26 July, 2021

Player's Pot Of Gold

More than just pride was at stake in the '92 World Cup

Player's Pot Of Gold
THE fifth World Cup in Australia— to sustain the four- year tradition— should've been staged towards the end of '91, not beginning '92. But Australia, driven by the Packer culture of "Take it or leave it!", just would not hear of interrupting their multimillion dollar television linked programme of five Tests vs India, beginning Nov 29, '91 and ending Feb 5, '92. More so, because interwoven into that five - Test series was Packer's domestically prestigious Channel 9 Benson & Hedges World Series, running from December 6 to Jan 20! So the World Cup be damned— the W S C series had to be played first. Thus the Cup began as late as Feb 22, '92, only after India's fifth and final Test was over.

For all that, this event witnessed an astounding turn a round by Pakistan. It was Gavaskar alone who'd envisioned Imran's team beating master strategist Martin Crowe's Kiwis in the first semi-final at Auckland's Eden Park on March 21. Later, Sunny talked of how he "saw it in their eyes" and "got the message from their body language". Next, in the March 25 final at the M C G, when Ian...

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