In 1996, the World Cup returned to the Indian sub-continent with India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka co-hosting the event. This World Cup saw the debut of three new teams - Kenya, UAE & the Netherlands. For the first time, 12 teams were involved in the World Cup. The teams were divided into two groups of six teams each with the top four teams from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Group A comprised of India, Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies, Zimbabwe & Kenya. Group B comprised of Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, England, UAE & the Netherlands.
Sri Lanka, Australia, India & West Indies from Group A qualified for the quarter-finals. From Group B it was South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand & England. Sri Lanka defeated England by five wickets; India defeated Pakistan by 39 runs; West Indies defeated South Africa by 19 runs; Australia defeated New Zealand by six wickets to make it to the semi-finals.
The first semi-final saw Sri Lanka being awarded the win against India due to crowd trouble. In the second semi-final, Australia defeated the West Indies by five runs.
In the finals, Sri Lanka defeated Australia by seven wickets and became the third Asian country to win the World Cup. Also, they became the first home team to lift the Trophy.
Aravinda de Silva (107) became the third player in the history of the World Cup to score a century in the finals of the tournament. Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka was named as the Player of the Tournament.
Some of the key performances from the tournament are mentioned below.
398/5 by Sri Lanka against Kenya was the highest team total in the 1996 World Cup.
523 runs scored by Sachin Tendulkar of India were the most number of runs scored by a player in the 1996 World Cup.
188* scored by Gary Kirsten of South Africa against UAE was the highest individual score by a player in the tournament.
16 centuries were scored in the 1996 World Cup. These were scored by Gary Kirsten of South Africa (188*), Andrew Hudson of South Africa (161), Aravinda de Silva of Sri Lanka (145 & 107*), Sachin Tendulkar of India (137 & 127*), Mark Waugh of Australia (130, 126 &110), Chris Harris of New Zealand (130), Aamer Sohail of Pakistan (111), Brian Lara of West Indies (111), Vinod Kambli of India (106), Graeme Hick of England (104*), Ricky Ponting of Australia (102) & Nathan Astle of New Zealand (101).
3 half-centuries scored by Sachin Tendulkar of India, Asanka Gurusinha of Sri Lanka, Saeed Anwar of Pakistan & Steve Waugh of Australia each were the most number of half-centuries scored by a player in the 1996 World Cup.
15 wickets taken by Anil Kumble of India were the most number of wickets taken by a player in the 1996 World Cup.
5/21 by Paul Strang of Zimbabwe against Kenya was the best bowling performance by a player in the 1996 Cricket World Cup.
3 five-wicket hauls were taken in the 1996 World Cup. These were taken by Paul Strang of Zimbabwe (5/21), Shaukat Dukanwala of UAE (5/29) & Damien Fleming of Australia (5/36).
12 dismissals by Ian Healy of Australia were the most number of dismissals by a wicket-keeper in the 1996 World Cup.
5 dismissals by Jimmy Adams of West Indies against Kenya & by Rashid Latif of Pakistan against New Zealand were the most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in an innings in the 1996 World Cup.
8 catches taken by Anil Kumble of India were the most number of catches taken by a player in the 1996 World Cup.
3 catches taken by Chris Cairns of New Zealand against UAE were the most number of catches taken by a player in the 1996 World Cup.