The aftermath of a runners-up finish in the World Cup is never sweet, serving as a poignant reminder of missed opportunities. India, despite a commendable tournament performance, faced a bitter defeat against Australia in the final.
No amount of “what ifs” can change the reality that Australia emerged as the better team in the World Cup final. Their tactical brilliance, ability to seize crucial moments, and rise to the occasion resulted in a record-extending sixth World Cup title. For India, the meticulously bound pieces fell apart when it mattered most.
As the Indian cricketers come to terms with the runners-up prize, it serves as a painful reminder of their dominance throughout the tournament. The prize money, though substantial, does little to ease the disappointment of falling short in the final.
India’s runners-up prize money amounts to US$2 million from the ICC. Beyond that, the unique reward system introduced by the ICC for victories in the group stage contributed to India’s total earnings of US$23,60,000. However, the longing for the World Cup trophy overshadows these financial gains.
Australia, as the World Cup champions, earned a significant pay cheque of US$4 million. Their total earnings, including victories in the group stage, reached a staggering US$42,80,000. Semi-finalists New Zealand and South Africa were also among the top earners, with the Proteas securing more due to additional victories in the group stage.
The innovative approach of rewarding teams for each victory in the group stage ensured that no team left the World Cup empty-handed. Pakistan and Afghanistan earned US$160,000 each for their fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively. Defending champions England secured US$120,000 for three wins, while Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands walked away with US$80,000 each for two victories.
The runners-up prize for India may serve as a financial consolation, but the bitter taste of defeat lingers. Australia’s dominance and substantial winnings highlight the stark contrast between victory and near-miss. The World Cup journey, though financially rewarding for many, underscores the ultimate quest for the coveted trophy.