Time for blue to rule

Written by Dipak Mohanty  »  Updated on: July 08th, 2024

Time for blue to rule

Hello Friends,

What an exciting month June has been with action packed sports across the globe throughout the month. Exciting soccer action has been the flavor of the month. Month started with Real Madrid's record breaking 15th European title win when they won UEFA champions league. Soccer action continued through Euro 2024 & Copa America where best teams from the European circuit & Latin America respectively fight for the ultimate glory. In another world breathtaking T20 cricketing action was entertaining the world when 20 teams were fighting for the World T20 title back in the Caribbean & the USA. In the mean time Indian women's cricket team too grabbed some of the headlines earlier in the month when they trounced the South African women 3-0 in an ODI series on home soil. But we will definitely talk about some of the mouth watering stories from the T20 World cup.

In a sense this year's T20 World cup was different in lot of aspects. For the first time 20 teams were competing for the global title for the shortest version of the game. More importantly most of the associate nations gave a tough fight to the big boys of world cricket. For a change most of the matches were low scoring due to the slow & turning pitches. If it was a sigh of relief for the bowlers, not so usual for the spectators who are used to witness hard hitting batting when it comes to T20 cricket. Struggle for top notch test playing nations on slow pitches was yet another prime feature of this edition of global T20 tournament. If watching New Zealand, Pakistan & Sri Lanka failing to cross the group stage was less of a shocker, Australia failing to qualify for the semis from a group consisting of India, Afghanistan & Bangladesh was the biggest turnaround of the tournament. Australia, one of the pre-tournament favourites knocked out of the tournament after inconsistent performances against Afghanistan & India.

Biggest story of the tournament though has been the performance of the USA, the co-host & Afghanistan, the newest giant killers of world cricket. Stories of both the teams had been really inspiring. They have achieved extraordinary success fighting against all odds. Talking about other host West Indies it was a tournament of mixed results for them. Their recent performances have been able to pull crowd to cricket field once again after their failure of not qualifying for last year's 50 overs world cup which is really an encouraging sign for the island nation. On the other hand they are yet so far from their past dominance in the shortest version of the game. Men in blue as usual continued their juggernaut but this time towards the ultimate glory. For a change the perennial under achievers of world cups South Africa could break their knockout matches jinx to enter their first ever world cup final but just to witness yet another heartbreak.

One of the most inspiring stories of this edition of T20 world cup has definitely been the performance of the co-hosts the USA. A team consisting of some seriously talented players & well mentored by a veteran coach like Stuart Law grabbed this opportunity of showcasing their talent at a global stage for the first time. Despite they being the co-hosts with a substantial knowledge of their home conditions nobody really thought that they would be able to go beyond the group stages. But they did that in an emphatic manner. Their super over victory over Pakistan would be remembered as one of the fondest memories in their cricket history. They also gave tough fight to a high flying Indian team. But their lack of experience at the big stage didn't help their cause as they could not compete well enough with teams like England, South Africa & West Indies eventually knocking them out of the tournament.

Despite lack of exposure to international cricket against big teams as well as for the fact that cricket not being the most preferred game in the country this team showed that they are capable of turning this around. Responsibility of ICC in this case is also going to be crucial on how they nurture such teams in long run with respect to opportunities and other logistical support. There have been quite a few associate nation teams that have shown promise in recent past but haven't really got the kind of support they should have from the highest governing body of international cricket. But kudos to the entire team along with the support staff to make it happen despite several odds against them. Time will tell whether we will be able to see more of the USA in international cricket or not, but for now they can absolutely be proud of the way they have performed in this tournament.

Though it was a complete team effort for the results they have achieved in this world cup, one player has definitely drawn the attention of the entire world & that is Saurabh Netravalkar. A Mumbaikar who is a techie by profession has shown the world that if you have the passion & the zeal to put in efforts no goal is difficult for you. His match winning spell against Pakistan including the super over made him an overnight hero. Even his performance against India when he scalped the prized wickets of Virat & Rohit was applauded by one & all. Despite limited opportunities & facilities and more importantly cricket not being his full time profession he showed his calibre at the biggest stage. He has shown lot of maturity in leading a rather inexperienced(At the international level) bowling attack. Talks have already started whether he would be able to draw attention of some of the IPL team owners in the upcoming mega auction. It would be great to see him playing in India. To read more visit https://dipakmohanty.blogspot.com/2024/06/time-for-blue-to-rule.html

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