इंडियन आवाज़     03 Oct 2023 11:03:02      انڈین آواز


More than two decades after their incredible World Cup triumph at the historic Lord’s, India find themselves on the threshold of probably their biggest cricketing moment as they brace up for a nerve-wrecking battle for supremacy at the renovated Wankhede stadium.

Both India and Sri Lanka, two Asian giants who have played against each other frequently in recent times, have won the coveted trophy once each and will leave no stone unturned to regain the Cup.

Though there is little to choose between the two teams, India will fancy their chances of putting it across the islanders as they are playing at home and are peaking at the right time after a rather patchy beginning to their campaign.

Both the teams have some injury concerns ahead of the grand finale which will be high on emotions for a variety of reasons and will give one last chance to ageing maestro Sachin Tendulkar to fulfill his dream of winning the World Cup, one silverware that has been missing from his collection.

The match will be the last outing for India’s highly respected coach Gary Kirsten who has transformed the team into world-beaters as also Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, who is set to resign after the World Cup.

It will also be a swansong match for Muttiah Muralitharan, who is racing against time to recover from a knee injury.

The home team has suffered a jolt ahead of the game with Ashish Nehra, who bowled well in the high-voltage semifinal clash against Pakistan in Mohali, being virtually ruled out because of a finger injury.

Similarly, Sri Lanka have injury concerns over Muralitharan and all-rounder Angelo Matthews and have called in Suraj Randiv and Chaminda Vaas as cover.

The teams:
India: Mahendra Singh S Dhoni (captain/keeper), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth, Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh.

Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain/keeper), Mahela Jayawardene (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Rangana Herath, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thisara Perera, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga

On-field Umpires: Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar.
Third Umpire: Ian Gould.
Fourth Umpire: Steve Davis.
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe.

Special prayer for the Sri Lankan team

In Sri Lanka too religious leaders have conducted a special prayer service for the Sri Lankan cricket team as it bids to win a second cricket World Cup in tomorrow’s final against India

Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian leaders organized the service at Vidyalankara Pirivena (Temple) at Peliyagoda in Colombo on April 01.

“We urge to our countrymen unite together and pray for the cricket team to bring the world cup to the country,” said Professor Venerable Kamburugamuwe Vajira Thero, chairman of Inter-Religious Alliance for National Unity (IRANU) addressing the media.

“We bless the national team for their health and guidance to bring the cup to Sri Lanka,” said Anglican Father Sellaih Joseph Jeyaraj. “We trust on God and hope that they will bring the cup to Sri Lanka,” said Father Jeyaraj after the prayer service.

Bowler Muttiah Muralitharan studied in a Church run school. “I was blessed with excellent priests and teachers,” he said.

Unprecedented security

An unprecedented three-tier security cover to maintain vigil over land, air and water has been put in place in and around for Saturday’s World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

The Home Minister P. Chidambaram said that all arrangements have been made for safe and secure conduct of final of World Cup in Mumbai. Talking to media in New Delhi home minister said that elaborate security arrangements have been made for the purpose. A multilayer security is being put in place around the stadium and air space over and around the venue has been declared as a no-flying zone. Mumbai police will be constantly keeping a close watch to check any unlawful activity. One hundred and eighty CCTVs have been installed in and outside the stadium for the purpose.

President Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa will watch the grand finale of cricket’s biggest extravaganza at the 32,000-capacity stadium.

Apart from Mumbai Police, personnel of National Security Guards, Maharashtra’s elite Force One, Rapid Action Force, State Reserve Police Force and Quick Response Team are maintaining a strict vigil at the venue.

“Nearly 5,000 security men have been deployed for the mega event as part of unprecedented security measures, that I have never seen before in my career. The security men and staff of stadium and the organisers would be issued biometric bar coded access cards,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik said.

Both the Indian and Sri Lankan cricket teams are staying at the Taj Mahal hotel, which is opposite the historic monument. Special security measures have been taken for the players of India and Sri Lanka.

Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil, who reviewed the security arrangements for Saturday’s match, said, “I have reviewed the security arrangements made in co-ordination with Maharashtra and Central government. The arrangements would be supervised by Patnaik. We have taken all the measures to ensure that everything goes well.”

Navy and Coast Guard ships, Fast Attack Craft (FAC), Patrol vessels and Fast Interceptor Craft (FIC), have been deployed in layered defence to prevent possible terrorist attempts to land on shores, he added.


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