The atmosphere was electric as 93,013 people cheer up in world cup!
Tickets at ‘The G’ for Sunday’s (March 29) big match had been lapped up, extra flights from New Zealand to Melbourne had been sold out within hours and hotels were booked out. At the end, there were 93,013 people at the stadium watching Australia lift the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy for a record fifth time. That was an Australian record for a single day’s cricket in the country, surpassing the previous best of 91,112 set at the MCG during the Ashes series in 2013. And it took the total number of people attending the 49 matches over 44 days across Australia and New Zealand to over a million – 1,016,421 to be precise. Those who couldn’t get a seat at The G cheered their team from the Official Fan Zone at Birrarung Marr, on the banks of the mighty Yarra River, where there was a big screen put up, with food and face painting adding to the festivities. At the MCG, the atmosphere was electric and a sea of yellow, gold and green, with more than a smattering of black and beige greeted the finalists as they walked into the ground to heady cheers. And when Mitchell Starc gave the home side just the start they would have hoped for, getting danger-man Brendon McCullum out for a three-ball duck, the roar that engulfed the ground was like no other. The dignitaries, indeed some of cricket royalty, were in attendance. But, as the match went on, it was the yellow in the crowd whose chants grew louder. Mitchell Johnson ripped through the line-up while Player of the Match James Faulkner broke the New Zealand resistance with quick wickets. Chasing a target of 184, David Warner kept the crowd entertained with his boundaries - there were seven in his 46-ball 45 - while Steven Smith was as fluent as ever. It was to be the final ODI for Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, and he was welcomed with a standing ovation. What a farewell it was! Early boundaries gave way to silken smooth drives through the covers and effortless caresses over the straight field, as he eased to his fifty. When he was finally out for 74, it was an emotional Clarke who walked back, raising his bat to acknowledge another standing ovation, perhaps just a little secure in the knowledge that the game was in the bag. The players’ reactions after the seven-wicket win showed just how much it meant to them to be lifting the trophy before an adoring home crowd. The celebrations will go on long into the night, and every plaudit that is sure to come their way will be well deserved. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Melbourne: It plays host to the Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam tournament. Even the Olympics have come visiting. And with the Melbourne Cricket Ground – capacity of nearly 100,000, atmosphere that can pack the emotions of millions – forming cricket’s grandest amphitheatre, the city of Melbourne is very much the spiritual home of sport in Australia. The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 couldn’t be set at a better location.