The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post
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Sixes, centuries and celebrations at the Cricket World Cup

A batter from India’s cricket team faces a bowler from the South African team. India faced Australia in the finals on Sunday. (Ananya Sriram)

Thousands of passionate fans cheer enthusiastically from the stands, each one rooting for a specific batter or fielder to lead their cricket team to victory. Enthusiasm starts just feet away from the match but echoes millions of miles across the world, carried on by onlookers staring intently at their 55-inch TVs. This is the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Hosted by India, the tournament featured ten teams playing in 48 matches and touched the lives of almost four hundred million fans globally. 

The 2023 World Cup opened with a match between England and New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India. Reigning champion England’s defeat foreshadowed their dismal performance throughout the tournament. On Nov. 4, five-time champion Australia delivered a mortal blow to the team, ending England’s participation in this World Cup. 

The win-loss ranking going into the semifinals indicated close competition between India, South Africa and Australia. Coupled with the Indian team’s home turf advantage, their swift victory over New Zealand on Nov. 15 suggested that they were well on their way to a third World Cup victory. However, in the ICC final match, Australia took home the trophy, beating India by 6 wickets and with 42 balls to spare.

Going into this tournament, cricket journalist, author and television commentator Vijay Lokapally expected different outcomes. He predicted closer matches across the board, instead of the landslide victories that have characterized this year’s World Cup. 

“I thought the matches would be well contested,”  Lokapally said. “India was my favorite and I expected Pakistan to do well too. Australia is the most dangerous team in terms of consistency and their ability to come back strongly. I had originally backed Sri Lanka too, but it fared poorly. India is clearly the strongest right now. England inexplicably collapsed but New Zealand was consistent, and Afghanistan was just amazing. They grabbed the chance to register some great victories.”

Before losing to Australia in final match, the Indian team held an undefeated 10-0 record. Several factors contributed to their success, like their elite players, immense home crowd support and familiarity with pitches and playing conditions all across the country. Former captain Virat Kholi scored a cumulative 765 runs in the tournament, placing him with the highest individual score in the World Cup. 

Australian Adam Zampa headed the balling table with a rich haul of 19 claimed wickets. On the batting side, Quinton de Kock from South Africa was one of the highest scorers of the games with 550 runs in 8 innings.

In the weeks leading up to the match, many people expected India to come out on top. Senior cricket fan Isha Kotalwar expressed her surprise that India’s biggest competitors trailed in the rankings early in the tournament. 

“I think India is going to win because they’re undefeated and have been doing really well so far,” Isha said. “I thought England would lead this World Cup with South Africa and India following, but I’m surprised because India is first in the standings right now and England is last.”

17-year-old Siddharth Madapura is a student at Mahindra United World College India in Paud, Maharashtra. As an avid cricket fan from the age of six who is surrounded by cricket aficionados, he echoed these sentiments. For Siddharth, watching cricket matches started as a family tradition and later became a way of life.

“My dad used to watch cricket when I was young,” Siddharth said. “I grew up watching it with my dad, and then it became something I wanted to do because I’d seen it on TV, and it just looked cool to me. At the age of seven, I started playing for clubs in the US and on the weekends with my dad whenever he was free.”

For many, cricket serves as not only an entertaining sport but also an all-encompassing hobby. Reflecting on the game as a whole, Siddharth underscores the significance of cricket in many countries, describing the unparalleled exhilaration of being in the stadium during a pivotal match. 

“It’s almost like everyone’s riding on someone’s back or the shoulders of a couple of players,” Siddharth said. “When you go to any sporting event, it’s very hype and there’s a lot of support. It could come down to a single ball, so everyone’s heart is racing and it’s just an anticipation of what could happen. Especially in international games, there’s a lot of pride in that. People are proud of their country and the players representing it.”

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About the Contributors
Mihir Kotbagi, Reporter
Mihir Kotbagi (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is his second year on staff. This year, Mihir is looking to hone his photography skills and learn more about the ins and outs of journalism. In his free time, he likes to play chess, read books, and program.
Disha Gupta, Reporter
Disha Gupta (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Disha hopes to familiarize herself with the journalism community and write meaningful articles. In her free time, she likes to play basketball and learn piano pieces.
Ananya Sriram, Winged Post Co-Managing Editor
Ananya Sriram (12) is a co-managing editor for the Winged Post, and this is her fourth year on staff. This year, Ananya hopes to bond more with members of journalism staff and explore creative page designs to modernize Winged Post and help the paper find its essence. In her free time, she enjoys eating spicy food, curating a new monthly Spotify playlist or taking sunset photos.

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