Posted by: tootingtrumpet | February 18, 2011

Capturing The World Cup 1992 – The Final Over of the Day

Imran wins the World Cup. Or so his speech claims.

Ball One – Ten minutes into the programme, it is clear that ODI cricket has progressed further in the previous four years than in the 12 prior to that. The ball is white, the uniforms garishly coloured and tactics are no longer adapted from the longer form of the game, but designed from the ground up for the 50 overs format. New Zealand led the way with Mark Greatbatch hitting the new, hard ball over the top, followed by a middle-order of nurdlers and scramblers and, when the Kiwis got hold of the ball, dibbly-dobblers to strangle the opposition in the middle overs. Even as attacking a cricketer as Chris Cairns could only get a bat at 8 and four overs bowling in the opening match. Other strategies are available, as this tournament was to prove, but the legacy of Martin Crowe’s thinking lives on today.

Ball Two – The emphasis on athleticism and aggression in ground fielding is more evident in this tournament than in the past. Never was the third skill more foregrounded than in Pakistan’s early match against South Africa in which a youthful, but still somewhat lugubrious, Inzamam (scoring at well over a run a ball) takes half a dozen steps down the wicket and is sent back, only to be confronted with the sight of a horizontal, diving green blur smashing all three stumps out of the ground. And backward point, for me, was renamed “the Jonty Rhodes position” – a phrase I still use today – he deserves it.

Ball Three – A clash of philosophies in the semi-final as Imran’s cornered tigers face Martin Crowe’s grey men (grey uniforms, I mean – honest). Knowing that he had the old head of Javed Miandad at the other end, the young Inzamam gave the bowlers nowhere to bowl, as his brilliant eye saw him make 60 off just 37 balls, before the inevitable run out. Javed, of course, was still there at the end, in company with the almost equally wily Moin Khan – two alleycats (rather than tigers) saw Pakistan into the final.

Ball Four – In the other semi-final, no doubt being followed by an interested pair of academics called Duckworth and Lewis, rain swirled around Sydney as South Africa sought to chase down England’s handy 252. I recall watching the closing stages of their chase in a pub in Soho and being confident throughout that South Africa were never going to get up. Once the long-threatened downpour arrived, the rules at the time (known to both teams of course) kicked in and the SA target shifted from 22 off 13 to 21 off, er… 1. The weather spoiled what promised to be a close finish, but the team ahead (on any reckoning) when the rain came, progressed and South Africa, not for the last time, had only themselves to blame.

Ball Five – Even Imran concedes that England had a better team as a whole, but you look at some of the names in that XI and wonder. Have the likes of Chris Lewis, Derek Pringle, Richard Illingworth and Dermott Reeve the stuff of World Champions? But they nearly were!

Ball Six – Imran was right in his demand that his bowlers took wickets – England had only one partnership above 39 runs in the final. In their long careers in county cricket, Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed showed that Englishmen could not deal with their lateral movement – both ways – conjured at will regardless of pitch or conditions.In retrospect, the better team won.


If you have any thoughts on or memories of the 1992 World Cup, please comment below.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.

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Responses

  1. Javed Miandad & Kiran More sledging battle was definetely a highlight.

    Some other memories I have shared here
    http://batball2cricket.blogspot.com/2011/02/world-cup-memories-1992.html

    • Nice Nishant. Your memories are similar to what I drew out of the programme.

  2. In India’s opening game against England just when Sachin was threatening to build a strong base, Ian Botham got him with a superb outswinger. And I remember thinking if an 18 year old had come into a world cup and just dictate terms to someone like Ian Botham, I would have had to rethink a lot of thngs about cricket.

    I was disappointed but somewhere the structure I saw for myself with the game was in tact. Botham showed he was Botham and Sachin played like an 18 year old.

    I also remember an innovative Aussie fan put up a….10 Dulkar sign and kept updating it until 35 Dulkar…..

  3. Being just 19, I have managed to follow only 2003 n 2007 WCs, along with a bit of 1999. Of all the other WCs, I have heard and read the most about the 1992 WC.

    Only if I could go back in time to watch young Inzamam’s class or Jonty’s brilliance or Imran Khan’s inspirational captaincy.

    • Inzy will be the one who will surprise you most!

  4. This was my first world cup, so I have rather tinted spectacles of it being exceptionally good, rather than an endless round-robin, but then I was at school, so I only saw the tail-end of games, and didn’t have 24/7 internet coverage either. I remember only a few clear snapshots and very little of the flow.

    1) Not recalling seeing either Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe – live, tv, at all! – as they toured Australasian cricket’s outposts. But being astounded by their game at New Plymouth, when both cleared 300 (the first time both teams had done it, incidentally).

    2) Feeling like Australia somehow cheated, by getting the best of the rain-rule against India, then winning so comically when they a) had to bowl Tom Moody in the last over whose first two balls went to the fine-leg fence with the fine-leg up b) dropped a sitter on the boundary – SRWaugh – on the final ball and c) barely managed to prevent a third tying run getting the ball back to fill-in keeper Boon.

    3) The 30 over slog fest (or so it seemed) in Adelaide between India and South Africa. For years afterward I couldn’t break the feeling that the game was better at that length. (yet somehow there were only 2 sixes hit)

    4) Allan Donald. Having done my back young, so I’d been bowling leg-spin for 3 years before the Warne wave hit and every kid wanted to bowl half-track rubbishleg-spin. I went back to bowling quick and rebuilt my action on his. Almost perfect.

    5) Having multiple games on the same day – there were 3 on both the 15th and 18th of March. It felt so much more inclusive somehow, when you were worrying about some results – or chuckling at certain others.

    6) Watching Martin Crowe’s plans fall to pieces while he sat on the sidelines injured and Inzy wrecked havoc. A sad way for a truly innovative and extremely productive tournament to end.

    7) The counter-point of Imran Khan and Miandad’s long defensive partnership in the final with their acceleration and Wasim Akram and Inzaman’s manic finish. (oh, and Javed going down to a reverse sweep, I mean, really!)

    Retrospectively, it is odd the English press (and world) gives precedence to Jayasuriya when Greatbatch did so 4 years earlier; just the benefits of knocking a team out and winning the world cup I guess.

    The lesson I always take from the tournament, and which has still not been fully absorbed: England had pretty much the perfect late-80s team, lots of all-rounders, lots of late-order slogging. They beat everyone who played the way Australia won in ’87 (consolidate, attack late), because they could attack for longer than anyone else. They were beaten by the two teams that attacked them, with bat and ball. And the former failed because they couldn’t dismiss the Pakistan tail. The world cup is won by the team that can bowl out the opposition.

    • I think the reason the Sri Lankans get credit for the whole “attack in the first 15 overs” thing is that they had both openers doing the attacking.

      • Good point Dave, but I suspect that SL winning the thing has something to do with it.

    • Not sure that bowling sides out is the route to success. Plenty of teams are strangled out.


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