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World Cup countdown: England’s ODI transformation in last the 4 years

England has hosted the quadrennial event more than any other team — 5 times — but never lifted the cup.

Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images,)

The 2019 World Cup is less than a month away and all teams are looking to give the final touches to their preparations. The tournament will be held in England this year — the fifth time after 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999. Albeit hosting the tournament more than any other nation, England has never won it and finished as the finalists on three occasions.

They lost to the Windies in the final of 1979 by 94 runs after a colossal collapse while a crunch-time misapplication by skipper Mike Gatting saw English side lose the final of the 1987 tournament to Australia by seven runs. In 1992, it was Imran Khan’s Pakistan that defeated the Three Lions by 22 runs in the final.

Between 1996-2015, England was mostly winning against low-ranked teams

England
England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

After making the finals thrice in three decades, England was considered among the best teams that had never won the trophy. But since Graham Gooch’s side lost that Melbourne final in 1992, England’s World Cup story had only gone downhill. Between the 1996 and 2015 editions, England played 38 games of which they won 18, lost 19 while one was tied.

But the striking part is that of those 18 wins, not too many had come against top teams. England beat the Netherlands (thrice); Kenya and the Windies (twice each); Canada, Scotland, Afghanistan, UAE, Namibia, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa (once each).

While England lost to Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand (thrice each); India and Bangladesh (twice each) and Pakistan and Ireland (once each). They gave a walkover to Zimbabwe once and tied with India in the 2011 edition. The Three Lions were certainly found wanting when it came to locking horns with big teams and could only make the quarter-finals as their best performance (1996 and 2011).

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