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

From Kiran More's 82-run stand with Kapil Dev to Derek Pringle's three for 22, six former cricketers recall their best moments from the World Cup.

Habibul Bashar (Bangladesh, 2003 and 2007)

My favourite World Cup memory is from 2007 in the Caribbean. In my playing career, those two matches against India and South Africa will remain special. That year was a great one for Bangladesh cricket. I remember every detail of that World Cup because we had played in the second round. The victory against India was special. Our cricket is driven by passion. When Bangladesh plays a cricket match, you wouldn’t see a single person on the road. The rise started from that phase, in 2006 and 2007, and now it has reached the pinnacle. Our facilities have improved and the domestic structure is in place. We also get a lot of support from the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the government.

Thomas Odoyo (Kenya, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011)

 

My best memories are from 1996, the first World Cup I played. It was great playing and beating the West Indies (dismissing them for 93 to cause an upset) and making my debut against India. Sachin Tendulkar was a special player, who scored a hundred against us in Cuttack. All I remember is that it was always difficult to get him out, so our plan was just to make him score slower. It was still not easy as he scored a century. In 2003, reaching the semifinal of the World Cup was an amazing feeling.

Derek Pringle (England, 1987 and 1992)

 

Graham Gooch got 115 against India in the semifinal in Bombay in 1987. I think that would be my favourite World Cup memory. To my mind, I have seen and played a few World Cups and that’s the best innings ever. It was brilliantly conceived. The pitch that was prepared in Bombay; we knew it was going to help Indian spinners Ravi Shastri and Maninder Singh. Gooch decided that he had to sweep a lot to play the spinners. Two days prior to the match, he started practising the sweep shot. He got young Indian kids to bowl at him at nets. He kept practising the sweep throughout the day. People were contemplating an India-Pakistan final, but they saw England and Australia. My performance in the World Cup final in 1992 is also on my mind when I returned with three wickets for 22 runs.

Kiran More (India, 1987 and 1992)

 

Since India won the World Cup in 1983, there was a lot of pressure to do well in 1987. It was a big thing to play the World Cup at home, to get into the team and play such a big tournament. To play and win is a different fun feeling. My best memory, I think, is the match against New Zealand in Bangalore where I had a partnership (of 82 runs for the eighth wicket) with Kapil Dev. We won the match by 16 runs. In 1992, I remember the match against Australia. I should have won that match. I could have scored those five runs. I got out looking for a boundary, which was disappointing.

Karsan Ghavri (India, 1975 and 1979)

 

When we participated in the first two World Cups, in 1975 and in 1979, Indian cricketers had no clue how to play 60-over games. There was no strategy as such and we struggled in the first edition of the tournament due to a lack of awareness. Before the inaugural World Cup, there was no great preparation, no proper team meeting. We did not even have proper strategies in place on how to sustain for 60 overs. That's something unbelievable today, but that was the reality. Things, however, changed after the win in 1983, but in the first two editions, we really struggled to make things count.

Saleem Jaffar (Pakistan, 1987)

Before the tournament, India and Pakistan were considered the favourites, but Australia came from nowhere to triumph. That was certainly the biggest surprise of the Reliance Cup. But for me, the moment that stood out was the group league fixture between Pakistan and the West Indies. We needed two runs to win in the final over and Abdul Qadir and I were at the crease. Courtney Walsh was bowling the last over and before the final delivery, out of excitement, I moved ahead of the batting crease even before Walsh bowled. He could have easily dislodged the stumps and I would have been out. But he warned me and saved my wicket. In the end, we managed to pull off a victory, but I will never forget Walsh’s gesture.

As told to Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya and Shayan Acharya.