something nice on the blog compared to the craziest thing you would have ever thought of; the theory of two vice captains last week. Hopefully one day we would hear from you what your thoughts were after getting responses to your two vice captains theory. I fully agree with you(for a change) that the moment belongs to Sri Lanka. They have fought hard for the place where they are today. I wish them the best to bring the cup to subcontinent. VIVA SRI LANKA

  • Steve on April 27, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    does anybody else see the irony in the way Sri lanka is being held up as some sort of freedom fighters against the brutalising tyrants australia? Of Murali gettin his revenge against these oppressors of true cricket? ( an image constantly put out by Cricinfo writers.) When the Sri Lankan coach, who has got them into this winning form again is an AUSTRALIAN? How Murali and the boys must be suffering under this despot!

  • basharat on April 27, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    I am for magic. Let's hope for sri lankan win

  • Caro on April 27, 2007, 23:28 GMT

    Everytime I read some comment about how magical, charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike the Sri lankans are, I can't help but remember Amnesty Internationals opinion of their human rights record. Rather like that of the countires from which the writers of this sort of rubbish, come from.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Caro on April 27, 2007, 23:28 GMT

    Everytime I read some comment about how magical, charming, fun-loving, and sportsmanlike the Sri lankans are, I can't help but remember Amnesty Internationals opinion of their human rights record. Rather like that of the countires from which the writers of this sort of rubbish, come from.

  • basharat on April 27, 2007, 23:34 GMT

    I am for magic. Let's hope for sri lankan win

  • Steve on April 27, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    does anybody else see the irony in the way Sri lanka is being held up as some sort of freedom fighters against the brutalising tyrants australia? Of Murali gettin his revenge against these oppressors of true cricket? ( an image constantly put out by Cricinfo writers.) When the Sri Lankan coach, who has got them into this winning form again is an AUSTRALIAN? How Murali and the boys must be suffering under this despot!

  • Shazad Ali Khan ( Johannesburg, South Africa) on April 27, 2007, 23:47 GMT

    Kamran thank you for putting something nice on the blog compared to the craziest thing you would have ever thought of; the theory of two vice captains last week. Hopefully one day we would hear from you what your thoughts were after getting responses to your two vice captains theory. I fully agree with you(for a change) that the moment belongs to Sri Lanka. They have fought hard for the place where they are today. I wish them the best to bring the cup to subcontinent. VIVA SRI LANKA

  • Dawar, believe me or not but facts are true on April 27, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    From last one or two decades cricket become like a professional business. Money is very much involving in the cricket. This is become more business oriented game.

    First time in the history of WC one player stood up against culpirts or mafia and put match fixing allegations on his own country man player.

    At that time most of us thinks he was lying or its a part of politics.

    But later we found this players was true.

    This player almost lost his career after telling the true. But we were not able to abolish this match fixing mafia. Now see in 1999 Pakistan was one of the best team of the world.

    In my opinion it was almost like a Dream Team of Pakistan. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akthar, Saqlain, A Razzak (when he was in good form), Saeed Anwar, Afridi, Inzi, Moin etc were in one team.

    And Pakistan lost against weakest team of that WC, Bangladesh. Pl. note all upset results makes WC interested.

    Now once again, Pakistan lost against weakest team of this World Cup, Ireland.

    SA & India lost against Bangladesh. Ok Bangladesh became little better team now compare to (1999) b4 but still it’s hard to believe they can beat SA outside Bangladesh. Pl. note next match become interested btw SA & England. Situation was like, only the winner qualified for the Semi Final. So we see lot of crowds in the match too.

    why Bob Woolmer has been murdered?

    Mushi speacility was a leg spin bowling and our only leg spin bowler Danish did not play the WC matches.

    why Mushi was the Coach of Pakistan team? He was ban by Justice Qyayyum for any designation with PCB. Who brought him and why?

    what was his role? Who removed Waqar Yonius from the Coach position?

    Answers to the above questions will take you to the truth.

    Cricket become business like .....

    I request to all business oriented players, please do not use name of Islam or ALLAH in your dirty business dealings. Islam is not limited to the beared or Salat. Islam is your complete way of living. how you deal with others? business or non-business, how you provide justice to other?, how you follow right path? etc

    Dawar LA, USA

    Dawar LA, USA

  • Ahmad Raza on April 28, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    I could not agree with you more... I am looking forward to Mahela and Murali kicking Aussie ego out of the park. It would be cool if McGrath had a notable performance in his last match, but I'd like him to be on the losing side.

  • ubaid on April 28, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Go aleem dar. and since this is Pak spin. I would also like to congratulate asad rauf on a brilliant WC. He was even better than aleem.

  • Imran Iqbal on April 28, 2007, 1:02 GMT

    Thank God you chose a neutral topic at last and an apt one. No doubt Australians are the best and it's going to take one hell of effort to dethrone them. But for cricket's interest I wish they be dethroned. If not, at least Sri Lanka give them the fight cricket lovers have been waiting for so long... Go Murali go!

  • R on April 28, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    go magic!

  • Adrian on April 28, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    You chose correctly Brother !