Mandhana helps India defeat Pakistan

Mandhana helps India defeat Pakistan

Mandhana helps India defeat Pakistan

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So India won. But there is always more to cricket than scores, fours, sixes and wickets. You should be an expert in history, sociology and politics to grasp all the subtext every time they play in Pakistan, even if the state of relations between the two nations means that the date is only in tournaments now.

The organizers always make sure to match them in the group stage, be it the World Cup, Champions Trophy, World T20 or Commonwealth Games. This match, which was illuminated by Smriti Mandhana’s brilliant serve, had more events below most of those.

These Games are part of the ICC’s attempt to persuade the International Olympic Committee to include cricket in the Olympics. There are one and a half billion good reasons for doing so, and another 20 million or so in the diaspora. India’s relative lack of success in other sports, having won 10 gold medals in 120 years of Olympic competition, held the Games in that market. But the individual athletes who recently won gold medals, rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, have become so famous that the International Olympic Committee has a pretty clear idea of ​​what it would be worth if they could enter it.

Related: Third day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games: cycling session canceled after massive accident – live

This is one of the reasons why they recently decided to hold their next annual session in Mumbai. The introduction of cricket would do that too. The trouble is that the sport is not very well suited to the current objectives of the Games. It is intricate and dark, impenetrable to strangers and often seems ridiculous even to those in the know. In Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles, large, complicated, single-use premises would be needed that the locals would make little use of. And it brings with it a huge number of players, all of whom need to be housed in the athlete village, but very few of whom actually have a chance of winning the thing.

What’s more, the program is already so congested that it’s unclear whether the ICC can even guarantee its star players are free to compete in it. That’s why the Commonwealth Games only host one women’s tournament. There was simply no space in the men’s program to accommodate this. And the last thing the IOC needs when they’re trying to sell the game to the Olympics is a tournament that their most high-profile players skip because it’s such a low priority list. Oh yeah, and it’s entirely at the mercy of the weather, so if it rains the TV companies have nothing to show.

The downside, as any reasonable person knows, is that cricket is the most beautiful sport around and somewhere between the Mona Lisa and the moon landing among the peaks of human achievement.

Sneh Rana fired Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof of Pakistan at one time.

Sneh Rana fired Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof of Pakistan at one time. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

India v Pakistan, the tent-pole match of the tournament, showcased some of the best and worst. The start was delayed twice due to rain and for a while it looked like they might have a hard time playing. It was eventually canceled 35 minutes after the scheduled start, which meant innings had been reduced to 18 overs each, powerplay reduced to five overs, and three bowlers per team could pitch four overs each and two more could pitch. three. Try putting all of this into a concise thirty-second video to explain the laws to a new audience. Not that they needed it in Edgbaston.

There were a lot of people here, but it wasn’t the sold-out crowd the organizers had promised. At mid-day the organizers also offered everyone free admission to the second game of the day, between Australia and Barbados, a sensible response to the fact that sales have not gone as well as they could have been. They sent out a halfway press release saying the Games had broken the record for total ticket sales in a women’s tournament, but the stadium isn’t half full yet. It is said that people bought tickets then did not come, perhaps because they did not realize that it was a female game, perhaps because it clashed with other events.

More fooling them. Because it was a brilliant game, with more than enough action to make up for India winning it so easily. Pakistan’s inning is shot in the ninth over, launched by Sneh Rana. They had been one for none after nine balls, but Muneeba Ali and Bismah Maroof rebuilt the innings with a 50-run partnership.

Then Rana fired them both in one fell swoop, Maroof lbw, Ali caught and thrown. A couple of run-outs later in the inning meant Pakistan never really recovered and lost five wickets in their last eight deliveries trying to bring the total to over one hundred.

Mandhana then put on a powerful serve, four at all corners, six on the ground and above the mid-wicket. His 50 of him were obtained with 31 balls and the game was already over when he reached it. In the stands they laughed and danced and roared and chanted as she did, and perhaps, far away in their headquarters in Switzerland, the IOC watched and listened, one eye on viewers in India, the other on the schedule for LA 2028.

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