I won’t lie. I skipped to 1992 straight away. The opening match of the World Cup at our very own Eden Park, in front of a capacity crowd, and even Sir Richard was paraded around for all to see to prove that we did have good cricket players in our midst.
Who could forget Dipak Patel opening the bowling for NZ? Well, his figures weren’t that special, only 36 for 1 off ten overs, nothing fantastic and it didn’t really slow the opening partnership of Boon and Marsh all that much, but it did surprise. That small bowling surprise helped, but Martin Crowe’s unbeaten captain’s knock of an even 100 was probably a greater highlight, given his knee was threatening to keep him out of the tournament all together. New Zealand won that match, upsetting the much favoured Aussies, and for a moment there, the nation collectively wondered ‘what if?’ What a way to start a tournament co-hosted by New Zealand.
History, of course, dealt the ‘young guns’, (the ‘Black Caps’ in those times), a crushing dose of reality when Pakistan beat us just short of a month later in the semi final. We did do better in the semi than the match against Pakistan the week prior, but Crowe’s failing body let him down and he wasn’t able to take the field after we posted our score.
Twenty years after being at those Eden Park games, I relived the experience as I read A Complete History and remembered my feeling of pride in our seven game winning streak. The New Zealand team weren’t expected to do that well, and when we fell just short in the semi final, sadly the book also reminded me of my disappointment.
The book provides every score card for every World Cup game from 1975 to 2011, and even has a brief preview of next year’s World Cup held right here in New Zealand.
New Zealand is once again the outsider – so far outside, in fact, that they may as well be on the neighbour’s property. However, after reading the entire 1992 chapter, I’m inspired to pop down to the local TAB and check those odds.
A book written by two cricket enthusiasts, this is a fantastic book for all cricket fans, and a great record to add to any historical sporting memorabilia library.