1. Kits, balls and Duckworth Lewis: Also Read - PSL 2021 Schedule: Despite COVID-19 Surge, Pakistan Super League to Resume From June 1
Coloured kits made their debut in 1992 and it was the first time in a World Cup. The World Series in 1985, which India won was big hit and the fabulous floodlights in most of the Australian grounds had convinced the organizers to okay the same rules for the quadrilateral event. After 1987, the World Cup was played after a gap of five years. The World Cup was initially slated to played in late 1991 but with seasons working in the reverse in the Australasian continent, the tournament was played in early ’92. White balls were used for the first time too. Also Read - PUBG Addict Recreates Scene From The Game in Real Life, Kills 2 People & Injures 3 Family Members
2. New Zealand — the tournament’s pride Also Read - New Zealand Temporarily Suspends Entry of Travellers From India Till April 28 Due To Covid Surge
Co-hosts New Zealand went through a rocky patch leading up to the World Cup. England had toured the country just before the tournament began and the Kiwis were hammered in Tests and ODIs convincingly. That series would turn out to be a turning point for Martin Crowe and his men as his gifted tactical brain came up with innovative solutions to take teams by surprise. The Black Caps’ lost just once in the group stages, where they finished at the top of the heap. Their run in the tournament came to an end in the semi-finals. Both their losses came against eventual winners, Pakistan. The idea of using a pitch hitter through Mark Greatbatch, who sneaked into the side through the back door due to John Wright’s injury and off-spinner Dipak Patel, who started the bowling attack are thoughts that would stood the test of time. New Zealand were on the brink of a win in the final before a burly youngster called Inzamam-ul-Haq hammered a breathtaking 37-ball 60 to take Pakistan to their maiden final. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule in IST: Time Table, Fixture & Venue Details of all WC 2015 Matches
3. Pakistan — a tale of rising from the Ashes
Imran Khan’s team was lackluster in the group stages. After five group games, the team had just one just one game — against minnows Zimbabwe — and looked poised to head out of the competition. They had one World Cup cricket’s greatest escapes against England, the team they would go on to face in the final. Playing at Adelaide, Derek Pringle cleaned up the Pakistanis for a paltry 74. England were cruising to a landslide win with their score at 24 for one before the clouds opened up. Incessant rain meant that that match would get washed out and the spoils were shared between the teams. They also lost an ill-tempered match against arch rivals India and needed to win their last four games to have even a semblance of a chance to progress. They did just that, even upsetting toppers New Zealand in the process. Despite their heroics, a West Indian win against Australia in the last group fixture would have seen them crash out. The defending champions were desperate to make up for a tepid showing in front of their fans and David Boon and Mike Whitney ensured that they finished the tournament on a high. Australia finished fifth, ahead of West Indies on run rate and Pakistan were through. The semis would see them pull off another heist. The Kiwis were heading for a win before Inzamam-ul-Haq launched an astonishing attack to take them home in a chase. It was a Wasim Akram show in the final as England fell short of 249, which was masterminded by Imran Khan’s fighting 72. An English captain blundered in the second consecutive World Cup final as Graham Gooch dropped a regulation chance when Imran was on nine.
4. South Africa vs England semi final — What just happened?
One can listen to this tale a hundred times and the events that unfolded during the end of the match can leave you dumbfounded. Duckworth/Lewis made more noise than the cricket that was played, which was a shame as it happened to be one of the best games of the tournament. Played at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the match was curtailed to a 45-over-a-side contest due to a rain delay. South African skipper Kepler Wessels chose to field after winning the toss and England showed great verve through Graeme Hick and co. It was Dermot Reeve’s late flourish against Allan Donald that would prove to be the difference between the two sides. The final over cost 17.
South Africa began the chase brightly through Wessels and Andrew Hudson but the Proteas soon lost their way. England did a fine job in tying the opposition down in the middle overs. Peter Kirsten, Adrian Kuiper and Hansie Cronje wilted under pressure and chewed up deliveries. Jonty Rhodes however, fought back with a whirlwind cameo which put the Proteas on track.
Brian McMillan and Dave Richardson were at the crease and 22 was needed from 13 balls. There was yet another downpour and after a brief delay, the match resumed. The Duckworth/Lewis calculation was used in a few games in the tournament but the events that followed defied logic. South Africa now needed 22 from just seven balls. Seconds later, the big screen showed, to a stunned crowd that 22 were needed from just one ball!
McMillan and the South African dressing room seethed in anger. The English fans erupted in the stadium and Chris Lewis finished things off, bowling the final delivery of the game. There was no denying that England had the upper hand as the game headed for a grandstand finish. Despite reaching the finals, the celebrations were muted from the Poms. This match would later go on to start an infamous trend for South Africa in later years as they bowed out of tournaments inexplicably — with and without the bizarre calculations devised by Duckworth and Lewis.
5. Imran Khan — Leader, Legend and Philanthropist
The poster boy of Pakistan cricket came out retirement have another shot at glory with the Pakistan side. Almost 40 at this point, Imran Khan and his team were either soft or lost their heads in the early stages of the World Cup. The team had one of the biggest escapes in World Cup history when they got away from heading for a certain defeat against England in the group stages. After being bundled out for 74, England were coasting at 24 for one before rain pelted down in Adelaide and the teams shared the points.
His teammates, recounting their days in the World Cup said that despite the dressing room being morale-sapped after consecutive defeats, their leader never lost hope. Wasim Akram said that Imran would keep repeating “We will be champions” at every given opportunity, so much so that some in the team thought he had lost it.
From words, it turned out that a tiger is at its potent best when it’s wounded. Imran should also be lauded for bringing out the best from their younger brigade, who formed the nucleus of the next great generation of cricketers to come from Pakistan. Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Aaqib Javed and Mushtaq Ahmed flourished under Imran’s leadership and each played a part in leading the team to its maiden World Cup triumph.
Inzamam’s thrill-a-minute 60 against New Zealand in the semi-final came for widespread praise from the captain and Aaqib was in top form in the group stages. Mushtaq’s googly to trap Graeme Hick leg before in the final was one of the highlights of tournament. Akram though, was streets ahead. Turning to his main strike bowler when Neil Fairborther and Alan Lamb were stitching a useful partnership, Akram produced two deadly deliveries to set up Pakistan’s win.
In the presentation ceremony, Imran stated in his speech that he intended to donate the prize money into building a cancer hospital, which had been his “obsession” since the time the deadly decease took away his mother. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule: Complete Fixtures & Time Table of all Cricket World Cup 2015 Matches
6. Jonty Rhodes
Fielding would never be looked in the same way again since Jonathan Neil Rhodes graced the ODI circuit for the first time. His stunning reflexes, agility and gravity defying catching would go on to become the benchmark and revolutionized fielding forever. The South African produced one of the defining images of the tournament during a group fixture against Pakistan. The Proteas were heading for a defeat and Inzamam was sent back by Imran Khan halfway down the pitch. In one motion, the hockey goalie turned cricketer picked up the ball, dived forward and broke the stumps. Inzamam was short of his crease and Pakistan slumped to a defeat. The photograph of Rhodes became one of the game’s iconic photographs in its archives.