Sunday, May 26, 2019

Magical Moments that Defined Previous Cricket World Cups

The past 11 editions of the ICC World Cup have provided for extremely exciting and thrilling viewing for fans and this time it will be no different.

We have already had two warm up matches that went into the final over showing signs for things to come once the main event starts in 4 days time!

Here is a quick look at some of the magical moments that defined previous World Cups (starting 83 onwards as I have very little knowledge of the first two...)

Prudential Cup 1983
Kapil Dev's unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe after India were reeling at 9-4. He came in very early and batted through the innings. That set India up for the entire tournament and the final, which they won remarkably defending 180 odd against the mighty West Indians who were firm favorites to win their third consecutive title.

Reliance Cup 1987
Mike Gatting's reverse sweep off Allan Border that set up victory for a young Australia side by just 7 runs in what remains the most closely fought World Cup Final till date.

Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992
Pakistan's entire campaign was magical. Having lost all 7 warm up games and their first 5 World Cup matches except 1, Pakistan were written off. But then three wins including one against the unbeaten New Zealand led them to the semi final and history was created. Imran Khan's captaincy, Inzamam's blistering knocks in the semifinal and final, Aaquib Javed's slower one to Greatbatch, Moin Khan's crazy 6 sealing the semifinal vs NZ, Javed Miandad's consistent knocks, and Wasim Akram's magical two deliveries to Lamb and Lewis - it was all pure magic.

Wills World Cup 1996
Sri Lanka had risen from the ashes on the back of a power packed opening partnership between Sanath Jayasuriya and Rumesh Kaluwitharana. They pretty much created the first successful attacking opening combination that ripped apart bowling attacks amidst fielding restrictions. But the defining moment for me was Arjuna Ranatunga's potshots at Shane Warne before the final and then following those verbal shots up with action in the World Cup Final.

ICC World Cup 1999
Like Imran Khan's belief in 1992 and Arjuna Ranatunga's belief in 1996, this one was all about Steve Waugh's belief. He called it really early and said Australia have to win the next 7 matches and we will win the World Cup. And so Australia did. No one can forget that momentous semifinal against South Africa, but for me the defining moment came in the Australia vs South Africa match that preceded the semifinal. Australia had to chase 270 odd to qualify for the semifinals and they got there in the last over with Steve Waugh unbeaten on 120. Steve Waugh was dropped by Gibbs in his 50s when the famous words "you just dropped the world cup" were uttered.

ICC World Cup 2003
This was probably one of the most one-sided World Cups ever. Australia just continued from where they left off in 1999, won every single game, and lifted the trophy with utmost ease. I don't think they were challenged even for a minute during the entire tournament. Ricky Ponting's 140 in the final is arguably the best ever innings played in a World Cup Final.

ICC World Cup 2007
This was probably the most boring World Cup ever. There was no stopping the Australian juggernaut and they had another unbeaten run to the trophy. India and Pakistan were knocked out in the group stages, Bob Woolmer passed away during the World Cup, and there were barely any interesting matches. This was even more one-sided than the 2003 version.

ICC World Cup 2011
This World Cup was all about Sachin Tendulkar. It was played in India, the final was to be in Mumbai, it was the last World Cup appearance for Sachin, and everyone already knew that India were going to win. Don't ask me how we knew, but we did. Such was Sachin's fate that he was dropped 5 times against Pakistan in the semifinal and an LBW decision, which looked absolutely plumb was magically overturned by DRS. There was nothing that could stop Sachin or India that year. It even made Kumar Sangakkara resign after the World Cup.

ICC World Cup 2015
Grant Elliott's bat drop in the semifinal! There has never been more swag after hitting the winning shot than there was in Grant Elliott's bat drop after he deposited Dale Steyn into the stands (when 5 runs were needed to win off 2 deliveries) to take the Kiwis to their first ever World Cup Final.

Barring 2003 and 2007, every World Cup has had its fair share of magic and I am sure we will see a lot more of it this time around.

The ICC World Cup 2019 is set to be more competitive than any World Cup preceding it and I think we will see many nail biting finishes and some very thrilling contests.

Only 4 more days to go ...

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. Nick said...

    This is really very informative article about ICC Cricket World cup. Here you have shared very important things that will help to know about Cricket World Cup history. I hope maximum cricket lovers will be like this. Because Cricket is the most popular sports in the world. Generally I watch cricket match in GTV Live in the official channel. Most of the Bangladeshi people like to watch GTV Live Cricket to watch live match on their smart phone where there are out of home.

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