‘Cricket World Cup Final Is a Battle of Two Styles’

Out of the Park is The Wire‘s Cricket World Cup show with the best in the business, veteran sports writer and journalist, Sharda Ugra. She pulls no punches and firmly believes in hitting it out of the park.

Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty

On the eve of the Cricket World Cup final, Sharda Ugra interviewed Australian broadcaster Melinda Farrell. The latter believes that the final will be a clash between “two different styles of playing ODI cricket” – Australia’s “inter generation confidence” of having been five time winners of the World Cup versus the best team of the tournament.

She says Cricket World Cups should not become “small” – referring to the fact that 16 teams competed in 2015, but with only 10 in the current edition, the tournament feels like “Champions Trophy +2”.

Farrell says the World Cup has felt insular as broadcasters are “struggling to find fans from other nations in the crowd” and there is “no world cup vibe” in any of the cities other than at the ground. She says fan parks or events related to the world cup have not been planned, like other world cups she has been to. The broadcaster says she has enjoyed the atmosphere in non-India games the most.

She praised Indian fans for their passion and being “involved and well aware of the history and cricketers from other countries”, which she said does not happen in most other places.

Farrell picked out Indian bowler Mohammed Shami and Kiwi batsman Rachin Ravindra as performers of the event. She praised Ravindra’s “cross-cultural athletic wristiness” and Shami’s “unfailing seam position”.

What will this world cup be remembered for? It all depends on the final, Farrell says. Will the story be that of the Indian juggernaut crushing the rest or Australia re-establishing indefatigability.

First appeared on thewire.in

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