England have reached the final of the 2016 World T20. There is immense self-belief in the team. They have a good chance of winning the World T20 for the second time and make history. The confidence in the team is summed up well by their best batsman, Joe Root, who said that belief in their skills was the main reason for their progress. (World T20: Six Appeal as England Face West Indies in Marquee Clash)
The venue will be Eden Gardens, a place that has many bitter sweet moments for England. A win on Sunday against the West Indies will go a long way in erasing the pains suffered by them at the same venue 29 years ago. (World T20: Eoin Morgan Eyes Match-Winning Knock in Final)
The 1987 World Cup was a tournament that had changed the dynamics of cricket. It was the first time that the tournament was held in the sub-continent. The West Indies, the powerhouses of the game at that time, were on the decline. India, the defending champions, were fancied to win glory at home but England, along with Australia, were causing some surprises. (England vs West Indies World T20 Final: Caribbeans Hold All The Aces in Champions vs Champions)
England started their campaign with a magnificent two-wicket win over West Indies but lost the next match by 18 runs to Pakistan. After thrashing Sri Lanka twice and defeating West Indies again, England entered the final after upsetting India in the semi-final in Wankhede. (England vs West Indies, ICC World T20 2016 Final: History Sides With Calypso Charmers)
Heart-break for England in Kolkata
England came into the final against Australia at Eden Gardens with confidence. Australia notched up 253/5 and England were cruising at 135/2 before skipper Mike Gatting played an unorthodox reverse sweep which resulted in his dismissal. That was the turning point of the match and England failed to land the knockout punch as they lost the match by seven runs. This loss still rankles among England cricket fans.
Chance for Glory at Eden
England have a chance to reclaim glory 29 years later. A win for England will be great for two things. One, they would have won an ICC trophy in the sub-continent, a part of the world where they have had limited success. Second, a win on Sunday will shatter the illusion that England do not look beyond Test cricket.
Over the years, the Eden Gardens has been a good hunting ground for England. In 2011, after their disastrous 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series against India, they had some consolation when they won the Twenty20 International by six wickets. In December 2012, England secured their first Test victory at the Eden Gardens after 35 years as they set themselves towards a series win in India after 28 years.
A win on Sunday could add another glorious chapter for England in the Garden of Eden. However, their aspirations could be blown away by the ‘Gayle’ force batting of Chris Gayle. The challenges are plenty, with the West Indies focused and hungry to win after defeating India in their own backyard. However, whatever the result, history and glory will be created.