Durban and Cape Town were the places to be on Saturday where, thanks to flair and courage by the two winning teams, today's World Twenty20 championship final in Johannesburg will be an all Asian affair at the expense of an Antipodean double-blank.
Pakistan and India were magnificent winners over New Zealand and Australia, but the huge success of the inaugural tournament owes as much to off-field organization as the on-field fireworks.
South Africa choked yet again in Durban, but their cricket authorities have marketed the event magnificently, because they learned many lessons from the West Indies botch-up of the World Cup six months ago.
Today's Grand Final at the Wanderers Bull Ring will crown the most spectacular limited overs world tournament ever staged because:
1: The winners will be decided after 14 days, not six weeks as in the Caribbean.
2: Locals were not priced out of watching, with the best seats at Newlands no more than £5 and grass bank tickets under £2. Visitors to the Caribbean were stung for over £50.
3: Spectators have not been barred from bringing in flags and musical instruments, whereas the World Cup security in every island confiscated anything that could be waved or played.
That is why Newlands and Kingsmead were a glorious kaleidoscope of colour and noise, as capacity crowds of 20,000 sang and waved flags and message boards throughout matches that bewitched from beginning to end.
Pakistan and India upset the applecart, and good luck to both teams for the fearless way in which they approached their tasks. Both teams have exceptional captains in Shoaib Malik and Mahendra Dhoni who share a "no fear" approach to the game that is the main reason why England are light years behind them and most other sides in the world.
England are riddled with fear and indecision that stems from the top and that means Peter Moores and Paul Collingwood. David Graveney and the selectors are also far from blameless, although Collingwood's bleat is unwarranted about possible mistakes made in the selection of county Twenty20 specialists such as Darren Maddy, Jeremy Snape, Chris Schofield, Luke Wright and James Kirtley, because he and Moores must have had considerable input.
Moores must bear responsibility for the fiasco that is now limping around in the Andrew Flintoff boots. His insistence that the best way of rehabilitating the Lancashire allrounder back into international cricket was via the Twenty20 competition was pure garbage. What he achieved by fatuous pronouncements regarding four-over stints, change of action and special boots, has resulted in the possible termination of Flintoff's career.
Even now, he and Graveney are trying to whistle in the dark by only ruling Yer Man out of the five One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka which start a week today.
The only possible hope is for Flintoff to be given the winter off and hope for the best, although this writer takes no pleasure in repeating the view, expressed in this column for 12 months, that the worst scenario is to be expected because he has a stress injury and not a straight break or tear.
Hugh Morris is the new managing director of the England set-up, and his first task must be to conduct a thorough debriefing of the team's awful showing in South Africa, and that leads straight to the coach and captain.
It beggars description the mess they made of the batting order throughout the series and particularly their last match against South Africa, How on earth could they send in Snape ahead of Dimitri Mascarenhas with a target of 54 in five overs that dwindled to 20 in two?
Similarly, why was Flintoff made to bat throughout behind the captain, Owais Shah and Wright when the format called for potential trump cards to be played as early as possible? Even the opening partnership only fired by accident when Vikram Solanki came into the side as stand-in wicket-keeper.
How could Collingwood be the only captain to miscount the bowling ration of his main bowler, Flintoff, against South Africa?
Morris must also ask for explanations about England only posting one of the top 25 partnerships in the last fortnight. Also what happened to the fielding? At Newlands, England hung on to seven of 14 catches on offer.