Thursday, May 13, 2010


The finals of the World Twenty20 Championship 2010 will be held at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 16th May - just 3 days away. With the semi finalists confirmed, there are four possible combinations for the final:

1. Australia v England
2. Sri Lanka v Australia
3. Pakistan v Sri Lanka
4. England v Pakistan

All these above combinations have a history attached... all these matches have been played atleast once in the finals of a major tournament in the past. It may not be a rare occasion when all the four combinations have such a history attached... but it isn't too common either. The reason for it not being common is the fact that South Africa often reaches the semi finals, but never the finals!


Apart from the glorious history of Ashes, these two teams have met once in the finals of the Reliance World Cup 1987 held in India and Pakistan. Australia emerged on top in that tournament... Allan Border lifting the trophy in front of the packed Eden Gardens, Kolkata. It has been the most closely contested finals in the history of ODI World Cups till date... a match which will often be remembered as England losing it rather than Australia winning it. English captain Mike Gatting's reverse sweep to his counterpart Allan Border cost them the game... and the trophy!


These teams have faced each other twice in the finals of a major tournament - the Arjuna Ranatunga - led Sri Lanka side came out on top in the Wills World Cup 1996 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore before Ricky Ponting's men conquered a hat trick of World Cup wins in 2007 at the very same Kensington Oval, Barbados where the finals of this tournament are to be held.

The Sri Lankan side of 1996 was a treat to watch because they revolutionalised the way One Day cricket was to be played in future. Ranatunga was a true visionary... and he had the results to show for it.

In 2007, the formidable Australian side gave a fitting farewell to the illustrious career of Glenn McGrath by winning the tournament. As a result, they now hold a formidable record of not having lost a single ODI World Cup match in this century.


These two Asian giants met in the finals of the last World Twenty20 Championship in 2009 in England. Sri Lanka were the form team of the tournament with TM Dilshan playing the best cricket of his life. Pakistan, on the other hand, had upset the other form team, South Africa, in the semis to reach the finals. Eventually, riding on the brilliance of Shahid Afridi, the most charasmatic character of their team, it was to be Pakistan to reach the finishing line at the home of cricket - Lord's, London.

Unexpectedly, the winning captain (Younis Khan) retired from Twenty20 cricket immediately after... as he wanted to leave this form of cricket on a high. Very few in Pakistan have had such fortune.


England were arguably the second best team of the 1992 Benson and Hedges World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand till the finals (New Zealand were arguably the best). Pakistan had just sneaked through into the semi finals, but refused to look back after that. Riding on the impressive captaincy of the old warhorse Imran Khan, Pakistan beat England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to lift the coveted trophy for the first time in their history. Wasim Akram showed on the biggest stage in his career what he was capable of... and he went about his job in a similar manner for the rest of his career. It also brought to an end anothrer glorious career of one of the greatest allrounders of the game, the Pakistan captain Imran Khan.

Which story will be created this time round? Who will be smiling the most on their flight back home?

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