The final that the ICC and particularly the hosts, England and Wales Cricket Board, wanted is here as England take on India in the Champions
Trophy final at the Edgbaston ground in Birmingham. The manner in which India have won everything before them does make them the favourites but England will have the home advantage and so will be quietly confident too.
The weather has been quite unpredictable, as was seen by the second semifinal between Sri Lanka and India. When the teams arrived at the ground it was raining and heavy clouds hung overhead. Just about half an hour before the scheduled start, the clouds lifted, the rains stopped, and with the covers and the fine draining system, there was just a half an hour delay in getting the game underway.
When the first game was played on 6th June, it was bright and sunny and getting quite hot for England, but after a week of this weather, it changed and it not only got cold but the rains also started to pour down and made a mess of some games which had to be reduced and so were not proper fifty over games.
This is unfortunate, for a fifty overs competition should be just that and not a reduced overs contest, for that is not what teams are chosen for. While most countries have a core group which plays in all three formats of the game, just like there are Test match specialists, so also there are fifty overs and T20 specialists, and some T20 specialists wouldn’t have been selected for this fifty overs a side tournament.
The 2019 fifty overs World Cup is going to be held in England around the same time of the year, and hopefully the weather then will be better than what has been seen from the second week of this event.
Just like playing World Cup football in the summer of Qatar gets a lot of people in England worked up, so also the thought of having a fifty overs contest being reduced to a twenty plus overs contest does not go down well with those who have no problems with the weather interruptions in their countries.
The event though has produced some top class cricket and has made a good case for looking at the possibility of keeping it going and not abolishing it which has been the stated intention of the authorities.
It is not surprising that players from England and India are in contention for the week's accolade since they have made a big contribution in getting their teams into the final. The England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is the Ceat international cricketer of the week for his keeping and the catches that he took against South Africa.
Professional Management Group