ISLAMABAD - Indian skipper MS Dhoni landed into history books by becoming the only skipper to lift World T-20, World Cup and Champions Trophy titles as India clinched a nail-biting final against England at Birmingham though under dubious circumstances.
The whole conduct of final looked to be clouded in many mysteries. First of all, the ICC went with 20 overs a side match because of heavy rain, but this opportunity was denied to West Indies against South Africa, who could have qualified for the semifinals had the umpires allowed the match to be completed. Secondly in the final, England looked very casual, especially the body language of skipper Alastair Cook was not matching the big occasion and it seemed that despite the fact England had yet to win any major title in ODIs, Cook didn't take the final seriously.
India could have been bowled out for less than 100 runs but England helped their cause by dropped catches, wayward throwing, silly fielding mistakes and gifting Indian batsmen additional runs. It was hard to believe for the spectators that England would fail to score such a small target.
England gave too many easy runs to Indian batsmen. Kholi could have been sent to pavilion but Jonathan Trott dropped a simple catch. Cook's bowling changes were also looked quite ordinary. Anderson, Broad and especially Bresnan gave too much room to Indian batsmen to play shots. India had lost all their front line batsmen except Kholi, who was given at least two charm lives by the English fielders, though Kholi failed to inflict major dent to England hopes. It was Ravindra Jadeja, who lifted Indian batting with a gutsy unbeaten 33. His fireworks at the end of the innings gave Indian a respectable total, which was not a big total by any means.
The way Cook, Trott, Morgan and Bhopra threw their wickets away and controversy was witnessed when against all the evidences Ian Bell was given stumped out by the TV umpire have forced the cricket lovers to doubt the integrity of the final. The clear cut not-out was turned into out by the umpire.
Morgan and Bhopra also threw their wickets away while playing unnecessary and casual strokes. It seems India didn’t win the Champions Trophy but, in fact, they bought it just to write their skipper’s name in the history books and improve the image of Indian cricket which has turned ugly by surfacing the fixing scandal in the IPL.
The ICC in the past had launched several inquiries against Pakistan and to some extent few other cricket playing nations, the Champions Trophy final is a test case for ICC. They must launch a comprehensive inquiry not only against both teams, but also against the TV umpire, who gave Bell out.
The ICC has to explain the reason why world's best umpire Aleem Dar kept out from the crucial final. Reason is quite simple. He spotted ball tempering by the English bowlers, which costs him dearly. The ICC is just safeguarding the interests of India . Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa, all the other teams, especially Pakistan have to face worst kind of ICC double standards.
If India and England final was let off the hook by the ICC, which is very much likely keeping in mind past ICC track record then the ICC would also lose its remaining little credibility. The ICC is bound to investigate the final and has to clarify their stance on Aleem Dar.