Saturday, February 21, 2009

1992 - Cricket World Cup - A Flashback!!

While Reading through the news about India's tour to NZ between Feb & Mar'09, I thought of recording a flashback on 1992 cricket world cup held in Australia & NewZealand. My first & most enjoyed world cup to date… I think, I was in 7th std during that time!!

Introduction to this cricket world cup was thru chats with my school classmates, colleagues traveling in “Pattu Bus” & thru “Big Fun” Bubble gum fixtures!!. During those days, “Big fun” bubble gum was a big hit among youngsters, coz of wrappers attached to bubble gum had cricket stars. Those wrappers wud hav Score 2 runs, 4 runs, 6 runs, 1 wicket like that.. :) Only a most lucky guy would get “Kapil Dev wrapper” as it had “Score 6 runs”. (What a Marketing strategy). When you have collected more wrappers & reached 100 runs, you would get a cork Ball or some cricket stars’ posters. This time, with score (??) of 100 runs through wrappers, you can collect world cup fixtures!!

Most challenging & convenient thing about watching that worldcup was, telecast started at 4 AM IST for the matches held at Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney & 2:30AM or 3:00 AM for the matches held in NewZealand… Challenge is to wake up @ 3AM & getting permission from parents & convenience is you can watch atleast first half of match before leaving to school :) Most of our classmates’ parents would say no for watching cricket early in morning. So, you'll get attention of ur classmates, as you hav watched cricket Live ;)

There was lot of things that made that world cup more interesting. SouthAfrican Cricket team’s reentry to mainstream cricket after two decades, 9 teams, One complete round robin format, a new rain rule for truncated game (obviously unable to understand at that age ;) ), South Africa’s fielding, more matches played under floodlights, more colourful crowd wearing biknis ;) (This was the first time viewers like me was exposed to biknis on TV!!) During those days, ads does n't show up before 6th ball is finished..which is happening today. They used to show beautiful sceneries arnd the ground & scenic beaches !!

Indian cricket team, along with Australia, England & WestIndies was the favourites to win this worldcup. Indian cricket team had lot of all rounders, Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar, RaviShastri, first timers to world cup like Sachin, Manjrekar, Srinath & inform batsmen Srikkanth, Azharuddin.

India started series, with match against England. Chasing 236, ended up at 227 with 4 balls to spare. Subroto Bannerjee & Srinath's efforts gone in vain. Its interesting to note that Ravishastri was the highest scorer with 55 out of 110 balls.. You know why, coz, match was held at Perth, dokku vachu thaan aadanumaam ;) Then, India’s easy chance of winning match against Srilanka failed due to rain :(

Next game against Australia.. Chasing a target of 238 in 50 overs, Azharuddin made a fantastic 93. But rain spoiled the India’s chance of victory.. A brief spell of rain changed the target as 236 in 47 overs.. I still remember final over (not from the video attached below :) ).. Kiran more was batting.. bowling by Tom Moody.. needed 13 runs in 6 balls, 3 wickets in hand.. first ball 4 runs.. 9runs in 5 balls.. Next ball 4 runs.. 5runs in 4 balls.. easily achievable.. Kiran More bowled out.. 5 runs in 3 balls, 2 wickets.. Prabhakar makes a single..Srinath in Strike, 4 runs from 2 balls.. Prabhakar runs out at bowlers end.. 4 runs in 1 ball.. Srinath in Strike.Raju at other end.. a good hit, balls is stopped at boundary.. Srinath forcing for 3rd run.. Raju failed to reach the crease.. ran out.. Australia won by 1 run.
Again Rain and Luck (some people say we choked ) was against our team..

Next match was against Pakistan.. This match was remembered for not only India’s victory against Pakistan, but also for tussle between Kiran More & Javed Mianded & their Monkey act..
Watch the attached video from 18.44 min for this :) A really good one!!

India won its next match against Zimbabwe comfortably in a rain interrupted match. India lost its match against WestIndies, Newzealand, South Africa Finishing the 1st round with 5 points. Here its, interesting to note our Current Chief of selectors, Srikkanth made 5 ducks, a record by itself ;)

With four matches left, the points table looked like this…
New Zealand -14; England -11; South Africa - 10; Australia - 8; West Indies - 6;Pakistan - 5; India - 5;
Sri Lanka- 5; Zimbabwe-0

With Newzealand, England & Southafrica taking semifinal spot & with remaining matces between
Pakistan vs SriLanka
Australia vs West Indies
Pakistan vs Newzealand
England vs Zimbabwe

Everyone’s interest was the match between Australia & WestIndies, as no one expected Pakistan to win over Newzealand who remained unbeaten throughout the series. But, everything turned opposite. Lara’s batting display stopped Australia from Marching towards Semifinal. Pakistan surprised cricketing world by its stunning victory against Newzealand, as the final table looked like this.. & entered semis..
New Zealand -14; England -11; South Africa - 10; Pakistan - 9; Australia - 8; West Indies - 8; India - 5; Sri Lanka- 5; Zimbabwe-2

Pakistan, in one of the games, looked set to lose with England on 24-1 chasing Pakistan's score of 74 all out, but were saved by a spell of rain, which left the game as a no-result, the sides took one point each. Without that point Pakistan would not have qualified for the semi-finals. Point is, Sukran paarvai adicha whatever can happen!! Once they reached Semis, they grasped opportunity with excellent performance from Inzamam ul haq’s 37 ball 60 runs turning the match to enter into Finals.

SouthAfrica was the most appreciated team with fantastic captaincy of Kepler wessels, pace bowling of Allan Donald, with fielding skills of Jonty Rhodes. No one can forget his diving runout of Inzamam-ul-Haq.
South African Team gathered sympathy of all the viewers, when the rain-rule changed their chance to enter Finals!!

Newzealand started the series with a thunder, defeating Australia in their opening match. Martin Crowe’s Innovative captaincy surprised opponents. They won 7 out of 8 matches in first round.. They lost only to Pakistan, who won just one of their first five matches and only qualified for the semi-finals by beating the previously undefeated New Zealand side in their final round robin game.

Final match against England & Pakistan was more of an one-sided affair after the excellent bowling display by Akram & Mushtaq. Pakistan won the world cup becoming second sub continent country to win the world cup.

This world cup showcased importance of fielding, after the onfield displays of Jonty Rhodes. Introduced to the cricketing world, batting greats Sachin, Lara, Inzamam, bowling greats Srinath, Allan Donald, Wasim Akram,Ambrose… Bid adieu to Indian greats Srikkanth, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev!! Seen Cricket in a more colourful way!! For the first time Prime Sports telecasted this event across India, that started saying bye to DD!! More Indian viewers watched cricket from their home!! First time, I enjoyed (hopefully many of you) & followed a cricket series closely.