The World Cup is here Again! | Well Pitched

It is here again!

The time to – wear your greens, calculate your if and but scenarios, go through high level thrills and some heartbreaks, build your fantasy teams, place your bets, tune into your favorite sports channel, follow The Pavilion religiously, participate on numerous forums on whatsapp and all other social media, wave your flags, and support team Pakistan – is here again!

This time comes every 4 years and it is here again.

It is time for the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup!

It seems like yesterday that a few of us were gearing up to fly down to London to follow Pakistan at the World Cup. The 4 years since have flown by.

There have been two T20 World Cups between the last edition in 2019 and this ODI World Cup.

But this time that comes every 4 years is when the cricket frenzy reaches its peak.

Pakistan’s cricketers landed in Hyderabad last night and received a very heartwarming welcome with fans out in big numbers cheering them from the airport all the way to the hotel.

Pakistan’s campaign starts tomorrow with a warm up match against New Zealand, followed by another warm up game against Australia next week.

A week from now is when the actual World Cup starts with a repeat of the World Cup 2019 Final.

Whatever has happened over the past 4 years is now irrelevant. All teams have done their preparations and they all now start off with a clean slate.

It doesn’t matter who is ranked #1, who was ranked #1, who won what when, nothing really matters.

All that matters is the performance on the day and Pakistan is ready for the challenge.

I reckon this is Pakistan’s strongest World Cup team since 1999.

This century has not been too good for Pakistan in ODI World Cups with only one semi final appearance out of 5 World Cups. In 2019 they missed out narrowly due to Net Run Rate.

I know I said that all the past is irrelevant and nothing really matters now, but one thing that I and many other Pakistan fans continue to relate to is 1992 – the only time Pakistan won an ODI World Cup.

It has been over 30 years now, but those memories are still fresh in my mind.

Every World Cup campaign a number of similarities are floated around by Pakistan fans comparing the now to what happened in 1992.

Already there are a few regarding the 2023 World Cup!

So since no one has really dared to initiate this list, here goes …

1. Babar Azam is the first unmarried captain to lead Pakistan at a World Cup, since Imran Khan in 1992.

2. 1992 was Imran Khan’s third World Cup as captain, following 1983 and 1987. This is also Babar Azam’s third World Cup as captain, following T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022.

3. In 1992, Pakistan’s premier right arm fast bowler – Waqar Younis – got injured and had to miss the entire tournament. In 2023, Pakistan’s premier right arm fast bowler – Naseem Shah – is injured and has to miss the entire tournament.

What else?

Feel free to add to the list …

Because, 1992 me bhi …


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