12 days to World Cup: It's not Lord's but Headingley that holds this record

Interestingly, it's good to lose tosses at Headingley as teams losing the toss have won seven matches while teams winning it have only won four.

Published: 18th May 2019 07:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2019 08:22 PM   |  A+A-

Headingley Cricket Ground. (Photo | Twitter/@ICC)

Online Desk

England boasts plenty of iconic stadiums with a lot of history behind them. From Lord's in London, known as the Mecca of cricket, to Old Trafford in Manchester, which hosted the first Ashes Test in England, they have it all. But it is the Headingley Cricket Ground at Leeds which holds the record of hosting the most number of matches in World Cup history.

Headingley, which was established in 1890, has hosted 12 matches in the World Cup starting from the Australia vs Pakistan game during the inaugural 1975 World Cup to the famous Australia vs South Africa encounter during the last World Cup hosted in England in 1999.

Of the 12 matches, only 11 have ended with a result with one game between Zimbabwe and New Zealand being washed out. Pakistan and Australia have played five matches each, the most by any team, and won three of them. Hosts England have won two of the three matches they have played at the home of Yorkshire County Club. 

India doesn't boast a very good record at the ground with their only win coming against lowly East Africa during the 1975 World Cup while losing the only other match they played here against New Zealand in 1979. 

This year the ground with a capacity of 18,350 will be hosting four group stage matches - England vs Sri Lanka, Pakistan vs Afghanistan, Afghanistan vs West Indies and India vs Sri Lanka.

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Interestingly, it's good to lose tosses at Headingley as teams losing the toss have won seven matches while teams winning it have only won four. 

World Cup classics at Headingley:

1975 semi-final: England v Australia

Playing hosts, the inventors of cricket thought they could ease past a familiar opposition in Australia to lift the World Cup but little did they know that the trophy would elude them in 11 editions of the tournament so far.

Batting first, England were bamboozled by Gary Gilmour's left-arm pace bowling as they were bowled out for 93 runs. Gilmour took six wickets with England's score still standing as the lowest ever at the ground.

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Chasing a modest target, Australia found themselves in hot water as they were reduced to 39/6. But Gilmour denied England an unexpected victory as he knocked off the winning runs with Doug Walters to hand Australia a four-wicket win.

1999: Australia v South Africa 

It was a must-win game for Australia in the Super-Six clash against South Africa which eventually ended up being the decider in the semi-finals. South Africa batted first with Herschelle Gibbs scoring a hundred and guiding the Proteas to a respectable 272. 

Australia were in trouble early as they lost three wickets for 48 runs. Then walked out Steve Waugh to join Ricky Ponting and take Australia to a commanding position. Waugh went on to play a match-winning knock as he scored an unbeaten 120 off 110 balls but not before he was dropped on 56 by Gibbs.

The rumoured line 'You just dropped the World Cup' which Waugh delivered to Gibbs is still famous and it turned out to be true as Australia reached the finals of the tournament after a tie in the semis against South Africa on the basis of the result in this clash at Headingley.


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