It was a thrilling T20 World Cup, surely the best of eight editions, but the final between England and Pakistan could end in a major anti-climax with Melbourne’s notorious weather threatening to intervene with a bang.
With rain wreaking havoc everywhere, especially in Melbourne, it’s almost fitting for the tournament to end with the world of cricket constantly refreshing the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s homepage.
And, right now, the reading is dire with 10-20mm of rain forecast Sunday, including the possibility of a thunderstorm. There is a reserve day for the final on Monday but it doesn’t look much better with 8-15mm of rain forecast although less likely in the evening.
In the worst case, the two teams will share the trophy in case of failure. But the governing body is doing its best to ensure there won’t be any hiccups with tweaks to its murky rules for the final.
“The Technical Committee for the event has increased the reserve day provision of additional playing time to four hours from the original provision of two hours (clause 13.7.3 of the Playing Conditions), in the event that more than time would be needed to complete the game and get a result,” the ICC said in a press release.
But one rule that has not been bent is a minimum of 10 overs per team needed for a result, which is instituted for knockout matches instead of the traditional five overs per team for regular T20 matches.
Despite some speculation on social media, the finale cannot be moved to the nearby Marvel Stadium, which has a roof, for logistical reasons.
The rain playing party poo is tying a knot well on this tournament, which was scheduled just at the start of the Australian cricket season in the spring when the weather is still quite erratic.
With so many games affected – or nearly affected – by the adverse conditions, it added to the drama of the tournament where the stakes were raised for almost every game in a silver lining.
There’s been a lot of upheaval along the way, as the gap between powerful countries and smaller nations has seemingly narrowed into a format that’s a leveler. But at the finish line, the three great countries England/Australia/India again qualified for a World Cup final.
Only twice before in ODI or T20 World Cup history has a final been played without one of these countries – in the 2009 and 2012 T20 World Cups. to stage the ODI and T20 World Cups simultaneously and if The success of their six-year run would be among the great stretches of limited overruns alongside West Indies in the second half of the 1970s and Australia from 1999-2007.
Captain Jos Buttler and Alex Hales’ all-out batting assault in their crushing semi-final victory summed up England’s aggressive approach that took white-ball cricket to new heights and overwhelmed a Conservative India, whose caution ultimately undid them in an uncompromising format for lethargy. .
Pakistan, however, will not be shy. They are in one of those purple spots where they look unbeatable after coming full circle after looking down and away in Perth after losing by one point to Zimbabwe.
At the time, just over two weeks ago but feels like an eternity, captain Babar Azam looked crestfallen in the post-match press conference and even his rallying cry intended to lift his teammates discouraged seemed forced. He felt like he really didn’t believe the words coming out of his mouth.
It seemed that Babar, who was also going through a drought, was distracted by thoughts of a hostile comeback with his ruthless countrymen in defeat. But hopefully, as the results fell unexpectedly, Pakistan made it through to the final and hit a perfect peak after beating New Zealand in a one-sided semi-final.
Even though they are referred to as mercurial as evidenced by this tournament, the Pakistanis still performed well in the T20 World Cup, the ultimate success of which they achieved in 2009.
Their bowling attack, marked by a slew of menacing rapids and dazzling spinner Shadab Khan who could be the player of the tournament if Pakistan cross the line, might just hold the key and they’ll be itching to tear England apart if they do. can. fire Hales and Buttler early.
The return leg of the epic 1992 World Cup decider on the same ground, where then-Pakistan captain Imran Khan cemented his cricketing legacy at its finest hour, turns into a two-team classic high octane that deserve to be the last ones standing.
That’s if Melbourne’s bad weather holds up.