The 2019 World Cup is in the business end of the tournament with Australia, India, England and New Zealand making it to the semi-finals. Although the tournament has had its share of controversies, the World Cup has been a success so far, promising some ever-lasting memories.
If 1983 WC is remembered for underdogs Kapil Dev and his men beating West Indies in the final, 2007 WC is remembered for India, Pakistan being knocked out in the first round itself. If 1992 WC is remembered for Herschelle Gibbs dropping Steve Waugh in Super Six match, 2011 WC is remembered for MS Dhoni’s winning six in the final.
Similarly, the 2019 World Cup has also seen a lot of ever-lasting memories that will remain with fans even when the tournament is over. So, here’s what fans would remember from the 2019 World Cup.
Rain plays spoilsport
This World Cup has seen the most rain-affected games in a single World Cup edition. In fact, the number of rain-affected washed outs have been more than all such games combined before this World Cup edition. And it did has a bearing on the semi-finalists. If rains had not affected Pakistan’s clash against Sri Lanka and if the Men in Green had won it, they would have made it to the last 4.
Pakistan’s run similar to their 1992 campaign
Pakistan were heavily criticised post their defeat against India. But they fought hard to stay in contention till their very last league game. They won their last 4 games to give a serious run for the last four berths. In fact, their 2019 World Cup campaign was on similar line as their victorious 1992 World Cup campaign. The only difference was that in the current edition, they could not go past the group stage, while they emerged champions in 1992.
Rohit’s cracking form
Rohit is in cracking form in this tournament. He made the tournament his own, by cracking five tons in 9 matches and counting. He became the first player to score five tons in a single World Cup edition, including three consecutive centuries. Rohit was helped by some dropped chances, but he made the most of it and scored heavily in absence of his regular partner Shikhar Dhawan who has to leave mid-way due to injury. Just like Sachin Tendulkar is synonymous with 2003 WC for his run-scoring spree, 2019 is same for Rohit.
Kohli’s sportsman’s spirit
Virat Kohli has shed some of his giving-it-back attitude in the 2019 World Cup. First, he came to the rescue of Steve Smith as he asked Indian fans to stop bullying the Australian for his ball-tampering episode in the match against Australia. He even backed Smith in the press conference, stating to let bygones be bygones and to stop bullying the former Australian skipper. In another incident, Kohli walked off after he believed he has edged it even though umpire has not given his verdict. Kohli also backed his former skipper MS Dhoni to the maximum, defending him for his poor strike rate.
Afghanistan’s spirited fightback
Afghanistan took its reputation a few notches higher with some spirited performance in the World Cup. Although they lost all their matches, they came close to upsetting top teams such as India, Pakistan and West Indies. However, their inexperience cost them these games. But they won fans with their show and would turn up a better team after this tournament. In the game against India, Mohammed Shami’s hat-trick in the last over took the game away from them. In the match against Pakistan, Wahab Riaz’s heroics avoided an upset. Afghanistan were unlucky to end on the losing side.
For three years, Carlos Brathwaite carried the burden of ‘Remember the name, Carlos Brathwaite’ after his 2016 World T20 final over heroics. But he turned back the clock in the 2019 World Cup clash against New Zealand where he was just inches away from registering a memorable win for his team. Needing 6 to win, centurion Brathwaite hoisted James Neesham over long-on only for Trent Boult to pull off a stunner just inches away. Brathwaite, who was batting with No 11 then, was heartbroken post the narrow 5-run loss. But this innings was one of the highlights of 2019 World Cup.
The zing bails came in for much criticism in this World Cup as it failed to get dislodged a few times. Captains, players criticised the zing bails but the ICC turned down an appeal to replace the zing bails, stating it’s same for all opponents. After a few incidents early in the tournament, it has not grabbed headlines so far, helping cricket to dominate the headlines.