When a Lankan headed out a Semi finalist, 1996 - Richie Richardson was trying his best to win the Semi final against Australia whereas rest of his team mates were doing exactly the opposite. It was as if they had told him – let’s see if you are good enough to get the runs before we commit suicide. In front of Warne, who was in supreme form, each of the other West Indian batsmen were looking like the husband who faces his wife after returning home late & empty handed on the wedding anniversary whereas Richardson was looking like the wife. Warne bowled a googly and Richardson swept it so hard that ball boys at the square leg boundary ran for cover. While everyone had missed the ball, mid-on fielder threw it back to Warne. It must have been the only sweep shot, which was extremely well played, in the history of cricket to have been fielded by mid-on fielder. While the ball was travelling to square leg boundary at a lightning speed, square leg umpire BC Coorey intercepted it with his head. It saved three runs and sent Richardson off-strike. West Indies lost by 5 runs.
Sri Lanka, after the Australia refusing to play in Sri Lanka, was desperate to face Australia in order to have its revenge. Poetic justice was delivered in the final and Sri Lanka won. What if Australia had not reached the finals and Sri Lankans had met a road block named BC Lara in the finals? BC Coorey did play his part in Sri Lanka’s WC win. His save actually made a huge difference. But it is yet to be recognized by Sri Lanka Cricket Board. Umpiring is such a thankless job.
If a 2 minute promo is made out of cricketing events in WC92, that catch will be India’s only entry. Okay, may be Kiran More will also make an entry but as an extra – it was Miyadad’ show. That was the first time I saw Ajay Jadeja. I was glad to see an Indian field like that. He took many more great catches in his career which abruptly ended. Unfortunately, it was alleged that he himself was finally caught.
Only if Walsh had been shade less of a gentleman, West Indies would have won that match and kicked Pakistan out of the tournament. May be West Indies would have won the world cup also. Australia would have been denied the biggest turning point in their recent cricket history of 25 odd years – their WC win. But this would surely have made one Australian a bit happier – Greg Chappell. Australian Media would have scientifically proved that Walsh’s crime was bigger than Chappell’s underarm saga.
I just loved Ganguly’s attitude towards media and everyone after the match – “Go to hell. We can and we will do it”. Even a US president, elected a few years later, picked up some tips for his electoral punch line.
Ever since 1987, I have prayed to GOD for giving me MY world cup - a world cup which we win. A world cup about which I can tell my children in the same way my father did for HIS world cup. They pray have been unheard till now.