Gifted scriptwriters of now and various eras gone by have had the magical ability to enthral us and take us on an emotional roller coaster in a manner of their choosing. It seems now that sportsmen too can sometimes (unwittingly) beat them at their own game.
What happened at the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Lords Cricket Ground is one such script which could not have been written, even if the best of the lot tried. The finale ended in a tie; the tie breaker ended also ended in a tie! New Zealand scored the same number of runs as England and still lost. Unbelievable!
The match had all the elements of a spectacular production- the drama of the Super over, the insanity of a boundary via an overthrow in last over, a nail-biting ‘almost’ catch, the magic of uncertainty, and the cruel, ultimate fate of a team that still haven’t figured out why they lost. To add to that, there was a subtext of ‘karma.’ A team that made it through to the semi-final owing largely to a fantastic run out by Martin Guptil, eventually lost the championship via a run out of Martin Guptill himself!
New York Times, not known to cover cricket actively, also took note of this miracle and called it what ‘might have been the greatest cricket match ever.’ It was certainly what most would call the ‘best ever game of cricket.’ The Guardian newspaper almost got it right, when they said, ‘and that, ladies, is good night; cricket has nothing left to offer and will now cease to exist as a sport.’
There have been several movies scripted by earnest writers featuring a fictional cricket match, full of melodrama and excitement. The most popular movie of the genre was undoubtedly, ‘Lagaan,’ which was shortlisted for an Academy Award but did not win. The producers of that movie should try making another version seeking ‘inspiration’ from this cricket match. Nothing else is needed- let art imitate life!
Truly fitting that in the land of Shakespeare, a script of play he himself would be proud to write, played out at the final of a Cricket World Cup. Perhaps Shakespeare would have called his masterpiece, ‘The Cup that Runneth Out!’
Coca-Cola is an official sponsor of the ICC Cricket World Cup