Five Biggest Upsets in the History of ICC Cricket World Cup

There are many epoch moments in the World Cup and already a number of upsets have been seen in the ICC World Cup 2023 which is happening in India. If one starts to chronicle the upsets in the World Cup, who can forget the epic win by underdogs India against the mighty West Indies in 1983 or the shocking loss of England to Ireland in the 2011 World Cup. The World Cup is full of such instances where big upsets have been produced.

One of the biggest upsets in the most recent ICC World Cup fixture is the match between Afghanistan and England and the English team was defeated by a sizable number of runs. It can be dubbed as the biggest upset in the history of the World Cup.

Many times in the past also there have been moments where much fancied teams were defeated and humbled by smaller and less endowed teams. It is just like the Goliaths have been humbled by David.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history:

India Humble Unbeatable West Indian Team

West Indies had a pace battery in 1983 which often led the opposition batsmen to tremble in their pants. Therefore the shocking defeat of the invincible West Indians at the hands of India by 43 runs was just unbelievable. India was never considered as prospect of even reaching the semis and some of the matches that India played were not even televised. One such match was the match against Zimbabwe where the Indian skipper had hit an unbeaten 175 to take India from the brink of defeat to victory. The statistics were stacked against India and the Carribeans had already won the past two World Cups and India had just won 17 wins in their first nine years as a one-day international (ODI) team.

The score of 183 was not adequate, but Indian bowlers led by Mohinder Armanath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) choked the West Indian batsmen and India managed to beat the West Indies team by 43 runs. The win permanently changed the face of cricket In India.

Ireland knockout Pakistan

The 2007 World Cup was played in the Caribbean and the biggest upset which occurred in the event was when Ireland defeated Pakistan by three wickets. Pakistan had been bundled out cheaply by Ireland for just 132 runs. Ireland’s pacer who later played for England, Boyd Rankin took three wickets. Ireland also suffered a batting collapse but Kevin O’Brien and Trent Johnston steadied the ship and ultimately took their team to victory. The defeat sealed Pakistan’s exit from the World Cup. The match will also be remembered tragically for the death of Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmar who was found dead in his hotel room.  Pakistan captain ImZamam and the whole Pakistan team faced severe criticism when they returned to Pakistan after their exit from the World Cup. 

Kenya humbled West Indies by 73 runs at Pune in the 1996 World Cup

In the 1996 moment, another humbling moment for the Caribbean was when they were dealt a crushing 73 runs defeat at the hands of less fancied team Kenya. Kenya had struggled against a formidable pace attack of the West Indies and could manage only 166 runs on the board. Courtney Walsh and Roger Harper took three wickets each and ripped through the Kenyan batting lineup.

However, the African nation fought back and the first wicket was Brian Lara who was out for just 8 runs. The whole West Indies team collapsed like a pack of cards and were all out for just 93 runs. Only Chanderpaul and Harper managed to reach the double figures.

Maurice Odombe played a captain’s role with 3-15 from his 10 overs.

Ireland Knocks out England

In the 2011 World Cup Ireland defeated England by three wickets in Bangalore. The English Team was blown over by a blistering century by Kevin O’Brien as the Irish showed their giant-killing powers once again. It was the fastest century at that time.

England had piled up a mammoth total of 327 for eight and in reply, Ireland after some initial hiccups caused by the loss of its captain William Porterfield for nil fought back led by Kevin O’Brien. Kevin made a century in just 50 balls and won the match for his country. 

Bangladesh Overwhelm Star-Studded India

India’s batting lineup led by stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Yuvraj Singh could not withstand the bowling attack by Mashrafe Mortaza and left-arm spinner Abdul Razzak and crashed for just 191 runs in the 2007 World Cup.

Adding salt to the Indian wounds was a scintillating knock by Tamim Iqbal along with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan took his side to a famous victory. The defeat also ended the Indian chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.

The Indian team was received by massive protests and fans showed their anger at home by burning effigies of their star players.

Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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