Friday, 1 April 2011

World Cup Final tomorrow, ECB accreditation applied for

Tomorrow is the ODI big day with the World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka. India have the "home" advantage for the Final and the Sri Lankans will be expecting to face an incredibly partisan crowd in Mumbai (still can't get used to calling Bombay a new name). For me it's a bit of a shame that the match isn't at Eden Gardens in Calcutta where a unique atmosphere exists in front of such massive numbers in attendance. Having said that, I suspect the noise will be ear-splitting.
I picked these two out as my finalists before the tournament began. Australia were clearly not as good as they were, with the official rankings being slightly misleading you would have to say (this is a quirk of any ranking system - Tiger Woods was only recently overhauled in golf, you will recall). I always felt South Africa would revert to type, while England and West Indies lived down to expectations (though England were very much the "stars" of the tournament when it came to entertaining matches). New Zealand, as ever, batted way above their average (if you'll pardon the pun). I always felt that the best ODI team's were Sri Lanka and India, and so it has come to pass.
Sri Lanka have lost Angelo Mathews from the side tomorrow with injury. This is a blow for them, but it's a bigger blow for the player, I'm sure. Mathews has worked incredibly hard to become a part of the side, and it's cruel that he won't be involved in the Final - he has had a good World Cup. There are lingering doubts over Muralitharan, but I think we can safely say he will be playing tomorrow, unless he is taken ill. Any pain he may be feeling from his injury is easily masked by the necessary injections/pills, and there is no way Murali will miss his swansong in the World Cup Final.
It is difficult to pick a winner from the two sides, but I am a sentimentalist and would like to see India win. I believe it would be a travesty were Sachin Tendulkar not to achieve what seems to be his destiny by winning the World Cup, in India, tomorrow. If he scores his 100th international century at the same time it will be one of the great, romantic sports stories.

I have applied today for my 2011 ECB press accreditation in the hope that I will be able to give proper justice to a blog that covers Kent County Cricket Club. I am not sure that my request will be granted, though I live in hope. Wisden 2009 lamented the fact that blog writers were not among those accredited journalists for the 2008 season. I believe that blog writing is becoming more and more popular with cricket followers, and I hope the ECB is willing to move with the times, and give people like me an opportunity to write about the game I love, with the same privileges afforded to "proper" journalists.

You can follow the blog on Twitter - @CricketOpinion.

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