The ICC World Cup 2019 is just around the corner. Every Indian – both in India and abroad – is living in anticipation of the big event. Finally, the squad that will be representing India in the 2019 World Cup has been announced and the biggest cricketing tournament on earth is all set to begin! Starting from the 30th of May, the 12th edition of this global tournament will be hosted by England and Wales and is expected to come to an end by mid-July.
So while we all hold our breaths and wait for the games to begin, let’s learn some interesting facts about the ICC World Cup and its history, as it is the event which will be taking the cricketing world by storm in a few days’ time!
For the first time in over three decades, Zimbabwe will miss the tournament
While Zimbabwe had never won a world cup tournament, it has long been a tough competitor on the cricket pitch. But for the first time in thirty-six years, the Zimbabwe cricket team failed to qualify for the world cup. The last time Zimbabwe had missed the world cup had been in the year 1983, long before many of today’s avid cricket fans were even born!
West Indies had to go through the qualifiers in order to participate
England, the hosts of the ICC world cup 2019, and the other top seven cricket teams of the world automatically qualified for the tournament. To get a spot in the world cup lineup, however, all the other teams had to go through a qualifier round. West Indies, historically one of the strongest teams in the world, had to take part in the qualifiers this year as they had failed to make it into the top seven.
Almost half a century ago, the first cricket world cup was held
Forty-four years ago in June 1975, the first cricket world cup tournament was hosted by England, wherein each innings was limited to 60 overs. After three world cups, the ICC decided to revise the rules and set a limit of 50 overs for an inning. This was done in 1987, more than a decade after the commencement of the world cup.
The historic 2011 world cup finals required the toss to happen twice
During the final match of the 2011 world cup, which was played between neighboring nations Sri Lanka and India, the first toss was dismissed because the umpire hadn’t heard skipper Kumara Sangakkara’s call. And that’s why he flipped the coin a second time, after which Sri Lanka finally won the toss and caused the crowd to burst out cheering!
Tendulkar, the highest run scorer in world cup history
Not only did Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar score the highest number of runs in tests and ODI’s, he also holds the record for being the highest ever run scorer in world cup cricket. Over a career spanning six world cups, he scored a total of 2278 runs, creating a record that is yet to be broken.
Aussie pacer Glenn Mcgrath, the most accomplished wicket taker
Glenn Mcgrath, a former Australian pacer, holds the record for having taken the highest number of wickets in the history of the cricket world cup. More than seventy batsmen had succumbed to his extraordinary bowling prowess during world cup matches.
Chetan Sharma, the one who scored the first hat-trick
The title of the world cup’s hat-trick hero goes to former Indian cricketer Chetan Sharma, who took three wickets in a row during a 1987 world cup match against New Zealand. This was the first time anyone had performed such a feat during a world cup tournament.
The Rawalpindi Express of world cup bowling
Former Pakistani fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar had always been known for his superfast bowling. Nicknamed the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ in honor of his hometown of Rawalpindi, Akhtar made a world cup record in 2003 by bowling at 161.3 km/h against English batsman Nick Knight.
How heavy is that majestic world cup trophy?
Originally created for the 1999 world cup tournament, the current trophy weighs approximately 11kgs and is over 60cm in height. The globe at the top of the trophy represents the cricket ball while the three silver columns holding it up are the stumps and the bails. The trophy contains inscriptions with the names of its previous winners engraved on its surface.
The first ever abandoned world cup match
In the year 1996, the world cup semi final match was played in Kolkata between India and Sri Lanka. The spectators, angry about the fact that India was about to lose the match, threw bottles into the stadium and even set fire to some of the furniture in the sitting area. As a result, the officials were forced to abandon the match and declare Sri Lanka the de facto winners.
So, did you learn these interesting world cup facts for the first time or were you aware of them already? Let us know in the comments below if there’s anything that we missed. And don’t forget to tune in for the first match between South Africa and England on the 30th of May, 2019!
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