This world Twenty20 held in India was missing a big moment for it to be remembered for long. With so much cricket happening, its unique identity had not come to the fore till the day of the tournament. The moment Carlos Brathwaite hit the fourth six to get his team the victory, the uniqueness was formed.
Not many would have expected the result to go in West Indies favour for two reasons. One, that chasing 19 runs of the last over in a world Twenty 20 final can be an arduous task. And the second, Ben Stokes, the best death bowler that Eoin Morgan could to turn to, has been phenomenal with his death bowling and over the past few months has won the English team matches by bowling in crunch situations. ‘Swing for the moon’ were the words that Carlos remembered from his partner at the other end Marlon Samuels as he took strike. What followed after was scripted, acted, and directed all by Carlos Brathwaite himself. The power, the force and the timing needed a strong man as himself to ensure that the ball sailed over on all four occasions.
We heard the lines repeatedly from both the West Indian skippers Stefanie Taylor and Darren Sammy that they wanted to repeat the feat that what their under-19 team had achieved. The young men won the under 19 world cup just a month prior to this tournament. In a spate of three months West Indies cricketers have earned their place as the real ‘CHAMPIONS’ of the world. They are atop all and will remain there till the next ICC world event takes place.
Stefanie Taylor is yet to complete a decade in international cricket. But she has already become a veteran of world semi-finals (3) and finals (2 including 2016) in both limited overs formats. Australia has stood in their way to the next level thrice. Once in a final in 2013, 50 over format and two semi-finals in Twenty20s in 2012 and 2014.This was their fourth encounter in a mega event. The confidence on the Australian faces was evident. From the moment the national anthems were played, they went about their task in a style. A team which plays a final repeatedly at world events, knows that it is just another game that needs to be won. But this time their bruised opposition was the one who had crossed them over to the finish.
A youngster in Hayley Mathews who batted with no fear of failure stood tall in the historic Eden Gardens. Time hopefully will give her another chance to come back at this venue where she can relive the special moments that may have just breezed past the other day. I did hear that she had tears in her eyes after she got out. The reason being that she was not able to complete her task of playing the winning shot. A youngster with such a temperament, focus and desire to excel is sure to make waves in international sport. She certainly looks a player to watch out for in the near future.
As the well conducted tournament under the hosts BCCI comes to an end, the last over finish to the West Indian win still remains a discussion point. So, if one thought that the discussion may lose its charm, well don’t go far away as the next level of T20 action is about to begin. IPL action starts on April 9. It will be time for these players to hang their champion shirts and national colours and replace them with their franchise colours for the next couple of months of nonstop cricket.
The author is a former captain of Indian women's cricket team and a Padma Shri. She tweets @chopraanjum.