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The Cricket World Cup is one of the most awaited sports events in the world that brings a lot of excitement and anticipation to millions of sports fanatics. Every four years, the best cricketing nations come together to battle it out for the coveted trophy and the wait for the next tournament is almost over. The 2023 Cricket World Cup gets underway on October 5th, and there is plenty for fans to get excited.
The Indians are renowned for their love of cricket the world over, and this year, they will host the tournament. With over a billion ardent fans cheering them on, reputable betting sites Canada have made the Men in Blue the +225 favorites for glory this year. The last three World Cups have been won by the hosts – including India’s success back in 2011 – and this is a pattern that Virat Kohli and Co. will be hoping to continue over the coming months.
The reigning champions however are England, and the Cricket World Cup isn’t the only title they have under their belt at present. They are currently the double world champions after romping to glory in the T20 World Cup late last year. Inspired by the heroics of their inspirational maverick all-rounder Ben Stokes, the English handily defeated Pakistan in Australia last November to secure the crown, and they will be aiming to make it three world titles on the spin in the subcontinent later this year.
While the tournament has featured many thrilling games, it also showcases some of the biggest upsets in cricketing history. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Ireland Stun England – 2011
Heading into the 2011 World Cup, England were hardly renowned for their performances in the short format of the game. They were considered test match specialists and they had just won their first Ashes series on Australian soil in 24 years. However, they had silenced some of their short-form doubters by winning the T20 World Cup in the West Indies – once again defeating Australia – in 2010 for the first time in their history.
With England on the rise then, many expected them to handily dispatch local rivals Ireland in this Pool Stage match at the 2011 World Cup. And those predictions looked to be on point when England posted a formidable total of 327 when batting first. However, they hadn’t banked on that famed spirit of the Fighting Irish,
The Boys in Green chased down the sizable target with apparent ease, winning the game by three wickets with just five balls to spare. Kevin O’Brien’s spell-binding century, slapping 113 off just 63 balls, ensured Ireland clinched its first-ever win over a Test-playing nation.
India Beat West Indies – 1983
India had never won a single match in the World Cup before 1983 but this time it was different. The Windies were a dominant force at that time, having won the two previous tournaments. The Men in Blue however restricted the favorites to just 184 in their run chase, eventually winning the game by 43 runs. This win set the ball running for India which went on to win its first-ever World Cup just a few games later.
Sri Lanka Beat Australia – 1996
The 1996 World Cup final between Sri Lanka and Australia was unbelievable. Australia was defending the World Cup trophy and looked unstoppable. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had just started to emerge as a cricketing force. When Australia posted an imposing total of 241 runs, the world anticipated a repeat of the 1987 World Cup final. However, Sri Lanka had different plans, and they chased down the target with ease. The Sri Lankan team lifted their first and only World Cup trophy.
Bangladesh Shock Rivals India – 2007
The 2007 World Cup was a disaster for India, who failed to make it to the Super Eights stage despite being one of the tournament favorites. They were drawn into a relatively difficult-looking group alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh however, they were still heavily fancied to progress. Those predictions were usurped right away though as the Men in Blue were stunned by neighbors Bangladesh in their very first game.
India’s top order was skittled, with Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, and Sachin Tendulkar all getting out cheaply. The rest of the order followed suit, and had it not been for Sourav Ganguly’s 66 and Yuvraj Singh’s 4, they may well have posted a much more embarrassing total than the measly 191 all out the eventual posted. Bangladesh comfortably chased down the target with five wickets in hand, causing a huge upset and triggering the turning point for Bangladeshi cricket.
The Indians would also go on to lose to Sri Lanka, which in turn eliminated them in the very first round.