Virat Kohli does a little Gangnam Style as India celebrate their ICC Champions Trophy title win. Reuters
Virat Kohli does a little Gangnam Style as India celebrate their ICC Champions Trophy title win. Reuters

Brilliant batting, outstanding bowling, a reminder of just how great the 50-over format is, and of course rain - lots and lots of it --  the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 held in England and Wales had it all, and then some.

What a pity that this was - barring a change of heart from the ICC - the last ever Champions Trophy.

The tournament has been much-maligned in recent years, with many calling it a farcical competition, which is not quite a World Cup, and therefore meaningless at the end of the day -- India's celebrations after defeating England in the final would suggest otherwise, though.

The two-week tournament in Britain showcased everything that was good about this tournament, probably showcasing everything the ICC envisaged when it brought forward the tournament so many years ago.

Nothing excites cricket fans more than the eight best teams in the world slugging it out for the title.

There was no weak team here - on paper any of the eight could have easily gone on and lifted the silverware.

At the end of the day, India, easily the best side in the 2013 showpiece won - by beating hosts - only in theory, because more than 90 percent of the fans at Edgbaston were supporting India -- England in the final, in what was essentially a T20 game.

It is farcical really that the think-tank at the ICC did not think about slotting in a reserve day for the final - I mean it is the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, how on earth can there not be a reserve day!?

The last time India won the tournament, way back in 2002, they shared the trophy with Sri Lanka, after the final was abandoned - there nothing could be done, because even the rest day was washed out.

But the thought of not having a reserve day - in England of all places when rain is the norm and sunshine the exception - is not just bordering on stupidity, but plain and simple ridiculous.

India won the title, at the end of the day, and they will not and should not care how it was won - but it will be hollow to a certain extent, because it was played over 20 overs each, and not the wonderful and creative grind of 50 overs.

"I think it's a bit unfair that in the ICC Champions Trophy 50-over format we had to play a 20-over game to find a winner," India skipper MS Dhoni said after the win. "But still, I think they needed the result."

If there is anything this year's Champions Trophy has done, it is show everyone that there is definitely a place for 50-over cricket in the sport.

The demise and obituaries of one-dayers have been written for a few years now as T20 explodes and forces itself into the psyche of cricket lovers - but never actually clinging on or capturing the imagination -- albeit by also bringing new fans into the game with it.

India celebrate with the ICC Champions Trophy after defeating England in the final, June 23. Reuters
India celebrate with the ICC Champions Trophy after defeating England in the final, June 23. Reuters

For the older cricket fan, 50-over is much better; nothing beats Test cricket of course, but T20s are just something to be watched for a few hours and forgotten.

There is much more substance in the ODIs, and it sticks to the memory a lot longer than the T20 games.

How many T20 games of India do you remember - apart from the 2007 final against Pakistan? But will anyone ever forget that final at the Wankhede in 2011, or indeed the previous semifinal against Pakistan?

How about when Sachin Tendulkar went nuts in Sharjah? Or the Hero Cup final? Or even of course that epic win in 1983 in the same shores where India just won their latest ICC title - I could go on and on you know.

ICC plans to make the World Cup more like the Champions Trophy, with only the elite teams competing, while the T20 World Cup will be seen as the outlet to bring in smaller teams.

That is the plan at least. We'll just have to wait and see how far it goes.

But, staying in the present, the one thing that the Champions Trophy has done is show everyone that 50-over cricket has still got life in it, like Rocky Balboa, who just refuses to lie down, or Amitabh Bachchan, who just seems to grow better with age - long may it continue. 

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