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India break jinx of Cup triumph by host country

Last updated on: April 3, 2011 00:03 IST

Sport's most treasured prize

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Pre-tournament favourites India spectacularly broke the jinx of a host nation not winning the World Cup, clinching the sport's most treasured prize by vanquishing Sri Lanka in the summit clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday night.

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When Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men crossed the finish line after overhauling Sri Lanka's stiff target of 275, it was the first time in the tournament's history that the nation hosting the grand finale had come out trumps.


Image: Indian team celebrates after winning the ICC World Cup against Sri Lanka in Mumbai
Photographs: Reuters
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No host country had won the Cup

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England hosted the tournament on four occasions (1975-1983 and 1999) without tasting success even once.

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India were co-hosts of the 1987 edition along with Pakistan, and Allan Border's Australians beat Mike Gatting's England at the Eden Gardens to snatch away the top prize.

Five years later, Australia hosted the final (the tournament's joint co-hosts being New Zealand), and it was the turn of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan to lift the trophy.

In 1996, though, winners Lanka were the co-hosts of the tournament with India and Pakistan, but the final was held at Lahore.

After the 1999 tournament, won by Australia in England, Ricky Ponting led the Aussies to back-to-back title triumphs in 2003 (in South Africa) and in 2007 (in West Indies).


Image: Australian Team poses with the trophy after winning the 1999 World Cup in Lords
Photographs: Getty Images
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India scripts history

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But on Saturday night, egged on by a capacity crowd of 33,000, India created history as hosts of the summit clash by denying co-hosts Lanka the Cup as well as the top prize of US $3 million.

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Runners-up Sri Lanka pocketed US $1.5 million.

The triumph also placed India alongside the West Indies and Australia as the teams to have won the crown on more than one occasion.


Image: India's Yuvraj Singh celebrates with teammates after winning the World Cup against Sri Lanka in Mumbai
Photographs: Reuters
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