Sunday, February 6, 2011

Refreshing Cricket World Cup Memories

In the 19 years between January 1992 to 2011, five cricket world cups have been hosted in five different continents with each tournament being special in its own way. Cricket lovers across the world have got enough memories from these editions to drool about for lifelong. With just over a week to go before the 10th ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway in Bangladesh, India and Srilanka it is time to look back at those unforgettable occurrences of the past.

1992 (5th Edition) –Benson & Hedges Cup (Hosts: Australia & New Zealand)

* Introduction of colored dress, white ball and floodlight matches in world cup
* Martin Crowe innovates by opening his team’s bowling attack with spinner Dipak Patel
* Ajay Jadeja takes a spectacular diving one hand catch at long off to dismiss Alan Border and announce his arrival. India’s loses the match by 1 run
* Sachin Tendulkar scores an attacking half century against Pakistan
* Javed Miandad does a monkey jump as a reaction to Kiran More’s chirping behind the stumps
* Jonty Rhodes’ produces a marvel piece of diving one hand run out to send Inzamam Ul-Haq packing
* Debutant South Africa agonizingly bow out in the semi-finals against England courtesy Duckworth-Lewis – From 22 runs needed off 13 balls to 7 balls to finally 21 runs being needed off 1 ball.
* Wasim Akram dismisses Alan Lamb and Chris Lewis off consecutive deliveries in the finals
* An emotional Imran Khan lifts the trophy and commits his share of prize money to the cause of his cancer hospital in memory of his mother.

1996 (6th Edition) –Wills World Cup (Hosts: India, Pakistan, Srilanka)

* A combined Pakistan-India XI play an exhibition match against Srilanka XI to compensate for the loss after Australia and West Indies forfeited their matches in Srilanka against the home team due to security reasons
* A controversial opening ceremony at the Eden Gardens where the pitch was dug up
* Gary Kirsten’s 188* against UAE becomes the highest individual score in world cup cricket
* Javed Miandad becomes the first cricketer to play in 6 world cups
* Sachin Tendulkar’s first world cup century comes against Kenya at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
* Kenya’s upset win against West Indies after bundling them out for 93
* Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana redefine the meaning of an opener’s role in one day internationals
* The Srilanka openers put a halt to Manoj Prabhakar’s career in a league match in Delhi where Sachin Tendulkar’s run a ball 137 goes in vain
* Srilanka post 398/5 against Kenya, the then highest team score in One day internationals
* Ajay Jadeja and Anil Kumble’s famous Bangalore assault on Waqar Younis in the quarter final followed by the infamous spat between Aamir Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad
* South Africa’s clean slate spoiled by West Indies in the quarter final hence earning them the tag of ‘chokers’
* The ugly side of Eden Gardens shows up as India stumble to 120/8 chasing 252 against Srilanka in the semi final. Match is called off due to crowd violence and Vinod Kambli is seen sulking
* Sachin Tendulkar (523 runs) and Anil Kumble (15 wickets) finish as the edition’s highest run scorer and highest wicket taker respectively
* The famous Mohali semi final where West Indies snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
* The then Pakistan president Benazir Bhutto refuses to shake hands with world cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga on the presentation podium

1999 (7th Edition) – ICC Cricket World Cup (Hosts: The United Kingdom)

* Return of world cup cricket to England after 16 years
* The ship like media box at Lords becomes the latest addition to cricket infrastructures
* An opening ceremony that could not get underway because of the English weather
* Introduction of the super 6s for the first time
* India’s shocking defeat to Zimbabwe courtesy Henry Olonaga’s 3/22 in a league match comes to haunt them in the super 6 stage
* Sachin Tendulkar scores a century against Kenya after attending his father’s funeral in Mumbai
* Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid murder the Srilankan attack at Taunton
* Saqlain Mushtaq becomes the 2nd bowler to take a hattrick in world cup after Chetan Sharma (1987)
* Bangladesh upset Pakistan’s plan and set up a riot back in Pakistan
* Herschelle Gibbs drops Steve Waugh in the super 6 and with that the world cup though Steve Waugh in his book has clarified that he never said it
* New Zealand falter yet again in semi final
* Alan Donald commits suicide in semi final and South Africa retain the choker tag
* Lance Klusener wonders one and all with his stroke play
* Rahul Dravid becomes the first wicket keeper to score a century in world cup cricket and ends the tournament as the highest run scorer
* Geoff Allot becomes the highest wicket taker in the world cup and retires months after citing back problem
* Australia win 7 matches in a trot to come back from hopeless situation to lift the world cup

2003 (8th Edition) – ICC Cricket World Cup (Hosts: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya)

* Shane Warne banned for one year just before world cup for failing the drug test however Andrew Symonds sets the tempo for Australia in their first match
* England forfeit their match against Zimbabwe in Harare due to the Robert Mugabe controversy
* Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wear black bands as a protest against Robert Mugabe regime
* Indian players disallowed to have sponsors name on their jerseys, finally play with Amby Valley branding
* India get bowled out against Netherlands within the stipulated 50 overs
* Australia crucify Sourav Ganguly’s boys in the league stage and effigies are burnt across India. Sachin Tendulkar makes a open request to the Indian public to have patience
* James Andreson floors Pakistan in the league stage
* England scare Australia before Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel put things in perspective
* Asish Nehra decides to own England
* Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar make a mockery of Pakistan’s famed pace attack
* Canada’s John Davison sets new world cup record by scoring the fastest hundred off 67 balls against West Indies
* Chaminda Vaas and Brett Lee become the third and fourth bowlers to take world cup hattricks respectively
* Wasim Akram quits international cricket as the bowler with highest number of world cup wickets - 55
* South Africa commits sin yet again. The team miscalculates Duckworth Lewis formula and Mark Boucher decides to defend a ball instead of taking a single before rain comes in. Eventually the match is tied and South Africa fail to make it to the super 6 for a margin of one run
* Kenya surprise the cricketing fraternity with a semi final berth. Unfortunately their cricket has declined drastically ever since
* Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first batsman to score more than 600 runs in one edition of world cup (673) and bags the man of the series
* Aussie batsmen led by Ricky Ponting murder the Indian bowling attack to be the second team after West Indies to win consecutive world cups

2007 (9th Edition) – ICC Cricket World Cup (Hosts: West Indies)

* For the first time 16 teams participate in the tournament leading to 51 matches.
* The format flops and most of the matches are played in front of empty stands
* India lose to Bangladesh and Pakistan go down to Ireland. Both the big teams fail to make it to the super 6 hence robbing off major interest in the tournament
* India post their first score beyond 400, coming against Bermuda. A match in which Dwayne Leverock takes a blinder to dismiss Robin Uthappa
* Dhilara Fernando’s timber crasher to Sachin Tendulkar
* Herschelle Gibbs becomes the first batsman to hit 6 sixes in an over in international cricket
* Matthew Hayden’s 66 ball ton against South Africa becomes the fastest world cup century
* Lasith Malinga’s 4 wickets in 4 balls against South Africa
* South Africa fail to make to the semi finals despite being strong contenders – Chokers yet again and New Zealand flounder in semi final yet again
* Glenn McGrath with 56 wickets becomes the highest world cup wicket taker
* Inzamam Ul- Haq, Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath retire from international cricket
* Bob Woolmer dies under mysterious circumstances making it the worst remembered world cup
* Adam Gilchrist’s sponge ball hundred powers Australia to their 3rd consecutive world cup title
* Steve Bucknor, Aleem Dar, Rudi Koertzen, Billy Bowden, Jeff Crowe suspended for inaugural World T20 championship for their decision making skills in a rain interrupted controversial world cup final match

Sidhanta Patnaik
6th February 2011 (Sunday), 12.49am
Marthahalli, Bangalore

P.S – The first four world cups have not been included in this piece because the writer was born in 1984 and witnessed his first world cup match only in 1992.

No comments: