The fifth edition of the Cricket World Cup was officially known as the Benson & Hedges World Cup, and was held in Australia and New Zealand. Nine teams - New Zealand, India, England, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and the reigning champions Australia - participated in this mega event played from 22nd February to 25th March 1992.
The World Cup Down Under was historic and paved the way for the future of ODI cricket. There were four significant innovations at the 1992 World Cup - colored clothing, floodlights for day-night matches, fielding restrictions during the powerplays and two white balls being introduced, one from either end. Even the format changed from the previous tournaments, with round-robin replacing the earlier group stage qualifying format.
After nine teams battled it out in the 28 round-robin matches, four qualified for the knockout stage. Pakistan were the surprise entrants in the semis as they had struggled mightily at the start of the tournament. But despite the odds being stacked against them, they put together some brilliant performances in the do-or-die contests towards the end to scrape through to the knockouts.
The first semi-final was played between firm favorites New Zealand and Pakistan at Auckland’s Eden Park. Martin Crowe’s splendid 91-run knock went in vain as Inzamam-ul-Haq’s quickfire 37-ball 60 took the game away from the Kiwis, placing Pakistan in their first-ever World Cup final.
On the other hand, England crushed South Africa's hopes at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the second semi-final to make their third World Cup final appearance.
Pakistan and England locked horns for the ultimate glory in the packed Melbourne Cricket Ground. Wasim Akram’s all-round display and Imran Khan’s crucial 72-run innings in the final helped Pakistan lift their maiden World Cup title.
Martin Crowe had a spectacular campaign in 1992 World Cup, scoring 456 runs at an astonishing average of 114. He slammed a century and four fifty-plus scores for New Zealand in that tournament.
Crowe was a charismatic leader who was instrumental in their success, and such was his impact that he was declared the Player of the Tournament at the end of it. Wasim Akram, meanwhile, emerged as the leading wicket-taker with 18 wickets in his 10 matches at an economy rate of just 3.76. His best bowling figures came against New Zealand in a must-win group fixture where he bagged four wickets for 32 runs, including the prized wicket of Crowe.
1992 World Cup Records
Most Runs: Martin Crowe (NZ) – 456 Runs
Highest Score: Rameez Raja (PAK) – 119* vs New Zealand
Most Centuries: David Boon (AUS) – 2
Most Fifties: Martin Crowe (NZ) – 5
Highest Average: Martin Crowe (NZ) – 114.00
Highest Strike-Rate: Chris Lewis (ENG) – 155.76
Most Wickets: Wasim Akram (PAK) – 18
Best Bowling Figures: Mayrick Pringle (SA) - 10-4-11-4
Best Average: Dermot Reeve (ENG) – 15.75
Best Economy Rate: Dipak Patel (NZ) – 3.10
Most Catches: Kepler Wessels (SA) – 7