Eye balls and leather balls: World Cup cricket final is here!

It’s finally here: Cricket’s Big Day (or Big Night, depending on where we are on the planet).

In the Cricket World Cup final today, defending champions Australia will meet 1996 World Champions Sri Lanka. The final game is to be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, in the cricket playing nations of the West Indies.

As I wrote in a post when the current series started, Sir Arthur Clarke will have to look very hard today for any signs of life across Sri Lanka.

The whole nation of 20 million people will have their eyes glued to whatever television screen they can find.

They will be joined by at least a couple of billion other eye balls in the rest of South Asia, where cricket-playing nations of Banglades, India and Pakistan saw their respective teams being eliminated in the World Cup’s seven weeks of build up in the Caribbean.

Talk about moving images moving people.

Not being an ardent cricket fan, I’ve not followed the series with the religious zeal of my many friends and colleagues. But just after filing this blog post, I’m off to see the finals on a giant, open air screen.

As Reuters reported recently, cricket fever has united — at least for now — the otherwise utterly and bitterly divided Sri Lankans. I just want to be part of that moment of unity, and yes, watch some good cricket too.

Tonight’s game will use probably a handful of professional leather balls used in cricket. As cricket fans tune in to live broadcasts worldwide, it’s fair to say that never before have so many eye balls followed the movement of so few leather balls.

May the best handlers of leather balls win.

And no matter who wins, TV broadcasters will be laughing all the way to the bank…

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