Team Pakistan's squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015:
Misbah Ul Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Maqsood, Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafiz, Umar Akmal, Harris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicket keeper), Yasir Shah, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Khan, Ehsan Adil, Wahaz Riaz.
Team Pakistan's performances in Cricket World Cups:
Pakistan cricket team has featured in all the cricket world cups so far right from 1975 to 2011. They have been World Cup winners in 1992. Let us have a short revisit for Pakistan team in all the past world cups.
Pakistan had a disappointing outing in the 1975 inaugural cricket world cup played in England. They couldn't go beyond the first round as they lost two and won just one match in the tournament. They finished fifth out of the eight teams. West Indies lifted the 1975 world cup trophy.
Next three world cup editions brought some glory to the team. In 1979, the team played four matches and won two out of them. They reached the semi finals but lost against West Indies. The winner of this semi final went on to win the finals at Lord's against England.
In 1983, Pakistan played total seven matches, won three and lost four. They were again eliminated in the semi finals against West Indies. 1983 world cup champions were India who defeated West Indies in the finals. Pakistan again had to return home without a world cup trophy triumph!
World Cup of 1987 was played in India and Pakistan. Hence expectations from the subcontinent fans were too high. Pakistan played well to win five out of seven world cup matches in 1987. On 4th November 1987, Australia defeated Pakistan in the semi finals at Lahore. Next day India were eliminated in the second semi finals against England. Thus the subcontinent hopes of winning the world cup were shattered. Australia went on to win their first ever world cup in 1987.
Pakistan traveled to Australia and New Zealand for the 1992 world cup which brought glory home! In an unforgettable semi final against New Zealand, young Inzamam rose to the scene and gave Pakistan a berth in the finals. Imran Khan's team defeated England in the finals to lift their first ever World Cup trophy!
The world cup returned to Pakistan, India and Srilanka in 1996. Pakistan couldn't go beyond the quarter finals as they were eliminated in an exceptionally eye catchy match against India at Bangalore. Srilanka went on to win the World Cup in 1996.
Pakistan reached their next closest opportunity to win a world cup in 1999. They won seven out of their total 10 matches in England. They couldn't manage to win the most important match - the finals - against Australia. Pakistan had to content with the runners-up prize.
In 2003, Pakistan traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya for next edition of World Cup. This was overall a disappointing outing for the team. They couldn't go beyond the first round. Australia won this world cup in the finals against India.
In 2007, Pakistan faced the most disastrous world cup outcome. A world cup plagued with lot of controversies brought a disappointing end to the team. After losing to Ireland, the team was eliminated. This upset was followed by the death of coach Woolmer. Australia won this world cup beating Srilanka in the finals.
In 2011, Pakistan managed to reach the semi-finals. They faced arch rivals in the semi finals. A dream come true match for world cricket fans, ended in favour of India - thus eliminating Pakistan from the world cup. India defeated Srilanka in the finals at Wankhede Stadium to clinch their second world cup trophy.
Overall Pakistan have played 64 ODI matches in the world cups. They have won 36, lost 26 while two ended without any result. With sweet memories of 1992 win down under, Pakistan will again travel to the same destination with a dream of winning yet another one! Let us see what does 2015 cricket world cup have in store for Pakistani team.
By Tejas Thakkar
By Tejas Thakkar