India break jinx of World Cup triumph by host country

Mumbai: Pre-tournament favourites India spectacularly broke the jinx of a host nation not winning the World Cup, by clinching the sport`s most treasured prize by vanquishing Sri Lanka in the summit clash at the Wankhede Stadium.

When Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men crossed the finish line after overhauling Sri Lanka`s stiff target of 275, it was the first-ever time in the tournament`s history that the nation hosting the grand finale had come out trumps.

England had hosted the tournament on four occasions (1975-1983 and 1999) without tasting success even once.

India was the co-hosts of the 1987 edition along with Pakistan, and Allan Border`s Australians beat Mike Gatting`s England at the Eden Gardens to snatch away the top prize.

Five years later, Australia hosted the final (the tournament`s joint co-hosts being New Zealand), and it was the turn of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan to lift the trophy.

In 1996 though winners Lanka were the co-hosts of the tournament with India and Pakistan, but the final was held at Lahore.

After the 1999 tournament, won by Australia in England, Ricky Ponting led the Aussies to back-to-back title triumphs in 2003 (in South Africa) and in 2007 (in West Indies).

But tonight, egged on by a capacity crowd of 33,000, India created history as hosts of the summit clash by denying co-hosts Lanka the Cup as well as the top prize of USD 3 million.

Runners-up Sri Lanka pocketed USD 1.5 million.

The triumph also placed India alongside the West Indies and Australia as the teams to have won the much-admired title on more than one occasion.


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