10 September 2010
ICC CWC Man of the Series - Martin Crowe
Crowe set the tone for the tournament with an unbeaten hundred against Australia
Martin Crowe of New Zealand on his way to an unbeaten century.
In the first of the series, we look at Martin Crowe's efforts in the 1992 tournament.
Martin Crowe - 1992
New Zealand have been one of the most consistent sides in Cricket World Cup history, compared to most other teams.
The Black Caps have made the semi-finals of the tournament five times, but have never progressed further than that.
On the one occasion when they came closest to registering their best-ever ICC Cricket World Cup finish, this man, played a huge part.
Skipper of the New Zealand team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992, Martin Crowe wowed everyone with his batting and also on the field. Till this tournament, Crowe was laying claim to being New Zealand's best-ever batsman but after this he catapulted himself onto a higher level.
In the tournament co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia, Crowe set the tone for the tournament from the very first game. He started off with an unbeaten hundred against Australia. And then followed it up with impressive knocks including half-centuries against Zimbabwe (74 not out.), West Indies (81 not out), England (74 not out) in the league stage.
But it was probably his role as a skipper which towered above his batting exploits. His fresh, innovative approach to the one-day format reinvigorated the whole tournament.
Crowe stunned the cricket world by opening the bowling with the restrictive off-spin of Dipak Patel. He backed it up with a band of military medium-pacers to counter the slow New Zealand tracks. If that was not enough, New Zealand maximised scoring in the first 15 overs through the slam-bang approach of Mark Greatbach.
It was all down to the impressive cricketing acumen of Crowe alone which meant that New Zealand lost their only game in the league stage to Pakistan.
In the semi-finals against the same team, Pakistan, Crowe made an impressive 91. But a recurring knee injury ensured that he watched from the dressing room during the Pakistan chase as the hosts made a heart-breaking exit.
It was ironic that the same knee injury kept halting Crowe's career post the tournament and he finally retired pre-maturely in 1995.
Crowe ended the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 at the top of the charts with 456 runs from nine games at a stunning average of 114 with a strike rate of 90.83. No wonder then that Crowe ended as the Man of the tournament in more ways than one.
Cricket history will always remember Crowe as the man who charmed the crowds with his batting. But it is ability to think out of the box which will also be noted.
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