Highlights of Cricket World Cups from 1975 to 2011


Tendulkar holds records for scoring the most runs in World Cup (2278 runs at 56.95 in 45 matches)

By Kersi Meher-Homji

As the media is full of the 11th cricket World Cup (WC) to be played in Australia – New Zealand in February-March 2015, let me pick out some interesting highlights and trivia.

Australia is the only country to win the WC four times (in1987 and then a “hat-trick” of wins in 1996, 2003 and 2007).

West Indies and India come next with two Cups each, the Windies winning in the inaugural year 1975 and in 1979 to make it two in a row. The reigning champs India has won in 1983 and in 2011.

Pakistan in 1992 and Sri Lanka in 1996 have won it once each.

In 2011 India became the only country to win a WC in her own country.

Australia has also been runners-up twice, in 1975 and in 1996, thus entering the finals a record six times out of ten.

England entered the WC final three times (in 1979, 1987 and 1992) without winning even once. Graham Gooch played in all three finals, an agonising experience.

Surprisingly, South Africa has failed to enter the final even once.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguli of India, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and the Waugh twins Steve and Mark of Australia and South Africa’s Gary Kirsten are holding all individual records in the 36 year history of the World Cup.

Tendulkar holds records for scoring the most runs in WC (2278 runs at 56.95 in 45 matches), hitting most centuries (6) and scoring most runs in a single WC (673 in 2003).

Ponting comes next with 1743 runs at 45.86 in 46 matches, hitting 5 centuries. He has also played most WC matches (46).

Kirsten has scored the highest individual score, 188 not out against United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996.

Mark Waugh (130) and his twin Steve (82) were the first to be associated in a double century partnership, adding 207 runs for the third wicket against Kenya at Vishakhapatnam in 1996.

This record was eclipsed twice in 1999 by Indian batsmen; Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar who added 237 runs for the unbroken third wicket against Kenya at Bristol and then by Sourav Ganguly and Dravid who added 318 runs for the second wicket against Sri Lanka at Taunton three days later.

McGrath has the best bowling in a match, 7-15 v. Namibia at Potchefstroom in 2003. The next best is also by an Aussie quickie, Andy Bichel, 7-20 v. England at Port Elizabeth, also in 2003.

McGrath has taken most wickets in WC, 71 at 18.19 in 39 matches and most wickets in a single WC, 26 in 2007.

Gilchrist made most dismissals, 52 (45 catches and seven stumpings in 31 matches), most dismissals in a single World Cup (21, all caught, in 2003) and most dismissals in an innings (6 catches v. Nambia at Potchefstoom in 2003).

Ponting took most catches by a non-wicket-keeper, 28.

Now from statistical to downright weird! Australia beat India by one run in Chennai, India on 9 October 1987 but that was thanks to the eagle eye of manager Alan Crompton. Australia scored 6-268 after 50 overs. However, the alert Crompton had noticed that a hit from Dean Jones signalled as a four was actually a six.

At lunch Crompton, the umpires and captains Allan Border and Kapil Dev watched the video and two runs were added to the total. India made 269 and lost by a run. For his century Geoff Marsh was adjudged Man of the Match but many said tongue-in-cheek that the manager deserved it more! Inspired, Australia went on to win the World Cup in Kolkata, their first at the fourth attempt.

Australian batsmen are the only ones to feature in five run outs in a World Cup match. Not once but twice! First time was against the West Indies in the inaugural World Cup final at Lord’s on 21 June 1975 when Alan Turner, Ian and Greg Chappell, Max Walker and Jeff Thomson were run out.

The second instance was when Mark and Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan, Shane Lee and Damien Fleming were run out against India in Mumbai on 27 February 1996.

Only two wickets fell for 441 runs in the match between Pakistan and West Indies in Melbourne on 23 February 1992. Pakistan scored 2-220 and West Indies replied with 0-221 to win by 10 wickets. Amazingly, the last 344 runs were amassed without the loss of a wicket!

The least fancied India under Kapil Dev winning the World Cup at Lord’s in England in 1983 remains a personal highlight.

What more records and curiosities will we witness in the 2015 World Cup down under?
Will India repeat her 2011 triumph to win two World Cups in a row?

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