Armchair view The final




Sport Cricket

The contest India v Australia: after nearly seven weeks the top two teams in the ODI world rankings meet in Ahmedabad for the 13th World Cup final. It’s the hosts against the country that has won the competition a record five times. It starts at 8.30am tomorrow. The previous Way back in distant memory (8 October) the sides kicked off their campaigns against each other in Chennai. India won by six wickets, bouncing back from being two for three to cruise to a target of 200 with more than eight overs to spare thanks to 85 from Virat Kohli. The trophies India are seeking their third trophy, having won against the odds by beating West Indies at Lord’s in 1983 and, less surprisingly, seeing off Sri Lanka at Mumbai in 2011. But Australia have won an Indian World Cup before, the seven-run win over Mike Gatting’s England in Kolkata in 1987. Home comforts rule though: the hosts have won the past three finals – India (2011), Australia (2015) and England (2019). The stage The 132,000-seat Narendra Modi Stadium gets its big moment. 104,859 attended the 2022 IPL final here. Official attendances at this tournament have been hard to come by, but the current World Cup final record of 93,013 (Melbourne 2015) will fall. Indian PM Narendra Modi is due to attend his own stadium, while three-time Grammy Award winner Dua Lipa (") is set to perform. The umpires The main beneficiaries of England’s early surrender are Richard Illingworth, who was in the English side that lost the 1992 final to Pakistan, and fellow Yorkshireman Richard Kettleborough. They get to oversee proceedings tomorrow. The TV Unlike the glorious conclusion in 2019 there is no need for Sky Sports to share this one with Channel 4, alas. Look out for the omnipresent Eoin Morgan, on hand to see who succeeds him as cup-lifter-inchief; Nasser Hussain, fresh from interviewing David Beckham at the semi-final on Wednesday ("), and the always-excellent Mike Atherton.