THE HARPER COLLINS BOOK OF WORLD CUP TRIVIA
Pgs 356 Rs 299
First things first, this is author Suvam Pal’s hat-trick. And it is fine one too. Having earned kudos for his previous two books one on the legendary Sachin Tendulkar – Sachin – 501 things you didn’t know about the Master Blaster and Ultimate Olympic Quiz book , the author has come out with his third effort on the World Cup.
Bringing to the public the minute details of each and every World Cup cricket tournament since it started in 1975 is a gigantic task. And the effort when one goes the book from the writer is clearly visible. It is a riveting read with wonderful facts, figures, anecdotes. It lives up to its adage stating that it is not a mere collection of factoids and cricket records. It skilfully combines the history , highlights, statistics and information in one comprehensive and ambitious edition.
Whatever records, statistics, highs, and lows of the World Cups over the years are all here. Take a look at some memorable moments of World history : The first fifer in ODI history : Fiery Australian seamer Dennis Lillee started Australian World Cup campaign in 1975 with style He was the first bowler to take five wickets in the World cup. He had superb figures of 5 for 34 against Pakistan.
The first Sri Lankan Captain : Anura Tennekoon became the first cricketer to lead the then non- Test playing nation Sri Lanka in an International match when his team played against the West Indies in the 1975 World Cup. Tennekoon’s selection as the captain of the World Cup squad came close on the heels of his spectacular performance. An unbeaten 169 against India in an unofficial Test match in 1974.
The first World Cup final in 1975 was staged on mid- summers day – 21 June – and witnessed one of the longest days in cricket history. The game started at 11 am after Australian skipper Ian Chappell won the toss and put West Indies in to bat and it was 8 : 43 pm with daylight still remaining when Prince Philip presented the coveted cup to the winning skipper Clive Lloyd. A record 26, 000 spectators were at the Lord’s to witness the blockbuster finale. Ensuring a cool 66, 950 buck then , a record for an ODI match in England – for the organisers.
The write been a passionate quizzer does manage to hold the reader to his book with his questions and their answers like : Which exceptional Indian batsman hit a classy 75 in India’s opening game of the 1979 World Cup against West Indies at Birmingham? Gundappa Vishwanath. Which opening batsman in the 1979 Australian World Cup squad was a qualified solicitor and also the son in law of former Australian skipper Bob Simpson ? Andrew Hilditch. Which West Indian batsman hit a magnificent 73 to win the man of the Man of the Match award in the first semi- final and was also the highest run scorer of the event? Gordon Greenidge
For the Indian team though the 1979 World Cup was a nightmare one. The team under S Venkataraghavan – who also led India in the first World Cup in 1975 failed to perform and subsequently lost all the three league matches. The batsmen failed to post a modest total of 200 and the bowlers could pick only eight wickets in all game put together.
Loaded with endless statistics, numerous wonderful anecdotes and giving every World Cup till 2011 its due the book is must for crazy and passionate cricket fans. It is a virtual A B C of the World Cup. It raises the curiosity quotient to the reader straight away when it poses three direct questions like say : Which charismatic Kiwi batsman is also the cousin of the Oscar winning Hollywood actor Russel Crowe? Which batsman piloted the special flight that flew Arjuna Ranatunga’s victorious Sri Lankan team home from Lahore in 1996 ? and Which South Africa born motivational speaker played a key role in India’s 2011 World Cup win and Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup victory?. From a quiz ace and a passionate cricket follower this offering is an ace down the middle by Roger Federer.