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Cricket World Cup ends in farce

Cricket World Cup ends in farce

Cricket's World Cup, which had tragedy near the start with the death of a coach, ended in complete disarray on Saturday.
Playing in virtual darkness with nocturnal bats flying around the Kensington Oval, Australian players celebrated victory when it appeared that Sri Lanka's batsmen _ or the umpires _ decided it was too dark to play on in the final.
Such a decision would have given Australia the match and its third World Cup title.
The players jumped for joy and hugged each other. Workers began setting up podiums for victory celebrations and advertising mats on the ground were lifted. Glenn McGrath, playing in his final match, uprooted a stump as a souvenir.
But wait. Something was wrong.
After a 15-minute wait, during which umpires, officials in suits and players mingled on the pitch, it became clear that the match was not over.
The problems started when Barbados decided to produce some decidedly untropical weather on World Cup final day.
As the start time loomed, the rain began to fall and the start of play was delayed for two and three-quarter hours.
The 50-over match was reduced to 38 hours per side, far too many overs, as it transpired, to squeeze in before darkness fell.
Australia scored 281 and Sri Lanka gradually fell behind in the chase. In the meantime, it became darker and darker in cloudy Bridgetown and eventually, apparently at the request of Sri Lanka's batsmen, play stopped and Australia began to celebrate.
Floodlights that had been switched on for post-match celebrations were switched off, just to ensure that players could see absolutely nothing.
After the 15-minute delay, in which darkness finally fell, chaos ensued but eventually the Australian players returned to their fielding positions and three overs were bowled _ painfully slowly to avoid injuring the batsmen _ until the official end of the match.
This took place when 36 overs had been bowled and Sri Lanka had scored 215 for eight, a 53-run loss.
It was a farcical end to a World Cup marred by tragedy and organization disarray.
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer died in his Jamaica hotel room Marcy 18 hours after his team was eliminated. His death is still being investigated as a murder inquiry after an autopsy suggested he had been strangled but police have not yet named any suspects.


Updated : 2021-06-21 15:59 GMT+08:00