Winner-Australia (defeated India by 125 runs)
Host nations- South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe
Number of teams- 14
Period- February 9, 2003- March 23, 2003
Format – Since there were 14 teams, the World Cup had to be longest ever. 54 matches were played over a period of 44 days. The league matches played between two groups of 7 teams each and took 24 days to complete.
The top three teams from each pool then proceeded to the `Super Six`, carrying with them the points scored in matches against the other qualifying teams in their pool. Super Six then decided the four teams that played in the semi-finals.
Pool A: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Australia, Pakistan, India, Holland, England, Namibia
Pool B: South Africa, West Indies Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Canada, South Africa, Kenya
Super Six: New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, Bangladesh.
New wrinkles- The 2003 Cricket World Cup was officially named as ICC Cricket World Cup 2003. For the first time ever the cricket World Cup was held in African continent. Relay throwing made its first appearance
Did you know? - This World Cup is notorious for being the most controversial World Cups of all.
Shane Warne was sent home only a day before Australia’s opening game. He failed a drug test and was banned for a year. He blamed it on diet pills that he took to improve his appearacne.
England, facing intense domestic pressure to boycott ties in Zimbabwe, cited security reasons to do so. New Zealand also backed out of playing in Kenya citing the same reason.
Andy Flower, Henry Olonga wore black armbands protesting the death of democracy as they represented Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe in 2003 World Cup.
The contenders- In Group A, Australia had their name written all over and they dominated not losing even a single match in the group league. India was the other team that lost just to Australia to be at the second spot. Zimbabwe was again reviving the four year old marvel by coming at third spot and a gaining a good net run rate. Zimbabwe won the match against the Netherlands and luckily their match against Pakistan was washed due to rain and they were awarded the points. England and Pakistan had another miserable run as Pakistan lost another match to India in the World Cup.
England refused to play a match against Zimbabwe. The match was inadvertently awarded to Zimbabwe.
In Group B too, New Zealand suffered the same fate. They refused to play in Kenya due to a spate of terrorist activities in the region. Despite ICC’s regular assurances New Zealand refused. Kenya made it to the Super Six stage by defeating Sri Lanka, Canada, Bangladesh and walkover win against New Zealand.
South Africa became second time unlucky and headed towards an early departure from the tournament as they succumbed to the pressure of home turf.
The Super Six- Teams like Zimbabwe and Kenya made to it the Super Six stage. Australia once again proved that they were tough to beat, winning every match in the Super Six pool. India showed immense form as they also went through undefeated.
Kenya was still making good amount through New Zealand’s donation of Nairobi’s match and was the next one in the line to get through with credible run rate. Sri Lanka after losing two matches to India and Australia just made it due to net run rate. Zimbabwe lost all their matches and could not survive after this stage. New Zealand lost matches to India and Australia and was thus left out for semi finals.
The semis- Superb performance by Kenya made the people of host nation sit up and notice. A disciplined fielding and bowling under the guidance of coach Sandeep Patil made things happen for Kenya. They faced India in the semi-finals. India with their exhilarating form brushed aside Kenya.
The other semifinalists Australia and Sri Lanka had a tough battle for the final frontier. Australia plummeted at 212 against Sri Lanka. Chaminda Vaas took three wickets to restrict Australia. On the other hand Australian bowlers proved their mettle as Brett Lee took three early wickets. Sri Lanka lost the match to rain and Duckworth-Lewis system.
The final- On the final day at the Wanderers, Saurav Ganguly’s men came out on the field blistering with confidence. But Australians had other plans in mind; they battered and hammered Indian bowling all over the stadium. Australia accumulated mammoth 359 against India, their second highest ever in ODI history. And India just crumbled under pressure with man of the series Sachin Tendulkar departing right in the first over of the innings. India lost the final of World Cup 2003 by 125 runs.
Highest team totals
Lowest team totals
Highest run aggregates
Highest wickets aggregates
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