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Some Facts :
Dickie Bird lost his treasured cap during the frenzied onslaught of spectators at the end of the 1975 final. Some days later he saw a similar cap on a West-Indian bus conductor and on enquiry he was told "Oh ! its Dickie Birds , the umpire"

In the 1979 final England chasing 286 were 129/0 in 38 ovrs. Boycott gave a easy catch to Lloyd who then purposely dropped it to prevent hard-hitting batsmen like Botham to come in !

England have reached the finals 3 times but never won .
The Indians , in their moment of glory , click for a bigger picture ... its worth it !

Did You Notice ? When Kapil went to bat against Zimbabwe the score was 17/5 he then scored 175 .....

India have always defeated Pakistan ; Paksitan always defeated Lanka and Lanka have always beat India in World Cup matches.

In the 1987 cup Phillip Defreitas injured his shoulder tendons during a coughing fit !

Out of the 6 "W.C's" (no puns please) held Pakistan have crossed the qualifying rounds of all ; and been in the semis five times !

Derek Pringle & his father are the only father-son pair to play World Cup Cricket for two different countries England & East Africa resp.

One of South Africa's opening batsmen thought that he had picked up a gr8 momento after beating WI in the 92 cup ... on reaching the gate , he realised to his horror that he had pulled out the stump vision and ten meters of cable !

After NZ beat Australia in 92 , the Sydney Morning Herald came out 3 hrs late because of a massive fight between their respective supporters in the Press Room.

Jonty Rhodes shot to fame after running out Inzamam. He through himself at the stumps and broke them mid air ! This shot was widely used as promo to the '96 world cup where he went on to become the only person to get a "man of the match" solely on the basis of fielding ... He took 5 match winning catches against WI at Bombay.
wcup99

The World Cups ...

The British Empire inficted its colonies with a maddening passion for this crazy sport played for days at an end ... but as time moved on this 'Gentlemans Game ' saw many drastic changes , starting with the introduction of One Day Cricket ... ODI 's created the easy possibility of a World Championship ( a Test Championship yet seems vaguely possible ). As time has moved on cricket no longer is a game for the genteel and competition is immensely fierce (though Courtney Walsh may disagree) . Starting with Gavaskars 36 to Kirstens 188 , cricket sure has come a long way .Follow the links or simply read all the summaries of the World Cups held so far.

1975  1979  1983  1987  1992  1996 

1975

 

Year:1975      Venue: England      Final Resut : Windies beat Australia

The first World Cup , popularly known as the Prudential Cup , it featured eight teams , namely India,Pakistan,England,Australia,West-Indies,New-Zealand,Sri Lanka & East Africa . The most intriguing match of the series was Pakistan vs. the Windies in a league match. Pakistan set them a target of 267 in 60 overs which were nearly enough but for a last wicket stand of over a hundred runs ! Windies finally won with just 2 balls remaining. India had a dissapointing start with Sunil Gavaskar scoring his infamous 36 n.o in 60 overs in the first match itself (against England) ; In the next match though Bishen Singh Bedi bowled a record economical spell of 12-8-6-1 which stands till today.

The Finals : were played between the Windies and Australia . The Windies batted first scoring 291 thanks to Clyve Lyods 100 runs of 80 balls . The Aussies could well have made it if it weren't for 5 run-outs including the run out off last man Jeff Thomson after putting on a last wicket stand off 43 with Lille. Windies win by 17 runs.

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Year:1979      Venue: England      Final Resut : Windies beat England

The contestants for this cup were the same as the previous one with Canada (who hold the dubious record for the lowest ODI total - 48 all out) replacing East Africa. The Windies were the favourites and they played like champions throughout the tourney. Viv Richards,Lyod,Garner,Haynes were just some of the greats in their team. There were no major upsets with the exception of Australia losing out to Pakistan , who then made it to the finals. Chappel & Lille didn't participate due to management controversies which could have cost them dear. India had a miserable cup and even lost to Sri Lanka (btw India have yet to beat Sri Lanka in a World Cup match) .

England and New Zealand contested for a final berth . It was a tough match but their were four lbw's and a run out against their top order which cost them dear. England hence reached their first finals to meet the Windies.

The Finals : Viv Richards and Garner all the way ! England won the toss and put the Windies in to bat . After being  99/4  , it seemed as if the home team was going to easily win , and then enter King Richards who scored a magnificient 138 , and took his team on to 286 . England then suffered a major collapse losing 5 wickets for 0 runs. Garner had a spell of 38 for 5 in 11 overs , which finally saw Windies lifting their second trophy.

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Year:1983      Venue: England      Final Resut : India beat West Indies

Zimbabwe replaced Canada , and the number of league matches were doubled. The Windies were yet formidable and England were well respected surely no one but these teams could win ! This misconception was so strong that the league match between India & Zimbabwe was not even covered . This match went on to be the most famous match in World Cup history . Put into bat , India lost both their openers for ducks and the remaining batsmen soon followed , leaving India tottering at 17/5 , then Kapil Dev put his pads on.and joined Roger Binny . He played arguably the best one day innings ever , finally reaching 175 n.o . and taking India to 266 and victory. India had just won one match in the World Cup before this and in this one they lost only one , a league encounter with the Australians. They had started their campaign by beating the reigning champions. Meanwhile everything else went to plan and England , Windies & Pakistan (another great performance in the World Cup) joined India in the semi-finals.

The West Indies had Pakistan all out for 183 (or maybe 184 , i'm not sure) and reached the finals on a trot with Richards carrying the torch . The bookies all had their money on England being the other team , but did the Indians surprise them ! England had the perfect start and then enter Mohinder Amarnath . He got India all the necessary breakthrough and along with Kirti Azad , India bowled 24overs for just 50-odd runs . England were finally dismissed for 213 , which the Indians made with the help of a brilliant 61 by Yashpal Sharma and good innings by Amarnath & Sandeep Patil. India had scored another upset.

The Finals : The West Indies were into their third final and looked sure to lift the cup , but they had lost tothe Indians twice recently . Indians were off to a disastrous start and just managed to reach 183 thanks to Srikanths 38 and some gritty lower order batting , especially by Sandhu who continued even after being hit on the head with a fierce bouncer, the Windies had made mince meat out of Pakistan in the semis on the same score. A second time should have been a walk over. They lost two early wickets but king Richards was on fire. It tok a mind-blowing back running catch by Kapil Dev off the bowling of Madan Lal to get rid of him for 33 . It then took a disciplined spell of bowling by Amarnath to trigger a collapse and the Windies had been dethroned. The World had new Champions .

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Year:1987      Venue: India & Pakistan     Final Resut : Australia beat England

New Champions , New Venue & a New Cup ..... The Reliance Cup. India played through the tournament like champions , they won a close first match against Australia (with Maninder Singh scoring the required 6 runs of the last 4 balls). After that it was smooth sailing into the semis after topping Group A . Pakistan , who as always put up an amazing show in the world cup to reach the semis , while the Windies pace attack had run out of steam in the subcontinent and failed to reach there while the English ans Australians also made it.

Most were hoping to see a grand finale between the traditional arch rivals and co-hosts of the tournament: India and Pakistan at the grand Eden Gardens, Calcutta. But Australia saw to it that Pakistan's hope of reaching the Finals was checkmated in the Lahore semi-final. Though a target of 267 runs looked achievable, with both Imran and Miandad in-form, but some brilliant bowling by McDermott-who ended with 4 for 54, ensured the exit of Pakistan from the Finals.

A similar fate was dealt to the defending champions India's hopes in the second semi-final at Bombay, at the hands of England. Their performance prior to the semis had been extremely mediocre .The mainstay of the English victory was Gooch's 115 runs scored by sweping Indian spinners to the fence more often than not. England yet made only 254 but the Indians lost regular wickets with no one but Azhar making a decent score of 64. India had been swept out of the finals.

The Finals : Both the teams were more or less evenly matched, with some good batting, bowling and especially the fielding on both sides. Australia started off well, making 253 for 5 in 50 overs with a 75 knock from David Boon and significant contributions from Border Jones and Valetta. England, though losing an early wicket of Robinson started carefully and comfortably. And Athey's careful 58 runs seemed to reach England within grasp of victory. Afterwards both Gatting and Lamb reached close to half centuries. But a sudden mistake by Gatting, an attempted reverse sweep cost him his wicket, and probably England their first World Cup. So near yet so far. The Australians won the fourth World Cup by just 7 runs, the narrowest margin in any World Cup till date.

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Year:1992      Venue:Australia & New Zealand    Final Resut : Pakistan beat England

The cup now moved Down Under and was called the Benson & Hedges Cup . The most disastrous event to come out of the event was the new rain rule which stipulated that if the play was reduced due to any reason, the target was to be consecutively reduced by the number of runs least scored in any over throughout the first innings. A most unfair rule indeed which did cost India & South Africa dear . South Africa were re-entering the international scene after being freed from apartheid.

In this cup , there were no groups and each team played each other and the four teams with the highest points would go through to the semis . The Windies , Aussies , Lankans & Zimbabweans failed to show any standing . The Indians put up tough fights but failed to reach the semis and were the first victims of the rain rule. In their league match against Australia they restricted them to 237 , but enter the rains ... India's target was reduced by 2 runs but overs to 47 ! But the Indians gave put up a heroic battle with a fine 90 from Azhar and managed to reach 236 just one run short .

Pakistan on the other hand were lucky with the rains they were tottering in a league match ( I think against England) when the rains interrupted and the game was abondoned. This finally helped them be the last team to qualify for the semis even though they lost to India by 43 runs.

The other team making it to the semis were the Kiwis,England and South Africa . In the semis the Springboks were the next victims of the rain rules.The Poms made 252 in their remaining overs and the Proteans were giving them a stern reply when the impish rains left Brian McMillan a target of 22 runs in one ball ! In the other match Pakistan defeated the Kiwis quite comfortably and they were on their way to destiny.

The Finals : oth Pakistan and England were vying for their first ever World Cup and a keen tussle was on. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. Pakistan lost two early wickets of Amir Sohail and Ramiz Raja. But with a Captain's knock by Imran Khan who score 72-highest on Pakistani side, and 58 and 42 by Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul Haq respectively enabled Pakistan to put on board a defendable total of 249 runs.Wasim Akram to contributed with some amazing hitting in the final overs .England did not start in the right earnest and lost 4 top wickets with only 69 runs on the board. Fairbrother provided some stability to English side by his 62 runs, but apart from him no other English batsman could make any substantial contribution. All the same England came very close to the target.Enter Wasim Akram he came back and picked up wickets of consecutive balls and England weere on the back foot.Good bowling performance from Pakistani pacemen Wasim Akram, Aqib Javed, and Mushtaq Ahmad totally demolished England's fond hopes of taking home, their first ever World Cup. Pakistan won the World Cup by 22 runs. Imran and his Pakistanis had fulfilled a dream.

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Year:1996      Venue: The Sub-Continent     Final Resut : Sri Lanka beat Australia

This year there were 12 teams competing for the cup. Kenya , Netherlands, and UAE made their cup debut. The matches were split between the host nations Pakistan , India and Sri Lanka. With 12 teams playing and 8 going to the knock out stage ,the premilary matches became a mere formality (assuming the three new teams and Zimbabwe were easy meat), but the cup wasn't without controversy and excitement. West Indies & Australia refused to play their matches in Sri Lanka and forfeited the matches to them . The Lankans went on to top their group helped by the merciless hitting of Jayasuria ans Kaluwitharna in the first 15 overs , they also scored a massive 398 against Kenya along the way. But the Kenyans were no easy push overs . They scored a surprise victory over the once unbeatable Windies .The match was played on Superman's birthday (29th Feb.) and did Maurice Odumbe play like one ! Thanks to his timely off-spin bowling the Kenyans inflicted a 73 run victory over the Windies. The Windies had to beat Australia in their next match to make it to the knock-out stage which they did. There were no other surprises , the South Africans beat everything in their way and the Pakis looked formidable.England looked listless and the Kiwis were quite mediocre. A highlight was Gary KIrstens 188 against UAE .

In the knock out stage Sri Lanka easily beat England and the Aussies defeated the Kiwis by six wickets. The Windies probably disgusted with themselves over their loss with Kenya surprisingly pulled a rabbit out of their hat and beat the mighty South Africans. But ,by far the best match of the knock out was between the host nemeses India and Pakistan. India started their innings quite briskly with Navjot Singh Sidhu taking the charge and Sachin for a change taking a back seat . But at the fall of Sachins wicket things slowed down a bit , but Sidhu played the sheet anchor role perfectly and went on to make 90 . Kambli contributed a lot and Azhar made a few quick fire runs , but the icing on the cake came from Ajay Jadeja , he along with the help of Nayan Mongia & Anil Kumble took 80 runs of the last 10 overs . Jadeja & Kumble took 40 runs of Waqar Younis last 2 overs. Jadeja finished with 45 off just 25 balls taking India to 287. Pakistan blasted their reply going at about 7ish runs per over. Both Anwar and Sohail were in amazing form . Anwar was the first to go and was caught off the bowling of Srinath. After some more violent hitting Sohail comited a mistake which he'll take to his grave. Having belted Prasad to the boundary he let emotions get the better of him and pointed to the boundary with his bat and he then exchanged a few words with Prasad. Prasad replied with the way he knows best. He clean bowled Sohail the next ball. After this the Pakis lost wickets at regular intervals and finished 39 runs short of the Indian total. They were probably hampered by the unavailability of Wasim Akram due to injury and lost his services as Captain,bowler and batsman.

In the semi-finals the Windies returned to their callous ways and lost to the Aussies when they were going great guns. They literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with Shane Warne helping them alongte way . Only Richie Richardson remained standing at the non strikers end as he saw the last 2 wickets go down in the last over , the Windies lost by a mere 5 runs . Richardson retired from international cricket after this defeat. India on the other hand made a crucial mistake by putting the Lankans in to bat and later crumbled on a even more crumbling pitch. Crowd interruption led the match to be abondoned and Match Referee Raman Subba Row awarded the match to the deserving Lankans. An emotional Vinod Kambli left the pitch with tears in his eyes and so should have the entire nation cried over the shameful behaviour of the crowds at Eden.

The Finals : Played at Lahore , the Aussies batted first and put up an average score which the Lankans had no trouble in reaching . Their veterans Ranatunga and Aravinda D Silva easily saw them through . Ranatunga scoring the winning runs of his trademark late cut . Sri Lankans easily took the cup home with 7 wickets to spare .

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