If a statistician was to make a prediction for the upcoming T20 world cup, he would probably lay his life on the possibility of at least one of the three sub-continent powerhouses (read: India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) making it to the finals. This is because, of all the trends seen in the contest of cricket world cups (and there are a few curious ones), the most irresistible one is the incredible success that this region has had. Since 1983, > with the exception of one world cup (1987), at least one of either Pakistan, Sri Lanka or India has figured in every world cup final.
A Story Of Miracles?
Everyone knows India’s miracle in 1983, when they famously beat the seemingly unbeatable West Indies after registering a paltry 183 all out. Pakistan’s followed it up in 1992, when they won sensationally in Australia. Sri Lanka paralleled the feat equally incredibly four years later. Pakistan was again in the finals in 99, losing to Australia this time. India lost to the same opposition four years later, and Sri Lanka repeated the trend in 2007, again losing to Australia. The inaugural T20 world cup finally broke Australia’s streak of four consecutive finals, and guess who was there instead – both India and Pakistan!
While the teams from the sub-continent and Australia have stolen the show when it comes to world cups, the other big teams have tasted the dust off the floor a bit too often. The West Indies will have to go back to a time when most of the players of this generation weren’t even born, > to recall their last world cup success. It was the English summer of 1979. After 1983, they have never even made it to the finals. New Zealand are famous for making it to the semi-finals and losing. They have done it several times including the first edition of the T20 world cup two years back. England, on their part, have made the finals of the ODI world cup thrice but never won. South Africa would rather wipe their memories clean when it comes to world cups. Their fate has been no brighter than that of a tragic Shakespearean hero. Darkness seems to fall at the last instant and somehow rob them of imminent success. Even in the previous T20 world cup, they lost just one out of their five encounters, yet it was the crucial one that knocked them out of a place in the semi-finals.
All these teams will be dying to shatter trends this month, none more so than South Africa. They have always had one of the strongest teams going into a world cup, yet they have never even made it to the finals. It is difficult to see either of West Indies, New Zealand or England lifting the trophy on June the 21st, though. But this is T20 cricket, the nightmare for predictions! No opinions at this stage must sound too certain!
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