Dubai: Ricky Ponting’s Australia won all 11 of their matches on the trot, beating India in the final at the Wanderers Stadium, to retain the title. This was defending champions Australia’s third World Cup win until such time and Ponting’s blazing 140 not out in the final is still considered as one of the most attacking ODI innings. Sachin Tendulkar of India was declared the Player of the Tournament for scoring most runs (673) in the tournament. Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka picked up the most number of wickets (23).

The 2003 Cricket World Cup, officially known as the ICC Cricket World Cup ’03, was hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, this was the first edition of the World Cup played in Africa from February 9 to March 23.

Altogether 14 teams played in the 2003 World Cup, the largest number of teams to play in a Cricket World Cup at the time: The teams were Bangladesh, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada, Namibia, and Netherlands, of which Australia, Sri Lanka, India and Kenya were the semi-finalists. A total of 54 matches were played.

The tournament saw a scandal breaking at the beginning as Australian star leg-spinner Shane Warne was sent home under embarrassing circumstances, only the day before their opening game, after a positive drug test.

— Compiled by Nirel Ethel Titty, Intern