Bengaluru, May 27: The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 kicks off in another three days. The tournament is being held since 1975 when the West Indies had won, defeating Australia by 17 runs in the final.
In the 11 editions held since then, the Caribbeans won one more time and India twice. Pakistan and Sri Lanka won once each. However, it is Australia who dominated the tournament and have won five titles starting in 1987.
Besides team accomplishments, individual feats have also made the World Cup a special affair.
Names like Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards and Javed Miandad have become eternally associated with the World Cup owing to their individual brilliance. However, one record at the premier event is owned only by two individuals and it is slamming a century in the final of the tournament as the captain of the side.
Those two individuals are Clive Lloyd and Ricky Ponting. Captains of the West Indies and Australia respectively, Lloyd and Ponting had hit centuries in their first final as the captain. Both of them went on to win two titles that were also consecutive ones.
Lloyd chose Australia as his opponent at Lord's in the 1975 final. Ian Chappell won the toss and sent the Windies to bat and they were in early trouble at 50 for three. Lloyd, a bespectacled left-hander, slammed 102 at No.5 to add 149 runs with Rohan Kanhai (55) to take his team to safety. The knock came in 85 balls with 12 fours and two sixes.
Powered by that knock and some handy innings from the lower order, the West Indies reached 291 for eight in 60 overs despite a fifer from Gary Gilmour. Australia were all out for 274 and Lloyd was the man of the match as he picked his maiden WC trophy.
The second instance of a captain belting a hundred in the final of a World Cup came 28 years later, in 2003. This time the venue was Johannesburg and the opponent was India. Sourav Ganguly won the toss and sent Australia to bat first and his bowlers had a complete nervous breakdown that day.
Ponting came out at 105 for one, a situation which was completely different to that of Lloyd and it was a free run for him. When Ponting returned to the pavilion after remaining uncounquered on 140 in just 121 balls, Australia posted a mammoth 359 for two in 50 overs. The merciless treatment he meted out to the Indian pacers remains an unforgettable incident in World Cup cricket. Ponting hit only four fours but eight sixes during his knock that eventually saw Australia thrashing India by 125 runs to pick their third title.
Besides these two players as captains, others who hit hundreds in the final of the World Cup are Viv Richards (138 not out vs England in 1979 final), Aravinda de Silva (107 not out vs Australia in 1996 final), Adam Gilchrist (149 vs Sri Lanka in 2007 final) and Mahela Jayawardene (103 not out vs India in 2011 final).
In 2011, Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored 91 not out in the final to come close to score a hundred in the final of a World Cup.