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Like the dewfall

  • 24 November 2023
‘Make holy, therefore, these gifts we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall.’  – Liturgy of the Eucharist Australia has won the 2023 Cricket World Cup. It seemed an improbable victory against clear favourite India — a team that was undefeated in the lead-up to the final, having won all 10 of their matches. The final was also to be played on India’s home ground in front of more than 90,000 home fans. A victory for India, while not inevitable, certainly seemed probable. 

Home grounds are important in cricket, of course, although perhaps less than they used to be as professionals spend more of the year travelling around the world. The weather, the land, all shape how a pitch will perform. Indian conditions produce a certain type of pitch, suited to a certain type of batsman and bowler. Australian conditions produce different types of players. In a match in India, the team that can draw on the most players shaped by, and adapted to, Indian conditions will always be favoured to win.

However, the big talk of this match, of these conditions, was the weather. Or more precisely, whether the weather conditions would be such as to produce dew on the pitch. On such seemingly small droplets hung the fate of two teams.

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl, to the surprise of most. They bowled and fielded about as well as a team of players brought up on very different pitches and conditions could be expected to bowl and field in Indian conditions. Their batting, it seemed, would depend on whether the conditions remained dry and helpful for the Indian spinners, or whether moisture would help the ball come more cleanly onto the Australians’ bats.

I watched the Indian innings and then went to bed at about 12:30am with Australia 1/41 after four overs, chasing 241 for victory. It was a good start, but a lot could still happen. No one seemed to know with certainty if there’d be dew at Narendra Modi Stadium.

I woke to reports of an Australian victory. The dew, it seemed, had appeared.


'You know that no matter how much knowledge you’ve gathered, how much you’ve honed your instincts and your body, how prepared you are for this time and this place, you cannot control everything. You are a small being in a wild and volatile universe.'  

Like many Catholics, I was a bit bemused and