Three World Cuppers reminisce about their experience at cricket's biggest stage

India's Venkatapathy Raju and Balwinder Singh Sandhu and South Africa's Meyrick Pringle recount their World Cup experiences.

I remember getting Wasim Akram out off the last ball of my spell, says Venkatapathy Raju.   -  Nagara Gopal

Venkatapathy Raju (India, 1992, 1996)

India’s first game against Sri Lanka in 1992 was washed out and then we played England at Perth on a bouncy wicket. So I didn’t get a chance to be in the XI.

Then, came the big game against Pakistan and traditionally Sydney being spin-friendly, I got the opportunity of a lifetime. There were butterflies in the stomach for any game against Pakistan in any country. Since these matches are always special, you are naturally under pressure.

Honestly, I was not feeling the pressure, but the urge to make most of the chances was certainly there. And I thank all my teammates for being so supportive on my World Cup debut. We started off well with Kapil Dev removing Inzamam-ul-Haq cheaply. I remember getting Wasim Akram out off the last ball of my spell. Javed Miandad was the non-striker. Since Wasim was hitting well against the spin, I tried to bowl the arm ball. Interestingly, Javed was warning the striker about this. But being young and such an exciting cricketer, Wasim couldn’t resist the temptation to come out of the crease and was smartly stumped.

As told to V. V. Subrahmanyam.

READ | The 1992 World Cup in numbers

Balwinder Singh Sandhu (India, 1983)

Balwinder Singh Sandhu with fellow cricketers Salim Durani, Anshuman Gaekwad, Karsan Ghavri, Yajuvendra Singh and Roger Binny.   -  PTI

 

The 1983 World Cup brings back so many memories. I cherish each and every moment — be it adding 22 runs for the last wicket with Syed Kirmani in the final or scalping my first wicket in the tournament. It was a magical feeling for all of us and it is tough to pinpoint one particular moment. How can I forget Kapil’s (Dev) historic knock of 175? How can I ever forget Jimmy’s (Mohinder Amarnath) fantastic outing in the final, that dismissal of Michael Holding which signalled us winning the title. It was fantastic! It’s been 36 years already, but it feels like yesterday!

As told to Shayan Acharya.

READ | The 1983 World Cup win in Kapil Dev's words

Meyrick Pringle (South Africa, 1992)

(From left) Richard Snell, Allan Donald, Bosch Tertius, Meyrick Pringle and Brian McMillan.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

 

It was our first World Cup and our participation was uncertain till the end. So, we were all excited when we travelled to Australia for the World Cup, and to add to our joy, we defeated a star-studded Australia in the very first game. My personal favourite moment of the World Cup was the group league game against the West Indies. I scalped four wickets in that game, giving away just 11 runs. I dismissed Brian Lara, Richie Richardson, Carl Hooper and Keith Arthurton, and that was the highlight of my international career. Another memorable incident was when we required 21 runs in just one ball in the semifinal. It was heart-breaking for sure, but we were proud of the fact that we could reach the semifinal of the World Cup. Nobody took us seriously before the tournament, but we managed to make things count.

As told to Shayan Acharya.