World Cup (cricket): 2003

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.



Venue: South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Participating teams: fourteen (as below):

Full Members: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Zimbabwe.

Associate Members: Canada, Kenya, Namibia, the Netherlands.

Winners: Australia, which defeated India in the finals.

India vs Pakistan

IANS | Feb 12, 2015 India vs Pakistan: World Cup history <>Mail Today Bureau March 30, 2011 | India vs Pakistan world cup semi finals: Rivalry over the years <>The Times of India Feb 14 2015 A FABLED RIVALRY

MARCH 1,2003

(League Tie)

Supersport Park, Centurion.

India (276/4), Pakistan (273/7), India won by 6 wickets

India's biggest win over Pakistan in the World Cup.

For the first time, Pakistan batted first and opener Saeed Anwar struck a century. Pakistan raced away to a competitive 273 as they realised 78 in the last 10 overs. Even batting first couldn't reverse the tide for Pakistan despite their posting a strong total of 273. Opener Anwar, always a threat to India, hit a fine century (101)

But Anwar he was eclipsed by graceful hitting from Tendulkar (98/ 75-balls) who, together with fellow opener Virender Sehwag (21), launched a stunning attack on the famed pace trio of Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis.

Sachin and Sehwag raced to 53 in 5.4 overs and the former then added 102 with Mohd Kaif for the third wicket. Rahul Dravid (44; 76b) and Yuvraj Singh (50; 53b) completed the formalities with a 99-run stand for the unbroken fifth wicket.

Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) also played crucial knocks to seal victory with 26 balls to spare.

Tendulkar took the match away from Pakistan with a brilliant 98, which had a memorable six over point off Akhtar

Brief scores:

Pakistan 273/7 (S Anwar 101, Y Khan 32, R Latif 29no; Z Khan 2/46, A Nehra 2/74)

India 276/4 in 45.4 overs (S Tendulkar 98, M Kaif 35, R Dravid 44 no, Y Singh 50 no; W Younis 2/71).

Ricky Ponting

Ayaz Memon India Today February 5, 2015 | World Cup highlights: When the greats got going

140 runs

121 balls


Sixes- 8

In the early part of the first decade of the new millennium, the enduring debate in cricket was who was the greater batsman between Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. By the time the 2003 World Cup Johannesburg final was completed, Ricky Ponting couldn't be left out of this discussion.

His 140 against India in the final was a tour de force which brought out the best aspects of his attacking batsmanship that was to subjugate into surrender attacks all over the world for the next few years, and in both formats.

Main strike bowler Zaheer Khan lost his nerve and was severely punished by Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, who put on 105. Harbhajan's double strike got rid off both openers, but this only roused Ponting into top gear.

For the next couple of hours, India's hapless fielders were only playing 'fetch-the-ball' as a belligerent Ponting delivered pulls, hooks, drives that seared the turf, or cleared the boundary. By the time the 50th over was bowled, the fate of the final was not an issue any more.

Sachin Tendulkar

Ayaz Memon India Today February 5, 2015 | World Cup highlights: When the greats got going

98 runs

75 balls.



The story goes that when Shoaib Akhtar was needling Virender Sehwag to play a big stroke against him, the dashing opener said, "Your dad's at the other end, let him come on strike and he'll show you how to bat." The story's probably apocryphal, but it nevertheless captures the mood and tenor of that match, now considered a classic in ODI history.

Pakistan had set India a stiff target of 274 to win. Words can't capture Tendulkar's batting that day; seeing was believing. From the first ball he faced, Tendulkar showed he was in stellar command, outscoring even Sehwag. His 98 effectively quashed Pakistan's hopes of a win. The legend of Sachin Tendulkar had acquired another glorious chapter.

Fascinating facts about World Cups

Author: MS Ramakrishnan, Bangalore, Thu, Jan 22 2015 CricBuzz 1 <>CricBuzz 2 <>CricBuzz 3 <>CricBuzz 4 <>CricBuzz 5

2003: Cricket experiences 100mph for the first time Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar bowled cricket's first recorded 100 mph delivery against England's Nick Knight in the 2003 World Cup.

2003: McGrath turns into Nostradamus When Indian captain Sourav Ganguly called the right side of the coin during the toss in the 2003 World Cup final and said that his side would bowl first, Australian pacer Glenn McGrath made cheeky comment in the dressing room saying, "Well, that's the first mistake."

2003: Tendulkar's clever strategy During the 2003 World Cup, ever since India changed their opening partnership after their group game against Australia, Virender Sehwag took strike for three successive matches. However, when India took on arch-rivals Pakistan, Sachin Tendulkar thought Wasim Akram would have too many tricks up his sleeve for young Sehwag and told him that he will take strike. Eventually, Tendulkar hit a couple of lovely boundaries in the very first over to set the tone for a convincing Indian victory.

Refusing To Go To Zimbabwe

The Times of India Feb 14 2015 Controversies Which Rocked WC

Nasser Hussain's England sacrificed a place in the second phase of the 2003 edition by refusing to go to Zimbabwe, citing moral scruples due to the political situation. No amount of appealing by ICC and even ECB could convince the team.

Black Armbands

The Times of India Feb 14 2015 Controversies Which Rocked WC

Two of Zimbabwe's best, Henry Olonga and Andy Flower made a public statement about the “death of democracy“ under Robert Mugabe's rule in their country by wearing black armbands in the game against Namibia in 2003. Both had to leave the country in a few days.

When Kenya made the semis | 2003

Avijit Ghosh, The Times of India wrote:

The East African country has even lost its ODI status. Difficult to believe that it was battling India for a place in the 2003 final. Luck was on their side too. The Kiwis refused to play in divisive Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe and gave them a walk-over. But a shock win over formidable Sri Lankans and a surprise victory over Bangladesh created one of the most romantic stories of the World Cup: an underdog on a bull run. There was more. In the Super Six, coach Sandeep Patil's boys overcame Zimbabwe, not the whipping boys of today but a formidable unit then with Flower brothers, Heath Streak and Andrew Campbell. Although they lost in a scrappy encounter to Australia -ageing spinner Asif Karim had the Kangaroos bamboozled with a dream spell of 8.2-6-7-3 -yet captain Steve Tikolo's boys incredibly reached the semis.They were the only African team alive in their own backyard. All fairy tales end.And Kenya's dreams were dashed by India.Ganguly murdered them. But they became a permanent cricket quiz question: Name the only non-Test cricket playing nation to enter the World Cup semi-finals?

Australia vs. India (final)

Damien Martyn on Australia vs. India (final)

The Class of 2003 was quintessentially Aussie

I was surprised with the way India approached the final-bowling first in fairly easy batting conditions and with pace spearhead Zaheer Khan more aggressive than necessary

Damien Martyn

For the full story please go to India Today| February 5, 2015

Damien Martyn was a member of the Australian team that won the 1999 and 2003 World Cups

I almost missed playing the 2003 World Cup final. In 2003, I broke the index finger of my right hand and had to miss the semi-final against Sri Lanka. There was a lot of speculation in the media which made things worse. The physiotherapist and the support staff were working overtime to get me back in the park but each time I batted in the nets the pain would become unbearable.

That is when the then chairman of selectors, Allan Border, gave me a pep talk. He walked up to me and said how badly the selectors and the team wanted me to play. He also cited his own example, saying there were plenty of occasions when he played with extreme pain. AB's words worked like an antidote for me. I was ready.

The Australian team's world had come crashing down when the news came that Shane Warne had tested positive for a banned substance. It was the night before our first game of the tournament against Pakistan on February 11 in Johannesburg.

We were all called in for a team meeting, where the news was shared. I think it's a tribute to the leadership in that dressing room that even something that big was handled so well. No drama, no long-winding statements, just plain talking.

We got off to a flying start against Pakistan and won big right through the group stage-against India by nine wickets

After three more wins in the Super Six stage, we were in the semi-final against Sri Lanka, where it was Andrew Symonds's turn to take up the leading role with a sparkling unbeaten 91 after we'd lost a few early wickets.

Back to the final, I must admit that we were all surprised by the way India- who had been playing excellent cricket in the tournament-began the game. For starters, I'm not sure if it was a bowl-first wicket. Yes, it was swinging and seaming but it wasn't alarming. In any case, I think in the big final putting runs on the board is far less challenging than chasing. Anyway, we were happy batting first.

The other surprise was the way Zaheer Khan started the game. He is a quiet man and doesn't say much until he is provoked. But on that day, it was obvious he had come out with a plan to unsettle Hayden and Gilchrist. I am not sure about Gilly but Haydos is always up for a scrap. He liked the verbal battle on the field and soon Zaheer's line and length was all over the place. We were 100 without loss in a little over 15 overs. Whatever plan India had of bowling first was gone in the first eight to 10 overs.

But both batsmen fell in quick succession after that, and Ricky and I were at the crease. I remember that when I got my first run off Zaheer, my injured hand jarred badly. I thought to myself, "Oh god, World Cup final, how will I play with so much pain and this is just the first run!" Funnily enough though, after I reached the score of 10, the game took over. From then on, it was all about adrenalin. The pain was gone.

Although I was trying to concentrate on the job at hand, I was also thinking about the contest between Ricky and Harbhajan Singh. Given the history between the two players, it was to be a perfect spectacle as two extremely proud and passionate cricketers were playing for their countries. Ponting had begun slowly but all that changed the moment Harbhajan came on to bowl. He was in a different zone. I think it was over number 39 and Ricky was in his 40s. He shifted gears with two towering sixes in that over. To me that was a statement by my captain: we were hurting the best bowler in the opposition. Ponting's 140 not out that day is one of the most memorable hundreds of his one-day career and I experienced the masterclass from the other end while scoring an 84-ball 88.

Even while bowling, we wanted to get their best batsmen out early. We were after the great Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath got him for four, which was a big moment in the contest. It not only wrested the momentum in our favour but also deflated the crowd. Up until Tendulkar was batting, Indian fans in the crowd would be noisy-drums would be played, and what not. But all that changed the moment he got out, which was a big psychological boost to the opposition. We had achieved just that.

In the end, the score of 359 proved too much for India to chase and we became world champions for the second time in a row. What followed was a night of celebrations. We stayed back in our dressing room in Johannesburg, and when everyone had left, we came out and celebrated around the centre square of the ground. This was followed by our traditional singing of the team song. In one-day cricket, Gilchrist was the song master. What a night that was. Four years later, another World Cup victory was to follow!

- Ricky Ponting’s recollections

‘Wasn’t going to be happy with 300 against that Indian attack’, March 24, 2020: The Times of India

Reminiscing about his epic 140 in the 2003 World Cup final, Australian great Ricky Ponting says he preferred launching an all-out attack against the Indian attack instead of batting through the innings for a team total of 300.

Sunday was the 17th anniversary of that final which Australia won by 125 runs to become world champions for the third time. Skipper Ponting led from the front with an unbeaten 140 to power Australia to an imposing 359/ 2 in 50 overs. “In the second drinks break, Australia were two down with 15 overs to go, I told the 12th man tell the boys to be ready because I am going to go for everything, right here, right now. “If it comes off we are going to get a huge score. I am not going to be happy with batting through and getting to 300 against that Indian attack. If I go from now and it comes off, we are going to post a massive score,” Ponting told in a video uploaded by

“I had great in the guys coming behind me and we still had Lehmann, Bevan, Symonds.”

Ponting also spoke about how he asked Damien Martyn, carrying a finger injury, if he would be able to play. “I told him ‘look me in the eye and tell me if you are right to play’. I wanted to Martyn to play in the World Cup, he is such a good player, such a good player of spin.”

On the day, Martyn remained unbeaten on 88 and along with Ponting, took the game away form India with their unbroken partnership. On Sunday, 17 years since that triumph, Ponting took to Twitter to share photographs of the bat he used to pulverise the Indian attack.

“Given we’ve all got a bit of time on our hands as we stay at home, thought I’d go through what I’ve kept from my career and share some of it with everyone on a regular basis- this is the bat I used in the 2003 World Cup final,” Ponting’s post read. PTI

See also

World Cup (cricket): history <>World Cup (cricket): 1975 <>World Cup (cricket): 1979 <>World Cup (cricket): 1983 <>World Cup (cricket): 1987 <>World Cup (cricket): 1992 <>World Cup (cricket): 1996 <>World Cup (cricket): 1999 <>World Cup (cricket): 2003 <>World Cup (cricket): 2007 <>World Cup (cricket): 2011 <>World Cup (cricket): 2015 <>World Cup (cricket): 2019 <>World Cup (cricket): 2023

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