The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was played in the island countries of Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, etc. These countries come together to be known as the West Indies in cricketing terms. The ICC in its pursuit of expanding the sport globally gave the rights of hosting the cricket carnival to the West Indies Cricket Board. The format was such that there were four pools consisting of four teams each and the top two teams from each pool will enter the next stage, "Super Eight". Then there will be a Round Robin format where every team played a total of seven matches. And the top four made it to the semi-finals. The final and semi-finals were knockout affairs. A total of 51 matches were played in just under a course of seven weeks.
Indian team during the 2007 World Cup
With the World Cup fever on because of this year's edition, many fans are going gaga because of the controversies surrounding the tournament. Be it the Bails issue or the umpiring decisions or rains. Many people have claimed it as the worst edition of the World Cup in its history. But here are the top four reasons why 2007 was quite rightly the worst edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup:
Two favourites out in the group stage itself: India had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, and Anil Kumble. Whereas Pakistan had Inzamam-Ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. They were two top teams in the world circuit. Not many could have guessed that they would be knocked out in the group stage itself. Not even making it to the Super 8. That was like a disaster for both the teams and fans openly voiced their opinions after their shameful exit from the tournament. Posters of the favourite stars burnt into ashes. Sachin Tendulkar marked it as the darkest phase of his career. And with both of them gone, the Super Eight round became boring, to say the least. Australia and Sri Lanka dominated the proceedings ever since. Every other day, there was a one-sided contest and the unpredictability was gone by a major extent.
Fans openly protesting against their favourite stars
Dry pitches and empty stadiums: During the first few matches of the tournament, it was evident that the pitches were too dead and dry for bowling. There was no support for spinners as well as seamers. It was more like batsman's backyard than a proper world cup venue. And to add to that misery, the major portion of the stadiums remained empty even for the crucial matches. Even in the contests that involved West Indies, you could find some empty space in the crowd. And because of the timing issues, it became bizarre to follow the tournament from the subcontinent. Matches started at nearly midnight and ended around 7 am. Thus, making it more difficult to follow the matches. TRP, thus, was at an all-time low in the subcontinent. There's a reason why many experts claim that 2011 was the best organised World Cup in history.
Bob Woolmer in his coaching days
Murder/suicide of Bob Woolmer: Bob Woolmer was a top coach back then. He made South Africa a major force to reckon with on the world stage. And in 2004, he became the coach of the Pakistan Cricket team. Perhaps, the most difficult task of his career. The one which took his life itself. Pakistan just lost to an associate country, Ireland in the second group game on 17 March, the second loss in as many matches. And then came one of the most fateful days in the history of cricket. He was found dead in his hotel on the 18th match. His body was lying naked with his legs spread apart in the bathroom of room number 374 on the twelfth floor of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. His past medical records indicated a heart attack but the police had different opinions. The chief of the Police Department claimed that there was definitely a murder conspiracy angle to it. It was also heard that there was a heated debate between captain Inzamam-Ul Haq and Woolmer just before going into his hotel room. But without any proper evidence, the case was closed. We haven't seen anything of this sort in this world cup, right?
Bizarre final: Australia and Sri Lanka were the top two teams throughout the tournament. And both made it to the final without much trouble. Australia were the better team in the final. After posting a mammoth total of 281 runs in 38 overs, their bowlers just finished off the match with some quick wickets. But a lot of confusion was created at the end of the match. The umpires suspended play due to bad light and an official announcement was made that Australia are the winners. But just when Australia started celebrating, umpires incorrectly insisted that the game was only suspended and not completed and there were yet another three overs left to be bowled. After mutual agreement from both the captains, Sri Lanka went in again to bat the remaining three overs. Without a night-vision camera, it was almost impossible for a person in the crowd to watch them play. This was way beyond embarrassment from the officials.