Sachin Tendulkar recollects World Cup debut in 1992

In ICC World Cup 1992, Sachin Tendulkar scored 283 runs with an average just over 47. He was also the man of the match in India’s both the victories – over Pakistan by 43 runs and Zimbabwe by 55 run © AFP (File Pic)

Mumbai: Aug 3, 2013
The fixtures for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand jointly after 23 years, have been announced. However, for the first time in 23 years, India won’t have Sachin Tendulkar in their squad. After the fixtures were announced, Tendulkar, who retired from One-Day Internationals (ODIs) last year, remembered the ICC World Cup 1992 in a chat with the ICC’s official website.
It was Tendulkar’s first World Cup as a cricketer. In the 1987 edition, he was a ball boy. In the next four years, he progressed from a ball boy to a teenage cricketer and now a modern-day legend.
“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,” said Tendulkar.
In the 1992 World Cup, he scored 283 runs with an average just over 47. He was also the Man of the Match in India’s victories over Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
“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.”
“Just look at each team at that World Cup, there were some big names.”
“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.”
Tendulkar said he was happy to have played with West Indian legends like Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson. However, he was disappointed that his hero, Sir Vivian Richards, wasn’t a part of the West Indian squad.
“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 has played 463 ODIs from which he has scored 18,426 runs, including 49 centuries.
The 40-year-old recollected Jonty Rhodes running out Inzamam-ul-Haq and holds it as one of the highlights of the World Cup.
“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”
Tendulkar finds himself lucky to have played with some great all-rounders from the 1980s.
“There were some real big names and some of the world’s top all-rounders. One thing I feel happy about is that I played against all of them: Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Clive Rice, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Ian Botham. They were the best all-rounders the game had produced.”
“Having been able to play against them I consider myself very fortunate. It was quite an experience to play those top guys.”
Speaking about his form during the 1992 World Cup, he says, “I remember the tour of Australia that preceded the World Cup was a very tough one for us. But I had done reasonably well, scoring a couple of hundreds in the Test series. Then I had also followed it up with some decent performances in the three-nation tournament [also featuring Australia and West Indies].”
“I was feeling quite good about my own form. Having scored a couple of hundreds over there [in the Tests], it had taken my confidence to a new level and I was looking forward to a major tournament like the World Cup.
“I had been to New Zealand in 1990, so I exactly knew what conditions to expect in there.”
The Indian batting legend said that the World Cup was not only enjoyed by the visitors, but the two host nations were also very excited about the tournament.
“I have to say that not just the players were excited to be part of this magnificent event, along with us, all the Australians and New Zealanders were really excited to host the tournament. The kind of response that we got was incredible.
“There was a vibrant energy and you felt that wherever you went. Good performances were appreciated by everyone and were acknowledged by all. It was overall a terrific experience,” he concluded.