1992 World Cup was the last one for many cricketing heavyweights. Captains from 6 of the 9 teams retired after this World Cup. Only Mohammed Azharuddin from India and Richie Richardson from West Indies went on to captain their respective sides in the next World Cup as well. Aravinda de Silva too handed over the captaincy to Arjuna Ranatunga of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the next World Cup.
Martin Crowe of New Zealand was the highest run-getter in the tournament. He was named the Man of the Tournament, which was the first time a player received this award in a World Cup tournament. This was the only World Cup where no bowler took a single five-wicket haul.
One of the greatest all-rounders of the game, Ian Botham also retired after this World Cup. He finished the World Cup as the joint second-highest wicket-taker. Incidentally, Botham played his last World Cup match, last ODI and last Test all against Pakistan. His last World Cup match was the final of that tournament which was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ian Botham, who had a wonderful World Cup leading up to the final, was dismissed for a duck in the final by Wasim Akram.
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Botham's career was filled with many unique records. He was the first player to take 10 wickets and score a century in a single Test. He was part of England's World Cup team in 1979, 1983 and 1992. On all three occasions, England qualified for the semi-finals but didn't win. At one point in time, he was the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.
England won 5 of their 8 league matches in the tournament. Pakistan won only 1 of the first 5 games that they played. Pakistan changed their fortune in the last two weeks of the tournament. On March 11, they defeated Australia and Sri Lanka on the 15th. They defeated New Zealand consecutively in the league stage and then in the semi-final. On 25th March, they finally conquered England to lift the trophy for the first time. For many, England was the team of the tournament but in the finals, they were outplayed by Pakistan.
One of the most celebrated rivalries in cricket is that between England and Australia. Botham was part of many such encounters and one such incident came in the 1992 World Cup.
On this day, England and Australia met each other in the 18th game of the tournament.
Australia were defeated by co-hosts New Zealand in the tournament opener. They then went on to lose South Africa, who were making their debut in World Cup cricket Australia then won a very close encounter against India by a mere margin of 1 run.
To avoid an early exit from the tournament, Australia needed a win against England. Botham happened to be the roadblock for them that day. England defeated the defending champions comfortably by 8 wickets. Ian Botham was adjudged the Man of the Match.
He scalped 4 of the last 6 wickets that fell for Australia. All these 4 wickets were taken in a span 7 balls. He finished the match with 4 for 31 which was his best figures in ODIs. His victims were Allan Border, Ian Healy, Peter Taylor, and Craig McDermott. Australia were bundled out for 171 runs in 49 overs.
Botham then came out to open the innings for England along with Graham Gooch. Both of them added 107 for the first wicket. Botham scored 53 off 77 balls. This was his last half-century in ODIs.Published 05 Mar 2020, 09:00 IST