Bengaluru, Feb 5: The eleventh cricket World Cup is set to begin on February 14 at Christchurch when co-hosts New Zealand will take on Sri Lanka.
The other hosts, Australia, will play England in their opening game the same day in Melbourne while arch-rivals India and Pakistan will lock horns at Adelaide on February 15. The 14-team tournament will see the finals to be played in Melbourne on March 29.
World Cup cricket is known for its massive storage of exciting facts and figures. We have some of them here:
1. The West Indies have made the World Cup finals thrice on the trot. They had won the first two editions in 1975 and 1979 but lost to India in 1983. But the Caribbeans never reached the finals of the tournament ever again. In 1996, they came very close but lost unbelievably to Australia.
2. England are the only team who have lost in three World Cups in three decades, i.e., 1975, 1987 and 1992. Graham Gooch is the only player to have featured in all the three finals and ended in the losing side.
3. India are the only Asian side to have won the quadrennial tournament twice (in 1983 and 2011). Pakistan (1992) and Sri Lanka (1996) have won it once each.
4. Melbourne will become the second ground to host more than one World Cup finals. Only Lord's have hosted more number of finals (4).
5. India's Sachin Tendulkar has scored the most number of runs in the World Cup (2,278 runs) and also the most number of centuries (six). Tendulkar ended as the highest run-getter in two editions of the World Cup (1996 and 2003).
6. Australia's Glenn McGrath has taken most wickets in the World Cup (71 in 39 matches). McGrath also has the best bowling figures of 7-15 which he had registered against Namibia in 2003.
7. South Africa's Gary Kirsten has the highest individual score in a World Cup match, scoring an unbeaten 188 against debutants UAE in 1996.
8. Australia had remained unbeaten in the World Cup for 12 years, which is a record. After the 10-run loss to Pakistan in a group match in the 1999 edition, the Aussies lost again in the World Cup in 2011 when they lost to same Pakistan in a group match by 4 wickets.
9. In the 1996 World Cup, eventual champions Sri Lanka had received two walkovers in the group stage, against Australia and the West Indies. At one stage, the Lankans got 6 points by playing just 1 game!10. Zimbabwe shocked the cricketing world when they beat a strong Australian side by 13 runs in their debut match in the World Cup in 1983.