Well, the stage is set. Saturday will see two great cricketing sides clash for the World Cup final, and it's likely to be a humdinger.
There is always a feeling of history being made at the conclusion of a World Cup, but in this case perhaps more than ever before as two of the games' greatest ever players look to hit a final high note in their career.
|Murali becomes the greatest wicket-taker in one day matches|
Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan is bowing out from the world stage with Sunday's match. The greatest wicket taker in both test and one day cricket ahead of Shane Warne and Wasim Akram with 534 wickets (so far) in the latter and a staggering 800 in the former.
He has already had one fairytale moment in his previous match as he took a wicket with the final ball he bowled in his native Sri Lanka. But he'll be looking for just one more.
For India Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen of all time, indeed the only one who is reasonably compared to Australian legend Donald Bradman. He has not announced his retirement, but like Murali has achieved most of what can be achieved aside from winning the World Cup.
|Tendulkar adds to his century collection|
Sachin's career must be nearing its close and certainly he will not be playing in the next World Cup in four years time. Poised on his 99th hundred, he must know that scoring his 100th to win the final would be a rare perfect moment in cricket history.
Collectors will no doubt be fighting each other for a piece of this game. Significant bats, caps, bails and balls from cricket history have sold for several to many thousands of pounds or dollars at auction.
Already it seems likely that the ball Murali took for a final spin in his homeland represents a useful investment, and any which take wickets in the final will be valuable too - though the crucial matter will be if Sri Lanka win.
However, perhaps an India win would produce even more valuable memorabilia, given India's increasing power in the collector's markets and deep love of cricket.
Tendulkar's century-scoring bats have already proved to be big hits with collectors, but if the Little Master really does manage the fairytale ending of a winning 100th hundred, that bat would likely break all records for cricket memorabilia.Let the battle of leather and willow collectibles commence!
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