The 2003 Cricket World Cup, officially known as ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, was the eight edition of World Cup Cricket. It was an all-African affair as it co-hosted by South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, making it the first such tournament to take place in Africa. The World Cup 2003 began on February 9 and the final of the tournament was played on March 23. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Schedule in PDF: Ticket Prices, Dates, Venue Details & Timetable Available for Download Online.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 was played on 15 different venues in the African countries, with the final of the tournament played at the Wanderers Stadium, in Johannesburg. The multi-nation tourney featured a total of 14 teams, a record number at that time. The 2003 WC was first conducted in the round-robin and as it progressed the knockout format was used.
Participating Teams & Formats: As many as 14 teams were the participants in the ICC 2003 World Cup. The teams were divided equally into two groups, i.e. A and B, each having 7 teams. The teams slotted in Group A were Australia, India, England, Pakistan, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands. On the other hand, the teams grouped in Group B were Bangladesh, West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Canada, South Africa, and Kenya. Cricket World Cup History: Winners, Host Nations, Participating Teams and Timeline of All the CWC From 1975 to 2015.
The top three teams from each group qualified for the ‘Super Sixes’. From Group A it was Australia, India, and Zimbabwe, whereas from Group B it was Kenya, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. The Group A qualifying teams then played a match each against Group B qualifying team, and vice versa. The top 4 teams then qualified for the semi-finals.
Semi-Finalists: It was Australia, India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya (the only non-Test playing nation to qualify for a WC semi-final) qualified for 2003 World Cup semi-finals. In the first semi-final match between Australia and Sri Lanka, it was the former that won the match comfortably by 48 runs (by D/L method). The match is best remembered for Adam Gilchrist walking back to the pavilion despite been given not-out by the umpire. History of Cricket World Cup Trophy: Facts and Evolution of Cricket’s Prestigious Title From Prudential to ICC (View Pics & Video).
In the second semi-final match, the in-form Men in Blue thwarted away all the Kenyan hopes as they cruised to victory by 91 runs. It was a one-sided affair for the Indian team after Sachin Tendulkar scored 83 runs and Sourav Ganguly hit 111 runs in the first innings, taking the innings total to 270/4.
Watch Video of 2003 Cricket World Cup Final Between India and Australia
Winner: The grand final took between India and Australia, where India won the toss and elected to field – the decision which is severely criticised till date. The Indian bowlers squandered their chances of taking advantage of a lively pitch at the Wanderers, and on the other hand, the Australian openers took their side to a flying start. Soon after, Ricky Ponting piled up more misery for the Indian team as he scored an unbeaten 140* runs in the final; pushing their total to a mammoth 359/2 in the first half.
In their reply, the Indian lineup crumbled like a pack of cards with only Virender Sehwag showing some resistance. Sehwag scored 82 runs in 81 balls before returning to the hut. The Indians folded on a paltry total of 234 runs, and lost the final by 125 runs – the match the complete anti-climax of their fiery campaign.
Ricky Ponting won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his cracking century in the first innings. It was Australia’s second consecutive World Cup victory, after previously lifting the coveted trophy in 1999 WC.
India’s Sachin Tendulkar emerged as the most run-scoring batsman in the tournament, after he scored 673 runs in the tournament – a record that still stands. Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vas picked up the most number of wickets, i.e. 24, in the ICC World Cup 2003.