Pat Cummins was caught up in one of the most awkward trophy presentations after he was left to stand alone holding the Cricket World Cup trophy on an empty stage. Australia pulled off one of the all-time sporting upsets, defeating India by six wickets in their home World Cup to be crowned world champions.
The host nation had won the previous three editions of the World Cup and it seemed India was destined to make it four straight after making an undefeated run to the final but it wasn't to be. The victory was Australia's sixth men's ODI World Cup triumph and extended India's international trophy drought, which has seen them without an international ICC trophy since 2011.
The Australian side waited off the stage to receive their medals as Cummins was presented the trophy by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. He was then left to stand by himself on the stage for around 30 seconds awkwardly looking around.
Cummins stood waiting while the remaining few fireworks went off as the politicians shook hands with the rest of the Australian team off the stage. To make matters worse the 130,000 seat stadium was near empty as Indian fans had already left to start their journey home.
BBC's Matthew Henry said" "It’s a sorry scene now from an Indian perspective, some have stayed for the presentation. Most have not.” Social media users were also quick to call out the abysmal trophy presentation.
The most awkward championship trophy presentation in sports history. They've burned 99% of fireworks on Modi presenting the trophy to Cummins solo and they continue firing as Cummins stands alone on stage while Modi goes off stage to shake hands with the rest of the Aussie squad.
— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) November 19, 2023
Hahaha most awkward trophy presentation of all time
— Charlie Reynolds (@cwjreynolds) November 19, 2023
Weirdest part of the World Cup trophy presentation was when Cummins was left alone on stage waiting for the rest to join in because Modi wanted some handshakes. Also, where did the Indian team disappear? #INDvAUS
— Haroon Shahid (@Haroon_5hahid) November 19, 2023
The trophy presentation for the Cricket World Cup must be up there with the worst I’ve ever seen
— Royston (@KopBlock205) November 19, 2023
Gotta say, India stadiums for the World Cup were magnificent, but that trophy presentation was one of the worst I’ve seen in any sport in my life #CricketWorldCup
— Matthew Smith (@Topcatsmith) November 19, 2023
That's a bloody awful trophy ceremony....Cummins left on his own up on the stage with the trophy because of the bloody politicians. How does cricket get it so wrong?
— stuart hess (@shockerhess) November 19, 2023
Indian players 'inconsolable' after World Cup defeat
Leading cricket journalist Bharat Sundaresan stated the Indian side left the field immediately after congratulating the Aussies on their win. "Have to feel for this Indian team. KL Rahul and Mohammad Siraj looked inconsolable while even Rohit Sharma didn’t hang around at all after the customary handshakes and just ran up the long steps here to the dressing-room," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
While Indian Cricinfo writer Deivarayan Muthu, said there is unimaginable hurt from the Indians who truly believed this was their World Cup to lose. “Siraj has tears in his eyes. Rahul crumbles to the floor. Rohit and Kohli are expressionless. Bumrah walks off the field tossing what looks like water bottles to the floor in disgust. There is so much hurt out there,” he wrote.
Rohit Sharma says bowling first won Australia the World Cup
The result shattered India’s dreams of ending a global title drought, with the hosts bowled out for 240 and Travis Head's heroics helping Australia get over the line despite a shaky start.
Rohit Sharma said the move to bowl first ultimately won Australia the game. “We tried everything we could but I thought the wicket got slightly better to bat on under the lights,” he said.
“We knew under the lights it would be slightly better. I don’t want to give that as an excuse, we didn’t bat well enough to put enough runs on the board. It wasn’t supposed to be. Honestly, 20-30 more runs would’ve been good. I thought when KL (Rahul) and Virat (Kohli) were batting, we were looking at 270-280 at that point and we kept losing wickets.”
At one stage during the run chase, Australia slumped to 3-47 before the heroics from Head and the steady hands of Marnus Labushagne put on 192 runs. Head notched a World Cup final century before being caught on the boundary with Labuschagne going on to see through the win, finishing undefeated on 58.
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