I was unable to understand why England was unable to secure a victory against India in the recent Group B World Cup match until I heard the breaking news on TV. Shane Warne’s Twitter prediction, although it reached me late, resolved the whole matter.
Warne wrote on his Twitter account:
warne888 Shane Warne
Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker… My prediction a tie !
Soon after the match ended, Warne tweeted again:
warne888 Shane Warne
Before u think there was something untoward re prediction of a tie, thought it was going to be a cracker-tie was tongue in cheek-but right
Is it a coincidence that a cricketer – who has previously been involved in match-fixing controversies – “predicted” an unusual match outcome which then actually materialised? Let’s not forget that he is still playing in the controversial IPL and has good relationships in the land of bookies.
Predictions in cricket are usually about victory or about a close contest, not about a draw. It is not like soccer or hockey where draws are routine. One day cricket matches rarely result in draws, but this is a different case altogether.
India’s batting collapse
After Sachin Tendulkar’s outstanding innings in this match, no one knows what happened to the strong Indian batting line. Why could it not survive for a complete 50 overs?
To me, the reason is that the Indian batting line-up is over-rated by their media and cannot survive when it needs to; they can only perform well in favourable conditions. The same happened yesterday.
The Indian bowlers hardly fought back. It was strange that they managed to topple the England’s batting line up thanks to Zaheer Khan. Now if it had been Wasim, Waqar, McGrath or Shane Warne, it would have been easier to digest. But Khan is someone who averages around 30 runs per wicket and has never enjoyed the status of being a fast bowler.
Munaf Patel averages 29 runs per wicket and was unable to prevent 14 runs from the tail enders but somehow managed stop two runs on the last ball.
There is a big question mark surrounding Yusuf Pathan’s fumbled save at mid-off and the English batsman not making any attempt of a second run on the last ball.
As someone who has played cricket professionally, I believe there is no cricketer in the world who does not seize the chance to win – even at the cost of his wicket – on the last ball of the match.
A batsman always runs blindly to meet the target, just to take a chance or to confuse the opponent in case there is an expected over-throw or any such miracle.
In my opinion, there is no chance that after the making 338th run, the batsmen are satisfied about leveling scores, especially when winning the game was not difficult. The English batsmen, however, went ahead to congratulate the Indians like nothing had happened.
Was it nerves?
There could be psychological reasons behind England’s inability to defeat India. They were playing in a stadium where the audience was largely pro-India, a crowd that is known to be hostile. Remember the Sri Lanka/India semi final in the 1996 World Cup and Test match between Pakistan and India in 1999 when players had to leave the ground because of rowdy Indian supporters?
But this cannot be the only reason behind England’s astonishing performance; the question is ‘who asked the English batsman not to score a winning run?’
Questions to be answered:
- Will the ICC investigate this match for corruption?
- Will the ICC punish cricketers if they are guilty?
- In the land of bookies, can ICC assure the cricket playing nations that the tournament will remain clean?
- Will the culprits be saved for the “greater good of the game”?