Alan Hubbard

It seemed highly appropriate that Sunday's (July 14) Cricket World Cup final should virtually be decided on a run out.

Because, by then, the hyperbolic television commentary team had themselves run out of superlatives.

"Fantastic, marvellous, fabulous, unbelievable". 

Even "the greatest sports event of all time". 

Really? Magnificent a spectacle as it was, I must demur.

While one can understand how easy it was to go over-the-top in describing the encounter between England and New Zealand are we really to believe that this was simply the best? 

Or rather, the best ever?

Call me an old cynic if you like – and indeed, I probably am – but we did not hear Americans shrieking with delight on the other side of the pond. 

And there are other sporting hotspots where cricket leaves them cold: Africa, (excluding South Africa of course), East Asia and South America. I shouldn't think the Middle East was too bowled over by it, either.

This is not to decry what we actually saw at Lord's but I have been equally moved by other events in other times. Ask yourselves, was the London 2012 Olympics, taken in its entirety, not as breathtaking? 

And globally I guarantee far more were moved by boxing's Rumble in the Jungle and Thrilla in Manila, happenings that were as bizarre as they were dramatic. 

And if we are talking about sporting occasions in England as well as the world, how about 1966 and all that? Those of us old enough to remember will recall that the nation's joy at the World Cup victory – also in extra time – was even greater then and so was the global impact because far more nations play football than they do cricket.

England's Cricket World Cup victory has been described as one of sport's greatest moments, but where should it rank? ©Getty Images
England's Cricket World Cup victory has been described as one of sport's greatest moments, but where should it rank? ©Getty Images

But apart from the late Kenneth Wolstenholme's "they think it’s all over – it is now" commentary there was no frothing at the mouth. 

Yes, like my insidethegames colleague Liam Morgan I immensely enjoyed watching events unfold on Sunday despite having to miss a slice of it because of an epic Wimbledon men's singles final.

What a winning weekend for the sports fan. England's victory even brought a jig of joy and a smile to the face of our beleaguered cricket loving Prime Minister Theresa May who has already been given out, and is about to walk. 

It completely overshadowed not only a tennis match that was itself arguably the greatest-ever but also enthralling home victories by Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix and the young heavyweight Daniel Dubois at London's O2, who I predict will be a world champion within two or three years.

The cricket was certainly captivating but was England's achievement greater than that of Sir Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile barrier? 

Or England's other World Cup victories in football and rugby union? Perhaps we have got carried away because cricket is something so typically English. Even though the team was not. It was a mix-and-match combination of half a dozen national heritages. Even more of a Rainbow Nation than South Africa.

The Kiwis were desperately unlucky, too. In the orthodox five day version of cricket a draw is frequently the outcome and surely it would have been a fitting and just result here too.

No doubt there will be gongs galore in the next Honours List judging by past accolades. Alf Ramsey, the England football manager of 1966, was given a knighthood as, later, were players Bobby Charlton and Geoff Hurst. So was the England rugby chief Clive Woodward.

Sporting events such as the Rumble in the Jungle are still spoken about today ©Getty Images
Sporting events such as the Rumble in the Jungle are still spoken about today ©Getty Images

This means the England one-day cricket captain, the half-Irish Eoin Morgan, can expect a tap on the shoulder in the New Year and there will be an OBE at least for man-of-the-match Ben Stokes despite some off field aberrations in the past. 

Well, why not when Ian Botham, not exactly a model of moderation, got a knighthood?

And in an age where equality is predominant in sport, England's women netball players are moving towards the final of their current World Cup. Which, should they win it, surely means manager Tracey Neville will become a Dame.

Meantime, at Lord's, they must be wondering if cricket – still not an Olympic sport, remember – has produced the greatest sporting show on Earth.