ICC Cricket World Cup 2011: The World Cup 2011 saw a total of 14 teams contesting for the game’s most coveted title. The 2011 World Cup was the tenth edition of Cricket World Cup which happens every four years. India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh were the co-hosts of the tournament which stretched across 43 days. Pakistan was earlier scheduled to be a co-host for the 2011, but after attacks on Sri Lanka n Cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009, International Cricket Council (ICC) cancelled their nomination.Also Read - WATCH: Sachin Tendulkar in Awe of Young Spinner's Passion, Rashid Khan Reacts on Viral Video
‘Stumpy’ — A stout elephant who is seen playing with a ball with his trunk, was chosen as tournament’s mascot. There were two official songs for the 2011 edition of World Cup. One was composed by Indian trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy while the other was adapted by Ranidu Lankage and composed by Shehan Galahitiyawa. Shankar Ehsan Loy sung ‘De Ghuma Ke’ (Swing It Hard) while the Sri Lankan band sun ‘Sinha Udaane’. Also Read - Sunil Gavaskar Rates Virat Kohli's RCB Captaincy, Compares Him to Sachin Tendulkar And Sir Don Bradman
The tournament began on February 19 with India clashing with Bangladesh in Dhaka and the final being played between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai. It was for the first time in a World Cup where both the finalists were Asian teams. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 saw as many as 49 matched being played at grounds spread across the sub-continent. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule: Complete Fixtures & Time Table of all Cricket World Cup 2015 Matches Also Read - Virat Kohli Does Not Even Come Close to Sachin Tendulkar, Babar Azam Does: Ex-Pakistan Pacer Mohammed Asif Claims
ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was played in a round-robin and knockout format. The total 14 teams were divided in two groups- A & B, with two Associate Nations in each group. The Group A had teams of Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, and Kenya. India was placed in Group B which also had South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland, and Netherlands.
In the quarter-finals; West Indies took on Pakistan, Australia against India, New Zealand against South Africa, while England took on Sri Lanka. On one hand, where Pakistan had a cake walk win over Pakistan, India saw through a tense finish to win against Australia. South Africa stumbled once again in the knock-out stage, this time against New Zealand, whereas Sri Lanka marched on with authority over England to semi-finals.
In the semi-finals; Sri Lanka secured an easy victory over New Zealand in Colombo, which also marked the last ODI match for bowling legend Muttaiah Muralitharan on his home-turf. In the second semi-final, India beat Pakistan in an epic showdown where the Head of States of both India and Pakistan were present. Sachin Tendulkar missed out on his 100th international century, but it was Suresh Raina’s calmness which propelled India to a competitive score. The Pakistani batsman failed to deliver as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. India managed to stay unbeaten by Pakistan in an ICC Cricket World Cup event, yet again. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule in IST: Time Table, Fixture & Venue Details of all WC 2015 Matches
The final of World Cup 2011 was a viewers’ delight. Sri Lankans in the first innings with the help of Mahela Jayawardene’s gem of an innings of 103 not out saw India being set a target of 275 runs. However, the packed house at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai was silenced with two quick wickets of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar by Lasith Malinga. Gautam Gambhir played one of the most pressure-absorbing innings one could in a final of a World Cup, but ended 3 runs short of what could have been remembered as a memorable century. Later, it was MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh who saw India lift the title after 28 years.
Yuvaj Singh was the Man of the Tournament as he scored 362 runs and scalped 15 wickets. Yuvraj won four Man-of-the-Match awards in the tourney, which is the highest by any player in any edition of World Cup. Sri Lanka’s Tillakartane Dilshan won the Golden Bat as he scored the most runs- 500, in the 2011 edition. The top bowling honours were shared by Pakistani Shahid Afridi and India’s Zaheer Khan as both took 21 wickets each.
The 2011 World Cup also saw many controversies take place during the entire tournament. In an instance, Bangladeshi fans pelted stones at West Indies’ Cricket Team bus, mistaking it for their team’s bus. In another controversy, the toss had to be done twice in finals between India and Sri Lanka.
As they say, all’s well that ends well; MS Dhoni’s humongous six over long on region and the emotional scenes of teary-eyed Yuvraj Singh hugging Tendulkar, and Gary Kirsten been given a splendid farewell will always be etched in the eyes of a cricket fan.
Photo Credits: Jyoti Desale