The tournament now returned to England after 16 years. The tournament yet again saw two groups of six teams each. The three minnows this time were Scotland, Kenya and Bangladesh, the other teams being Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

However, the group stages weren’t followed by quarter-finals; instead, there were Super Sixes. A team would carry with them the points they had earned against the two teams who had also qualified from their group. They then played the qualifying teams from the other group. It was complicated, to say the least. It saw Zimbabwe qualify as the group toppers from their group as they had beaten both, India and South Africa, the other two teams to qualify.

The tournament also saw a new method adopted by South Africa. In their first match against India, at Hove, South African skipper Hansie Cronje and Allan Donald were wired up to get instructions from coach Bob Woolmer in the dressing room to them while they were the field. Later, the match referee intervened and asked them to remove the ear-piece.

The tournament was exciting and closely competed. India’s onslaught at Taunton is well remembered and at the same time the heartbreak they received in the hands of Zimbabwe still hurts. This World Cup will however be remembered for the two South Africa-Australia encounters, which could have gone either way. In the end, Australia triumphed and South Africa choked, the former then beat Pakistan in the final to go on to win the World Cup for the second time. In doing so, becoming the only team after West Indies to do so.

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Designed by Sunil Lavate | Infographics by Suvajit Mustafi

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)