What is the biggest irony of cricket World Cups?
Cricket is one of the most famous games and has a long history as a popular team sport. It originated in England and is now extremely popular in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, the West Indies, and South Africa, among other nations.
Competitive cricket is mostly played with a bat and ball. Two teams compete on an oval field with batting, fielding, and bowling. A game can take anywhere from a few hours to several days and features 11 players per side. Here are the biggest ironies of World cup Cricket.
In a 1985 first-class match, Ravi Shastri smashed Tilak Raj for six sixes in one over. He was the first Indian to accomplish this feat. In the 2007 T20 World Cup, this feat would be repeated by another Indian, Yuvraj Singh, 22 years later.
What are the odds that the first Indian to do so would serve as the commentator in the same over as the second? That is precisely what occurred. Shastri applauded Yuvi, and his screams of “Full Monty” are still audible.
Sir Ravindra Jadeja
Sir Ravindra Jadeja was the villain of the T20 World Cup in 2009. He played so slowly that most Indian cricket fans demanded he is entirely retired from the T20 format! But captain MS Dhoni stuck with him for whatever reason.
The 2013 ICC Champions Trophy final has arrived. It was reduced to a Twenty20 match, the format for which Sir Jadeja was mocked. What transpired? In a low-scoring contest, he hit 33 runs and grabbed two wickets to earn man-of-the-match honors.
Jadeja was also banned during one IPL season before becoming a millionaire during another. According to the ICC, the frosting on the cake was when he became the top-ranked bowler in the ICC ODI world cup.
T20 and India:
T20 cricket was first introduced to England; it was an instant hit. Every nation around the globe was shocked and began incorporating domestic T20 leagues. Only India continued to oppose T20 vehemently.
We ultimately capitulated and, paradoxically, won the inaugural T20 World Cup. The BCCI was unconvinced and reluctantly started the IPL only after the ICL. Ironically, the IPL is now the most popular T20 competition!
When Virender Sehwag entered international cricket, he had the same physique as Sachin Tendulkar and played some of the same shots to the extent that critics called him a Sachin clone.
Sehwag then revealed that he learned his cricket shots by copying Sachin on television. How likely would the “clone” surpass the “master”?
Initially, the opposition’s entire strategy centered on dismissing Sachin, and then it shifted to dismissing Sehwag. Sachin scored 200 runs unbeaten in an ODI cricket world cup, but Sehwag surpassed him with 219 runs.
In Tests, the “clone” was a significantly more explosive batsman and hit two triple hundreds, but the “master” is yet to do so.
World Cup 1983 heroes:
Dilip Vengsarkar, Kris Srikkanth, and Sandeep Patil were members of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad. They were not yet finished.
Decades later, as top selectors, Vengsarkar, Srikkanth, and Patil won the 2007 T20 World Cup, the 2011 ODI World Cup, and the 2013 ICC cricket world cup Champions Trophy, respectively. Currently, teammate Roger Binny serves as a selector.
Therefore, who favors designating him, Sunil Gavaskar or Ravi Shastri, the head selector for the 2014 T20 World Cup?
In 2000, M. Azharuddin was banned for life following our first big match-fixing incident. In 2006, the BCCI sacked cricket supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya for misappropriating cash.
Then the tables completely flipped. Azhar’s ban was reversed, he received formal recognition, and he was elected to the House of Representatives. And Dalmiya? He was brought in as the savior after the most recent match-fixing controversy!
Sharjah and Team India:
India was declared world champions in 1983 and quickly discovered Sharjah to be a suitable site for asserting its dominance in ODI cricket. They won the 1984 Asia Cup and the 1985 Rothman’s Four-Nation Cup.
Then, in 1986, Javed Miandad smashed a six off the last ball of the final to win the match for Pakistan, which proved to be a 9/11 moment for India.
Glorious Sharjah soon become Harjah! From 1986 through 1991, India lost a staggering seven tournaments while Pakistan was present. (Our only victory came in 1988 when Pakistan was not invited) In addition, we began consistently losing to Pakistan at that point.
One match was affected by poor lighting, but organizers declined to cancel it. In 1991 final, Aaqib Javed had a hat-trick of the leg before wicket dismissals, all of which occurred when the batsman was running for a single.
What was just terrible was that Aaqib was declared Man of the Match! In 1992, India had had enough and boycotted the event. That had an impact.
Following its return from the boycott, India won three championships between 1995 and 1998.
India won 54 percent of its ODI matches against Pakistan before the Miandad sixer, but only 14 percent of its matches between the sixer and the boycott! After the Sharjah boycott, we have yet to lose to Pakistan in a World Cup.
This penultimate ball was delivered by Chetan Sharma, who gave Miandad a full toss, much to the dismay of millions of Indian supporters. Sharma’s fans never forgave him for that.
The Cricket Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) in Sharjah once provided financial benefits to cricketers.
There are two coincidences here. Miandad was a CBFS recipient in 1986. In 2001, Chetan Sharma was to lead India’s permanent withdrawal from Sharjah. Consequently, Sharma was denied his money. For the vast majority of Indians, it was poetic justice!
1992 World Cup: The Big Irony
I have been reminiscing about the previous tournaments as the seventh World Cup approaches. The 1992 World Cup was the one I followed the most attentively, and my first memories, as well as those of the majority of people, are of Mark Greatbatch and “hitting out” in the early overs.
It became a one-day international cricket staple after becoming the 1992 World Cup folklore.
Overall, the 1992 World Cup was regarded as one of innovation, and the New Zealanders, playing at home, led the way.
In the opening match, they astonished everyone, including the Australians, by batting first with Rod Latham and bowling first with Deepak Patel.
The concepts of slow bowlers and pinch-hitters were utilized for the first time in the 1987 World Cup, but they were perfected in the 1992 tournament. Mark Greatbatch paved the path, followed by Brian Lara, Ian Botham, and others as pinch-hitters.
The greatest irony of the 1992 World Cup was that Pakistan won by playing one-day cricket in the style of the 1980s, led by Imran Khan.
In the 1980s, the rules of thumb for winning a one-day international were as follows: a. 250 is a very good target; b. score 150 runs in the first 40 overs without losing many wickets; c. once in that position, try to score at 10 runs per over and get close to 250; and d. instruct your bowlers to attack and take wickets rather than trying to restrict the opposition.
Let’s see how Imran’s Pakistan utilized these traditional heuristics, particularly in the semi-finals and finals.
Imran chose Iqbal Sikander over Ijaz Ahmed based on Mushtaq Ahmed’s performance against New Zealand in the previous league game.
Iqbal Sikander was playing his second and final one-day international. Mushtaq had New Zealand in a precarious position when Martin Crowe and Ken Rutherford formed a formidable team to take New Zealand to 262.
Imran scored 44 runs off 93 balls for Pakistan in their reply, which began sluggishly. At 140 for 4, the scenario was set for Inzamam to play the innings of his life, which he did, scoring 60 runs off of 37 balls to lead Pakistan to its first-ever World Cup final.
Pakistan repeated the formula in the final. In the middle overs, Javed Miandad and Imran built a sluggish partnership, reaching 150 in 40 overs, before Inzamam-ul Haq and Wasim Akram took the England attack to the sword scoring 99 runs in the last 10 overs to bring Pakistan’s total to a respectable 249.
Before Neil Fairbrother and Allan Lamb threatened to launch a comeback, Mushtaq had the English batters playing all over the place. Imran summoned Akram, who bowled Lamb and Chris Lewis off consecutive deliveries with two consecutive sixes to seal the Pakistani triumph.
Other irony of cricket world cups
- Ireland is the only team in world cup history to have chased 300+ times more than any other team.
- The inventor of the game of cricket ‘England’ has yet to win an ODI world cup.
- South Africa has been among the top four since 1992 and has not yet reached the final.
- Before India and Australia broke the streak in 2011 and 2015, the countries which hosted the World Cup had never won.
- Sri Lanka is yet to beat Pakistan, and Pakistan is yet to beat India.
- In 2015, New Zealand qualified for the finals for the first time.
- One of India’s greatest players, VVS Laxman, has never participated in the World Cup.
- Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Ian Botham (England), Curtly Ambrose (West Indies), Saeed Anwar (Pakistan), Brian Lara (with), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Martin Crowe (New Zealand), Waqar Younis (Pakistan), and Allan Donald (South Africa) have never won the world cup.
Cricket World Cup FAQs
Which World Cup is the biggest?
No one could have predicted India's victory over the West Indies in 1983. Australia won their third World Cup in 2003, becoming the team with the most World Cup victories.
What country has never won the World Cup?
New Zealand has never won the World Cup but has twice placed second (2015 and 2019). Kenya's semi-final appearance in the 2003 tournament is the best performance by a non-Test playing nation, while Ireland's Super 8 (second round) performance in 2007 is the best performance by a non-Test playing side on their debut.
How many trophies did India win in the World Cup of Cricket?
India has already won three ICC World Cups. They won the Cricket World Cup on two occasions, 1983 and 2011. India also won the inaugural World T20 tournament in 2007.
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