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Reporter Diary 3: Playing Cricket in England > Covering Cricket in England

Karthik Lakshmanan |July 16, 2019, 9:32 AM IST
Reporter Diary 3: Playing Cricket in England > Covering Cricket in England

Best World Cup or Worst World Cup?

The latter stages of the tournament oscillated between the two. Rain and predictable results threatened to make the remaining two-three weeks of the tournament terribly boring, but fortunately, there was Sri Lanka.

Their victory over England and Pakistan's run changed everything in the latter stages of the tournament. Without them, the two weeks leading to the semifinal would have been long. The drama made life better for all, especially touring journalists who would have struggled to write fresh 'angles' day in day out.

Sorry about the jinxes...

I interviewed Afghanistan's Hamid Hassan before their game against India. He played only one match after that, bowling just two overs and walking off with an injury.

I wrote about KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar needing to convert starts. Rahul got a duck the next match. Vijay was ruled out with an injury.

I wrote about Rohit Sharma and law of averages before the semifinal. That didn't end well either.

Sorry, guys. Honestly unintentional.

Playing Cricket in England, using Dimuth Karunaratne's bat

Media Cricket Match – ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

I nearly didn't make it to the World Cup after suffering from a back injury playing cricket two days before flying out to England.

So when the mail about an England vs Rest of the World media match popped up on my inbox, I was in two minds. I was already traveling with plenty of medicines and physio equipment, which I didn't exactly put to use thanks to the constant travel and work.

But how could I miss the chance of playing cricket in England? No way! Thanks to many other cricket crazy people like me, Rest of the World had so many people that we had to be split into two teams. Each of the three teams - England, RoW1 and RoW 2 - played two T10 matches. England won, beating both RoW1 and RoW2. There was a tie too, between the two Rest of the World sides. Unlike the World Cup final, we didn't decide the winner based on a Super Over!

But it was all in good fun. Not often do we get to be photographed by Getty Images. And not often do we get to use the Sri Lankan captain's bat.

No Reserve Day Problems thanks to World Cup on Wheels

wc on wheels

The India-New Zealand semifinal extending to the reserve day created plenty of chaos, with fans and journalists making last-minute changes to travel plans. Fortunately, I had World Cup on Wheels to turn to.

Two crazy journalists - Gaurav Joshi and Bharat Sundaresan - were covering the World Cup traveling across England in a campervan. The vehicle is a mobile house for all practical purposes. It is fully equipped with everything you need in a day’s life. A kitchen, cooking vessels, a sink, a bathroom, two big beds and a lot more.

Thanks to them, I along with a couple of others didn't have to go through the hassle of rebooking our journeys from Manchester to Birmingham for the second semifinal.

The Emotional Rollercoasters of the Semifinal and Final, and first visit to Lord's

How does one even sum these up? We're supposed to be neutral and all that, but it's also hard not to get involved. Like many others, I had spent the one-and-a-half-months covering India - their training sessions, press conferences, matches, everything. When it all ended, and in the manner in which it did, there was emptiness. Not exactly a disappointment, but emptiness.

That feeling was magnified 100 times after the final. As a neutral, I was just happy that there would be a new winner anyway and was just hoping to enjoy a great game at Lord's. Well, we did get a great game, but the farcical ending didn't help. Either way, it was one of the most dramatic finals I could ask for in my debut World Cup. What started as a rather quiet tournament surely ended on an eventful note.

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6939 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more