World cup 2023: Tears in Kambli’s eyes, there was a stigma on India’s forehead, now Eden Gardens ready to erase


New Delhi: The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 is going to be held in India. The tournament will begin on October 5 with a match between England and New Zealand. All the World Cup matches will be played at a total of 10 different venues in India, in which Kolkata’s Eden Gardens has got five matches. The first match at Eden Gardens will be between the winner of Qualifier-1 and Bangladesh on October 28, while on October 31, Pakistan and Bangladesh teams will clash at the same ground. The match between India and South Africa is also to be played in this stadium. As soon as the schedule for the World Cup 2023 was announced and Kolkata’s Eden Gardens was named as the venue. Similarly, a bitter memory also became fresh in the mind. Kolkata’s Eden Gardens and the stigma associated with the World Cup, which was on India’s forehead in 1996, now has a chance to erase it with a successful event. It is not that since then no match has been played on this ground again.

Eden Gardens is one of the most beautiful stadiums in India and has many historical achievements. The final of the World Cup was played between Australia and England in the year 1987 at Eden Gardens itself. In 2016, the T20 World Cup title clash between England and West Indies took place on this ground. There were many such historical moments which Eden Gardens witnessed but the stigma of 1996 could not be erased.

What happened in the 1996 India-Sri Lanka match?
The semi-final match of the 1996 World Cup was played between India and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and decided to bowl. India’s bowlers got Team India off to a great start but Aravinda de Silva handled Sri Lanka’s innings. De Silva played an inning of 66 runs.

Roshan Mahanama, who was with De Silva, completed the task by scoring 58 runs. In this way, Sri Lanka scored 251 runs at the loss of 8 wickets in 50 overs. Now the challenge was before India. Navjot Sidhu and Sachin Tendulkar started the innings for Team India but Sidhu got out cheaply but Sachin stood firm.

Sachin scored a half-century to bring India’s score close to 100 runs. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan team, which came with three spin bowlers, was putting constant pressure on India. All was well till the 25th over of the Indian innings, but from here things started deteriorating.

Sachin was stumped out
Before Sachin’s dismissal, India’s score was 98 for 1 in 25 overs. Sanjay Manjrekar was supporting him. Sachin was playing after scoring 67 runs when Sanath Jayasuriya stumped him out. What was it then that the wickets of Team India started falling like leaves.

Captain Azharuddin could not even open his account. Seeing the continuous fall of wickets, some spectators present in the stadium became uncontrollable and started throwing bottles on the ground. This caused play to be stopped and the Sri Lankan fielders moved away from the boundary and reached the pitch. The situation soon got out of control and some irate spectators set the stadium seats on fire.

Perhaps such a scene was seen earlier in the history of Indian cricket. The police tried their best to control the situation, but had to struggle a lot. Somehow tried to start the game. Vinod Kambli and Anil Kumble were at the crease for India. Defeat was almost certain but Kambali stood firm. However, when conditions did not improve, match referee Clive Lloyd declared Sri Lanka the winners.

tears in Kambli’s eyes
The way the Sri Lankan team played, there was no doubt that they were winners. India had lagged behind Sri Lanka in every aspect but what the spectators did had a big impact on Kambli. On his way back to the dug out, tears welled up in his eyes. Although it did not have much effect on the Sri Lankan team.

Three days after this incident, he became the world champion by defeating Australia in the final played in Lahore, but in the meantime, India’s forehead was defamed forever.
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