Millennium Post

India's World Cup snippets

Indias World Cup snippets

On June 7, 1975, a revolution was brought about by a mega event that lasted for 15 odd days and provided the much sought after pace to the traditionally slow narrative of cricket leading to the incredible euphoria that it enjoys today. As Team India depart for England and Wales and embark on 'Mission World Cup', hopes of a billion people join in their quest to bring home the trophy for the third time. The cricket World Cup has always involved a landslide of emotions — from switching off the television when Sachin Tendulkar got dismissed, not changing one's seat because of superstition; praying and crossing fingers; to wearing a particular coloured shirt/jersey or not watching the live match at all. In 1975, the idea of a global limited-overs tournament gained ground and the concept of the ODI World Cup came to life. England, who were among the favourites to win the Cup, was the obvious choice as it could successfully arrange the resources to stage an event of such stature. However, the tournament belonged to the 'Calypso Charmers' led by the discerning West Indian captain Clive Lloyd. India's debut campaign was disastrous as they were still to come to terms with the new format of cricket and their first match was against the mighty English team. The latter scored a mammoth 334/4 in 60 overs. But it was India's Sunil Gavaskar who hogged the limelight, obviously for the wrong reasons. He played 174 deliveries and scored just 36 as India lost the match by 202 runs. In 1983, India won its first World Cup crown and 'Kapil's Devils' scripted a historic heist which saw them defeat the West Indies at the Mecca of Cricket. Kapil's stunning backwards-running catch of Vivian Richards in the final will always remain as one of the defining moments of Indian cricket. Another iconic unforgettable memory is the 1996 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens. And it is a shame Kolkata will have to live with forever. The one-lakh strong crowd hurled plastic water bottles and soft drink containers for about 30 minutes venting their emotions against the pathetic Indian batting. That night, Vinod Kambli walked off the field in tears, flanked by Sri Lankan players and security personnel. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his special six won India the World Cup in 2011. He led from the front with an unbeaten 91 from 79 balls against Sri Lanka at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. Dhoni's knock was one for the ages as he, along with Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, led India to the famous second World Cup win. There are innumerable such moments that have characterised India's World Cup cricket legacy and from a few days from today, we look forward to many more.

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