February 19, 2020
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Balls Talk, Bats Reply In Kind

The World Cup returns to cricket’s oldest home. While grounds like Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, the Oval and Lord’s are rich in character, they will don batting-­friendly masks. Then there is the English weather.

Balls Talk, Bats Reply In Kind

Lord’s, London

The iconic Lord’s will host five matches, including the final. Matches to be high scoring affairs.

  • Pitch: It used to be a batting paradise, now it’s rather quick but batsmen rule the roost
  • Capacity: 28,500
  • WC Matches: 5

Old Trafford, Manchester

The busiest venue of the WC, will host six games, including the India-Pak clash and a semi-final

  • Pitch: The Manchester marvel remains a sporting pitch, favouring batsmen and bowlers. Premium is on building innings.
  • Capacity: 24,600
  • WC Matches: 6

Edgbaston, Birmingham

Hosted arguably the greatest ODI match: the 1999 WC Aus vs SA semi. To witness great clashes.

  • Pitch: One of the best venues to pile on runs. Rohit, Virat’s hunting ground.
  • Capacity: 24,500
  • WC Matches: 5

The Oval, London

Venue of the first-ever Test, it will host the World Cup opener between England and South Africa

  • Pitch: The Oval has one of the bouncier English pitches, but has seen batsmen dominating in the recent past
  • Capacity: 25,000
  • WC Matches: 5

Bristol County Ground, Bristol

To host more than two matches in a WC for the first time. It was famously bought by WG Grace in 1889.

  • Pitch: Pacers used to dominate, but it has been transformed into a batting paradise
  • Capacity: 11,000
  • WC Matches: 3

Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

The only Welsh WC venue. The only cricket ground to have a rib buried in it, that of cricketer Mike Powell

  • Pitch: It has one of the best batting tracks in the UK. In 24 ODIs, the average runs scored is 5.33 per over.
  • Capacity: 15,200
  • WC Matches: 4

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Site of two of the highest totals, both by England: 481 vs Aus and 444 vs Pak. Ripe for batting records.

  • Pitch: Kuldeep took 6/25 vsEngland last year, but has become bowlers’ graveyard
  • Capacity: 17,000
  • WC Matches: 5

Riverside Ground, Durham

True to history, it will be a pacers’ paradise. One of three venues to host only three matches each.

  • Pitch: One of the few WC grounds expected to favour bowlers despite some high- scoring matches. Avg runs per over: 5.18.
  • Capacity: 14,000
  • WC Matches: 3

Rose Bowl, Hampshire

Located between the M27 motorway and Telegraph Woods, it will host WC matches for the first time

  • Pitch: A batting paradise; avg runs per over is 5.40, one of the highest in England
  • Capacity: 17,000
  • WC Matches: 5

Headingley, Leeds

The iconic venue of Sir Don’s unequalled 300 in a day in a Test. Strangely, there is no pavilion here.

  • Pitch: Like every other English venue, the Headingley pitch too has become batting friendly. Avg runs per over: 4.56.
  • Capacity: 18,350
  • WC Matches: 4

County Ground, Taunton

Indians remember it for Ganguly and Dravid’s centuries against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup

  • Pitch: Believed to be a batting-friendly one. But no India match here this time.
  • Capacity: 8,000
  • WC Matches: 3

  • England is hosting the tournament for record fifth time. A platter of highlights from previous editions.
  • The 1992 World Cup had several firsts: white balls,  coloured clothing and day-night matches
  • In the 1975 WC final, WI opener Roy Fredricks lost balance & kicked the leg stump after hooking Lillee for six. No runs. He became the first ODI player to be out hit-wicket.
  • Imran Khan returned to cricket in 1988 after retiring the previous year at the request of Gen Zia. Eventually, his inspirational captaincy gave Pakistan their first World Cup in 1992.
  • Lloyd (’75, ’79) and Ponting (’03, ’07) are the only captains to have won the WC twice
  • Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar bowled cricket’s first recorded 100 mph delivery during the 2003 Cup. England’s Nick Knight faced his express delivery.
  • Lord’s ground will be hosting a World Cup final for the fifth time—the most by any venue—on July 14. It hosted the finals in 1975, 1979, 1983, 1999.
  • The World Cup trophy weighs 11 kg. The height of the trophy is 650 mm.
  • It will be the first time in WC history when no associate member will feature in it
  • Ganguly-Dravid hold record for the highest WC partnership (318 runs, vs Sri Lanka in 1999)
  • Kapil Dev is the youngest captain to lift a Cup, at just 24, when India stunned West Indies in 1983
  • Sachin Tendulkar batted with an upset stomach, with tissues in his underwear during the Super Six match vs Lanka in the 2003 WC. His 97 helped India win by 183 runs.
  • Chetan Sharma is the first bowler to take a WC hat-trick, against New Zealand in 1987
  • Chris Gayle was the first to score a double ton in WC history: 215 vs Zimbabwe in 2015
  • No recording exists of Kapil’s brilliant 175* vs Zimbabwe in 1983
  • Kepler Wessels is the only player to represent two countries in ODIs—for Australia and SA


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