India have never lost a game of cricket in the World Cup against Pakistan — be it in the 50 or 20 overs and now, they will be taking the arch-rivals on the Over 50s World Cup. The competition featuring veterans will be held in Cape Town and Stellenbosch in South Africa between March 11 and 24 next year. Besides India, the West Indies, Namibia and Zimbabwe will also be making their debut in the tournament.
Shailendra Singh will be leading the Indian side. India have been clubbed with Pakistan, England and hosts South Africa in one pool while Australia, West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are in the other group. India’s opening match is on March 11 when they take on England.
“I’ve captained Bombay Gym for 15 years, I represented the entire ’83 team during their streak and I’ve played against the greats in county cricket in England and Scotland. I’m excited for the chance to lead India in its World Cup effort and, along with Ajoy Roy, I hope to bring the cup back to India and make the entire nation proud,” The Hindu cited reports quoting Shailendra as saying.
Roy, who is the president of India Over 50s Association, said the Indian team is keen to leave a lasting impression in its opening World Cup for the veterans by coming up with a commendable show against the others.
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And that’s exactly what the Indian team hopes to do in their first showing against eleven others,” he was quoted as saying.
Kapil Dev wishes the Indian team luck
Former India captain Kapil Dev, who earned India their first-ever World Cup in 1983 that changed the course of the game’s history in the country, was excited over the tournament. Speaking highly about Shailendra, Kapil said: “This is a beautiful moment, he (Shailendra) is going to play cricket above 50 representing India and going to lead the World Cup. I want to wish him and his entire team good luck. Do well boys and we are with you all the way and enjoy the game.”
The first-ever World Cup for Over-50s was played in Sydney in 2018 and the winners were Australia. The tournament, however, was not recognised by the International Cricket Council.
India have beaten Pakistan in all seven matches they have played in the 50-over World Cup since 1992 with the latest being in May this year in England. In the T20 World Cup also, India have dominated the Men in Green by winning four of the five matches they have played, including the final of the opening edition in South Africa in 2007. One match was a tie although India had won it in a bowl-out.
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