There you have it, the perfect cricket final that anyone (spectators, sponsors, the BCCI, Lalit Modi et al) could have asked for. And what a deserving victory it was! The Royals, the team that was written off by everyone before the tounament even began, sneaked the cup on the final delivery.
How did a seemingly ordinary team (on paper) pull it off, and so comprehensively at that? Was it Warne’s inspirational captaincy that did it? Was it the superb allround performances by Watson, Pathan and Tanvir (to name a few) that tilted the scale in their favour? Was it the fact that the youngsters of the team lived up to the confidence that was shown in them? Was it because Rajasthan had stumbled upon the perfect Twenty20 team combination? Were their cheerleader just better at their job than the others? Maybe it was all that, and a bit of luck on the way, that was the secret of their success.
The tournament helped to unearth some great new talent for the Indians and surprisingly, for the Australians too (remember Shaun Marsh?). It also succeeded in doing something unheard of in Indian cricket – it made domestic cricket profitable. The transfers/purchase of players will add an interesting dimension to the game. Although they could have come up with better couloured caps for the best. I mean, purple and orange? Really?
Now for the obvious question, what does this mean for the 50 overs game? It’s going to be very difficult to sit through 50 ‘slow’ overs after that! Maybe it’s time for Twenty20 to take its place. The fifty over game was created in seventies to make the game more ‘fun’, and it was instantly successful. For more than 38 years, the fifty over format has enthralled the cricket fans. But then along came some wiseguy who noted that nothing interesting really happened between the 15th and 40th overs. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about you! So maybe its time we just did away with those overs and embraced Twenty20 cricket as its successor. I for one see no point in there being two different versions of the smaller format, specially when one of them is so overwhelmingly more exciting than the other. What do you think?