Tendulkar Recalls 1992 World Cup

Sachin Tendulkar was man of the match in both of India's victories in 1992
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sachin Tendulkar's World Cup story as player began in 1992 when he was man of the match in the only two matches that India won in Australia and New Zealand.

Although he went on to lift the World Cup 19 years later on home soil, the 1992 tournament was a disappointment for India despite Tendulkar hitting 283 runs.

Having been a ball boy during the 1987 event, Tendulkar came into the 1992 World Cup as a teenager and went on to play 463 One-Day Internationals, scoring 18,426 runs with 49 centuries.

"I remember in 1987, I was a ball boy so it was a big transformation for me from being a ball boy to participating in the next World Cup," Tendulkar recalled.

"I still remember the group picture of teams in Sydney. It was followed by a dinner at the Darling Harbour. It was an unbelievable experience with all the top players from the world in the room. I didn’t speak much to anyone. But just to see them from close vicinity was special.

"England had Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, Allan Lamb. If you talk about South Africa, there was Kepler Wessels leading them and Peter Kirsten as a senior player. For Pakistan, there was Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram. Having got a chance to play against them in Pakistan in 1989 itself was wonderful, but playing them in a world championship was a different feeling altogether.

"West Indies had Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose. I was quite disappointed that Vivian Richards was not part of the West Indies squad. He was (and still is) my hero, so it was disappointing that I could not play against him.

"Australia was led by Allan Border, and Steve and Mark Waugh, and Craig McDermott were an important part of their squad. New Zealand had Martin Crowe and John Wright who played that World Cup.  Sri Lanka had the likes of Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga."

Tendulkar wasn't the only newcomer in 1992, and he also remembers being part of a number of young players making their way in the game.

"I have to say Allan Donald was a big name then. Everyone spoke about how good he was. Then there was Jonty Rhodes. His run out of Inzamam-ul-Haq was one of the highlights of the World Cup. Not many guys have seen a run out like that!

"West Indies had Brian Lara who was special with his flamboyant batting. For Pakistan there was Wasim Akram who was at the peak of his career, and Inzamam-ul-Haq who played an important knock in the semi-final. From New Zealand, Mark Greatbatch gave them some amazing starts, but Martin Crowe was the one who batted beautifully and was consistent throughout the tournament.

"I remember a new trend started in the tournament of opening the bowling with spin in the form of Dipak Patel. I don’t think it had happened earlier.

"I thought these were the guys who really made an impact. To play against them was always a wonderful challenge, which I enjoyed."

In 2015, the tournament returns to Australia and New Zealand, and Tendulkar will be absent for the first time since 1992 as India prepare to defend their title.

They take on Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa West Indies, Zimbabwe and a qualifier.

© Cricket World 2013


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