16 June, 2021

Wills Cricket World Cup 1996 Up For Grabs

Though India and Australia may be frontrunners for many, the 1996 World Cup is perhaps the most open one in the history of the game

Wills Cricket World Cup 1996 Up For Grabs
On the eve of the 1992 World Cup in Australia, a cricket follower in Mysore wrote a letter to a local tabloid. Shaffy Francis, the letter writer, hoped India would beat Pakistan in Australia to expose the Sharjah myth (they did), but also hoped Pakistani skipper Imran Khan would hold aloft the cup at the end of the tournament (he did). We don't know where Francis is now and what he's hoping, but for somebody on the hope trip in the 1975 and 1979 World Cups it would have been pretty forlorn if the team supported was other than the West Indies. Clive Lloyd's Caribbean muscle tone bowlers were then knocking stumps like so much rotten plywood and King Richards gave vent to the theory that the leather ball had to be thrashed to the ropes with a geometrical asymmetry. It was something that he attempted to do once again in the 1983 final at Lord's but Kapil Dev's running catch in the deep knocked the stuffings out of that run. In a way, the success of Kapil's devils that year was the watershed and henceforth there would be no favourites, just the team of the moment. History had no love...
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