This has been a great World Cup and we enjoyed bringing every bit of it to you. Hope you enjoyed our coverage as well. Looking forward to your company on April 8 for the start of the T20 extravaganza. On behalf of Srivathsa, Pradeep, Akshay, Sidhant, Raju, Krishna, Sriram and Bharath, this is Ramakrishnan saying goodbye for one final time. Take care!
It's a great day for Player of the Series Mitchell Starc and Player of the Match James Faulkner in their young careers.
David Warner's 178. Pakistan's inspiring victory against the Proteas. Bangladesh stunning England and knocking them out at Adelaide. Teams failing to keep the Indian bowlers at bay. Brendan Taylor's goodbye to Zimbabwe. JP Duminy's hat-trick against Sri Lanka. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara bowing out on a sad note. Wahab Riaz's jaw-dropping spell against Australia. Grant Elliott denying his country of birth in the semi-final. Steven Smith's love affair with India. Daniel Vettori calling time on his international career. These are some of the moments that I could recollect. Phew! What a treat we had.
Let's relive some more moments for one last time. Steven Finn's hat-trick. James Taylor denied a hundred because of an umpiring blunder. A high-profile clash between India and Pakistan. Ireland thumping West Indies and proving that it was right to include the Associates. Tim Southee rattling England. Afghanistan scaring Sri Lanka. Chris Gayle's double-hundred. Samiullah Shenwari's brilliance with the bat. The AB de Villiers assault at the SCG. That insane game at the Eden Park between the Trans-Tasman rivals. Kumar Sangakkara scoring hundreds at will. South Africa becoming the first team to score 400 in successive games.
Although Australia weren't as ruthless as they were before in this World Cup, they managed to grab key moments, which was key to their successful journey. The fact that they managed to win the title despite not playing their perfect game in the entire tournament speaks volumes of the depth they have in their outfit. Mitchell Starc outclassing Mitchell Johnson was a sight to watch. Overall, the Australian boys have given a perfect farewell gift for their captain Michael Clarke, who has hung up his ODI boots.
There were so many moments to savour in this World Cup. Let's begin with today and the two teams that were on show today. Brendon McCullum's courageous captaincy - he was not afraid to have four slips and leave the off-side field open looking for wickets early on. His field placings gave a lot of confidence to Boult and Southee, who were exceptional with the new ball throughout the tournament. Baz himself led from the front in the field with his acrobatic efforts. New Zealand's confidence as a whole unit even under pressure was good to see.
Inside the Australian dressing room, Barry 'Nugget' Rees, a former South Australian player, a close friend of coach Darren Lehmann and an inspirational figure in the Australian team for a number of years, pours beer on the World Cup trophy and kisses the cup. He makes a speech to the team. The Australian players then have a beer.
Let's take a look at some of the best tweets from this game:
@gauravkalra75: australia have now won world cups in asia, europe, africa, north america & australia. only south america & antarctica remain! #CWC15Final
@BrianLara: Well played Australia you were the best team by far and your wins from the quarterfinals onwards were clinical and showed your superiority!
@cricket_U: Back to back World Cup Final wins for the home team. Before 2011, no home team had ever won it. #CWC15Final
@JimmyNeesh: It seems strange to say this in the face of a loss but I've never been prouder to be a New Zealander and a New Zealand cricketer.
@mohanstatsman: In World Cup winning sides, GEOFF MARSH Player 1987 Coach 1999
Darren Lehmann Player 1999 & 2003 Coach #CWC15 #AusvNZ
@bhogleharsha: The best team at the World Cup, the favourites, the most fancied win another World Cup. #Australia #champions
@glennmcgrath11: Congratulations to @MClarke23 & @CricketAus on winning the @cricketworldcup Great win boys, very well deserved #CWC15
The ecstatic Australian players celebrated long and hard after winning the World Cup. As the curtains fell on the mega event, we leave you with all the records that were broken and landmarks that were achieved during the course of the tournament:
Martin Guptill was in supreme touch during the later part of the World Cup and ended up as the highest run-scorer of the tournament with 547 runs.
Kumar Sangakkara, the fulcrum of Sri Lanka's batting line-up, became the first cricketer to notch up four back-to-back tons in ODIs.
Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult were consistently amongst the wickets and ended up as the highest wicket-takers of the tournament with 22 wickets.
Martin Guptill went on to post the highest individual score in World Cups with a rousing innings of 237 not out against the West Indies. Interestingly, Chris Gayle had earlier become the first cricketer to crack a double ton in World Cups, when he achieved that feat against Zimbabwe in Canberra. Guptill now also has the second highest individual score in ODIs to his name.
While compiling a splendid innings of 162 not out against the West Indies in Sydney, AB de Villiers became the fastest to reach 150 in ODIs. He reached that feat in a mere 64 balls.
New Zealand's captain, Brendon McCullum, played with a dash of adventurism against England in Wellington to register the fastest fifty in World Cups. He completed his fifty in just 18 balls.
Australia's monstrous score of 417 for 6 against Afghanistan at the WACA was the highest total in World Cups.
With 37 sixes, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers now have thwacked most number of sixes in World Cups. Now, 26 of those Gayle's sixes came in this World Cup and that turned out to be a record for most number of sixes smashed in a single World Cup.
By clobbering Zimbabwe's bowlers for 16 sixes in Canberra, Chris Gayle equalled Rohit Sharma's record for most number sixes in an ODI innings.
With as many as 31 sixes being hammered, the quarter-final match between New Zealand and West Indies in Wellington saw the most sixes smashed in a World Cup match.
Maxwell runs behind the advertisement boards near the boundary and does high-fives with the crowd. The Australian players now sing the team song as they walk across the outfield.
ICC Chairman N Srinivasan hands over the World Cup trophy to Michael Clarke and the celebrations begin. They now pose for the cameras. Woo hoos are heard all over. Big smile on every single player of the Australian team and why not. David Warner pours champagne on Shane Watson and Steven Smith. The Australians do a lap of honour with the trophy in their hands. Clarke is seen clapping his hands to the fans. Clarke gets a bit emotional as well. Ah! Darren Lehmann remembered 1999 I guess. He takes the trophy and holds it high. Clarke now poses with the cup as photographers try to capture the moment.
'I might give it back to Warnie (when asked if he would hand his No. 23 jersey to anybody). I haven't thought too much about it to be honest. It's been an honour and a privilege to represent my country in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. The time is right for me to walk away from one-day cricket, but I'll keep playing Test cricket. I don't know I have to think about the number 23 (jersey), but I am honoured to have received it from Shane Warne. I am very proud to wear it and tonight has been extra special. As you can see it has got PH on it (when Mark Nicholas asked him about the black armband he was wearing). I will wear it every game I play for Australia. For everybody in Australian cricket it's been a really tough few months and I am sure I don't speak just for myself. I am sure everybody standing on the stage tonight will say that we played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is certainly dedicated to Phil Hughes. Hughesy used to party as good as any of them, so we'll make sure that we drink two at a time tonight. One for Hughesy and one for us. We are really proud and it's a wonderful achievement. It's a great thing just to make the World Cup final, but to be able to win in your own backyard in front of your family and friends is extremely special. I can guarantee, we'll celebrate hard tonight.'
Clarke: 'Obviously I am over the moon. What a tournament. Firstly, to Brendon (McCullum) and the New Zealand team, they deserve a lot of credit there. They are always a tough team to beat. It seems in any sporting event, Australia v New Zealand is always an exciting contest and tonight was no different. So to Baz and his team, congratulations on a wonderful tournament mate and well done. Especially personally, you were outstanding throughout the whole tournament. To the Australian fans, to all the fans of the game of cricket, I think it's been an amazing turnout for this tournament. People watching at home on TV and people coming to all the games, to the support that we had throughout the tournament, thanks to every Australian and every cricket supporter out there. Most importantly to our amazing team including support staff that stands over there, I couldn't have asked for anything more. The support I've received since coming back into the team, the way they have stood up and played, they deserve to certainly stand here tonight and hold that trophy up. We have played really well tonight. I said after the semi-final I think the guys were certainly ready for this final mentally. We had to recover physically and it's a great strength of our team. The support staff we have, the medical staff do a great job in getting everybody fit and healthy and the guys were ready for tonight and they played really well once again.'
It's now time for the Australian team to collect their medallions. Big roar from the crowd as Mark Nicholas reads out Michael Clarke's name.
Starc: 'I don't know what words to use. It was an amazing tournament, some outstanding performances, but today to cap it off (was amazing). New Zealand have been a great team throughout the whole tournament. They really set the benchmark, but I think we came hard today and really led to this performance. I wouldn't say that (when asked if he was the best fast bowler in the world at the moment). I've worked really hard at it for a number of months now with Craig McDermott (the bowling coach) in the background. I think a few series ago we sat down and penned down a little plan. To see it come to fruition tonight or through the whole tournament, it's been phenomenal. There was a lot of luck involved I think (referring to the ball to dismiss Brendon McCullum). There was a little plan that Craig and I had going a couple of days ago, to see it get executed really but Brendon has been fantastic throughout the tournament, so I think there was luck involved and I am just happy to get that one. The support from the Australian public and the crowd here has been fantastic through the whole tournament for us. So thank you all. To play in front of this crowd, in front of these many people, is nothing like it. I would like to (when asked if he can go on and produce something like this in all formats), but I am just going to enjoy this one for now.'
Mitchell Starc is the Player of the Tournament. He picked up 22 wickets at an average of 10.18 in 8 innings, Tendulkar gives him the award.
Faulkner: 'It's an amazing feeling, to play in front of 93,000 fans here at the MCG and win a World Cup is amazing. I will try and chip in and play my role for the team but what a performance today. It's been an amazing couple of years as an Australian one-day outfit. We brought our A game today. I suppose I get tossed the ball when the skipper wants me to bowl. Normally it's in the powerplay and I love that job. Today it worked out for us, but it can be tough sometimes. Definitely, I would be lying if I said there wasn't a moment when I thought I wouldn't be here today. But the physios looked after me and amazing, I am here today and it's an amazing feeling. I am not sure, you have to ask the senior members of the team (smiles, when asked what will happen tonight).'
James Faulkner is the Man of the Final for his 3/36 and he receives the award from Sachin Tendulkar.
McCullum: 'It's been one hell of a ride for us. Right throughout the way, we have played some outstanding cricket and we ran into an outstanding Australian team tonight, who continue to set the way in international cricket and full credit to them. They are deserved champions. Michael Clarke as well deserves to bow out as a World Cup champion too. All the best to them. They were outstanding in this World Cup and they thoroughly deserved to win. It was a quick one (referring to the ball Starc bowled to get rid of him). It all sort of unfolded probably not as we had planned, but I still thought we had got ourselves back in the game. 3/150, but as Australia do, they came back at us again and to take 7/33 at the end, obviously put us under a lot of pressure. Still thought 180 we dared to dream. If we had a couple of things go our way, who knows what would have ended up. In the end, we were the second best team on the day. Again, credit to Australia. No regrets. This is the greatest stage that you can ask for as a cricketer. This is what you do your hard work for all the time, avail all the sacrifices that you make. We know we've had the opportunity as a group of guys to go on this ride and we have forged some memories and friendships which will last forever. Obviously we weren't able to lift the trophy, but the brand of cricket and the entertainment that we've been able to give people throughout our country but also throughout the world is something we are immensely proud of. We have no regrets and we walk away from this tournament with our heads held high. It is the greatest time of your life. To be able to represent your country on the international stage with a group of friends and then pit your skills against the world's best, it is the greatest time of our lives and that's how we have tried to play the game. Play with a free spirit and plenty of heart all the way along. It took us so far in this tournament, but obviously we weren't able to get past the final hurdle. As I said, I am immensely proud of all the guys within the team, all the management group and all those who have been a part of this team over the last few years and helped build us into what we are. We've still got some work to do, but I still think we can be very proud of our achievements in this tournament.'
First up, the match officials receive their mementos. The New Zealand players now receive their medallions.