With Martin Crowe (NZ) being named Man of the series for the first time in the history of the cricket world cup, the 1992 edition also more often referred to as the Benson & Hedges cup was nothing short of twists and turns as 9 teams took part in the tournament for the first time since it’s inception back in 1975.
Australia-New Zealand were given the honors this time around to host a cricketing gala like one which was never witnesses before because of the replacement of a white cricket ball with the red cherry, the colored team uniforms rather than the conventional whites and this tournament also marked the return of South Africa who had been facing a long time away from the game of cricket due to some political issues back home. Since the number of teams had been increased to 9 in the 1992 World Cup, splitting them into two groups would have been impossible hence it was decided that the format would have to be tweaked in order to adjust South Africa’s readmission. After a grueling round robin stage, the host and defending champions Australia missed out on their spot for the semi finals and the kiwis topped the points table followed by England, South Africa and Pakistan. Luck seemed to have been favoring Pakistan who narrowly made the semi finals with one point ahead of Australia although they had a pathetic start to the tournament with only one victory from their first 5 games.
In controversial circumstances, with rain proving to be a strong factor, South Africa lost their semi final to England and were knocked out of the tournament with a lot of questions being raised about the way such weather effected situations were handled. Pakistan, however were enjoying a purple patch and seemed to be doing no wrong; A good over all team effort ensured Pakistan their first birth into the final of cricket’s most prestigious trophy, the World Cup.
MCG witnessed what would be a befitting end to the career of Pakistan’s most favorite sons as Imran Khan lifted the trophy with his team defeating England who yet again had to go back home empty handed. Although the English were calm when the match started and were playing by the book but a good team effort with an exceptional performance both with the bat and the ball by Wasim Akram ensured that Pakistan became only the 4th test playing nation to lift the game’s most decorated trophy. Martin Crowe(NZ) led the pack with most runs,456, were as Wasim Akram (pak) bagged 18 wickets and was the most productive bowler of the 1992 Cricket World Cup.