100 days to the Cricket World Cup

Kersi - 100 days


Author Kersi Meher-Homji (right) with the legendary Allan Border at the World Cup event in Sydney on November 6, 2014. (Photo by Sandip Hor)

By Kersi Meher-Homji

It’s coming soon to Australia and New Zealand; the greatest show of cricket, the 2015 Cricket World Cup. It will start on 14 February, the Valentine Day. So it will be of interest to the cricket-lovers as also to the romantics!

And to promote this big event Cricket Australia held a spectacular function near the Rocks area with the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour on Thursday the 6th November.

For me it was a thrill to meet Aussie cricket legends Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. It was an equal thrill to see the four World Cups won by Australia in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007 on display. The first three players had captained Australia to the World Cup triumphs.

Border had won it in India in 1987, Waugh in England in 1999 and Ponting in 2003 in South Africa and in 2007 in the West Indies. The current Australian captain Clarke stared at these Cups longingly.

Australia is the only country to win the World Cup four times, winning it three times in a row in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

West Indies and India come next winning it twice each; WI in 1975 and 1979 (both times in England) and India in 1983 in England and in 2011 in India. Pakistan won it in 1992 in Australia and Sri Lanka in 1996 in Pakistan.

India is the current holder of the World Cup.

Who will win the 10th World Cup in Australia ”“ New Zealand was a subject of discussion. It was anyone’s Cup, agreed Border, Waugh, Ponting and Clarke.

The first three recalled their magical moments when lifting the Cup. Border remembered the following match in 1987 which galvanised his team’s attitude.

No one then expected Australia to enter the semis, let alone lift the 1987 World Cup. This changed after their first match against India in Chennai. Australia scored 6-268 after Geoff Marsh (110) and David Boon put on 110 runs for the opening wicket. But the alert Australian Manager Alan Crompton had noticed that a hit from Dean Jones signalled as a four was actually a six.

At lunch Crompton, the umpires and captains Border and Kapil Dev watched the video and two runs were added to the total, from 268 to 270. As India was all out for 269, Australia had won by one run.

For his century, Marsh was made Man of the Match but many said tongue-in-cheek that their eagle-eyed manager Crompton was the real hero. Inspired by this dream win, Australia went on to win their first World Cup in Kolkata beating England by seven runs, watched by over 70,000.

Many other dramatic moments were recalled by the Aussie captains.

Fourteen countries will participate in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. They are in alphabetical order: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

It will be hosted in 14 cities across Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29 next year.

Tickets are selling fast. Half a million tickets have been sold already, more than three months before the start of the tournament.

More tickets were released yesterday. To get the seats you want, get in early at www.cricketworldcup.com


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