Showing posts with label Vinod Kambli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vinod Kambli. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2019

The World of Cricket World Cups - Part 5 - 1996 Group Stage

The 1996 Cricket World Cup was also known as ‘Wills World Cup’, after the brand of it’s official sponsor, ITC. The world cup was being hosted in the Indian subcontinent again after 1987 edition, and the craze and frenzy was unmatched. India and Pakistan had been performing well for the past few years, and they were one of the prime favourites to win the cup on home soil. Pakistan were the defending champions, with an excellent combination of youth and experience. India had found a superstar of their own in Sachin Tendulkar, who success had become paramount for India’s win in any match. It was believed that India’s chances to win a match take a major downward dip if he gets out early, which was proven by the fact that most of Indian households used to switch off their tv sets once Sachin got out. Sri Lanka on the other hand, were on a rise with some very good players rising in the ranks, but still, they weren’t considered to be a favourite to go the distance.
The format of this world cup was changed again, with teams divided in two groups. Three new Associate teams were included this time: Kenya, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates. Group A comprised of India and Sri Lanka, along with Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Group B comprised of Pakistan, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates. Top 4 teams from each group would qualify for the quarter finals. India hosted 17 matches at as many venues, Pakistan hosted 16 matches at 6 venues and Sri Lanka 4 matches at 3 venues.
Controversy: There were bomb blasts in Colombo in January 1996, as Sri Lanka was still struggling with militancy by Tamil Tigers. This worried the touring teams Australia and West Indies about their security, and they refused to go to Sri Lanka to play their matches, even after safety assurances by ICC. As a result, Sri Lanka was declared winner by walkover and awarded 2 points each for these matches, which meant that they virtually qualified for the quarter finals even before playing a match.
Group A
India started off their campaign on a good note against Kenya in Cuttack, chasing a target of 200 with 7 wickets and 8 overs to spare. Sachin Tendulkar played a fine knock of 127 not out. They continued their good show against West Indies in Gwalior, in a match which was dubbed as a

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Youth and Fame – A Deadly Concoction!

Image result for kl rahul pandyaIndia’s test series win in Australia is a moment in time, a piece of history, one of the most awaited and cherished wins in memory. This team has shown ruthlessness, consistency and superior performance – let it be the aggression of the pace battery, the run making prowess of Pujara, or the now-used-to consistency with which Kohli scores. But there are talks about how this was probably the weakest Australian side to take field; a team undergoing rebuilding phase – both on and off the field. The absence of Steve Smith and David Warner was no doubt a massive gain for India, but still, Australia managed to win the Perth test. However, what made this series spicy (don’t forget that this series started with no pre-series aggressive comments from the Aussies, and both teams showing mutual respect, which was unseen till now) was the banter behind the stumps. Tim Paine and Rishabh Pant hogged the limelight for their innovative, catchy and sometimes childish comments (can’t call it sledging, as Channel 9 was broadcasting it by asking the commentators on air to be quiet and let the wicket keepers do the talking, as perhaps, for some weird reason, it made good viewing). I wonder what the likes of Richie Benaud would have had to say for such antics!