The 1992 Cricket World Cup is often remembered as the triumph of the “Cornered Tigers” – a term coined by the then captain of the Pakistan cricket team, Imran Khan, to describe the team’s fighting spirit and determination to win against all odds.
Pakistan had entered the tournament as one of the underdogs, with many experts predicting that they would struggle to make it past the group stages. The team had also faced a lot of internal turmoil and criticism before the tournament. Imran Khan, who had been appointed captain just a year before the World Cup, had faced intense criticism from the media and former players for his aggressive leadership style and for dropping several senior players from the team.
However, the Pakistan team rallied around their captain and his vision of building a young and fearless team that could take on the world’s best teams. Imran Khan motivated his players by reminding them that they were the “Cornered Tigers” – a team that had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Pakistan’s campaign got off to a rocky start as they lost their first two matches against the West Indies and India. However, the team showed remarkable resilience and character in the remaining matches, winning six out of their next seven matches to qualify for the semi-finals.
In the semi-final against New Zealand, Pakistan once again found themselves in a precarious situation, with New Zealand setting a target of 262 runs. However, Pakistan’s bowlers rose to the occasion, with Wasim Akram taking three wickets and Imran Khan taking two wickets to help restrict New Zealand to 262 runs. In reply, Pakistan chased down the target comfortably, winning the match by four wickets with six balls to spare.
In the final against England, Pakistan once again faced a daunting task, with England setting a target of 249 runs. However, Pakistan’s batsmen rose to the occasion, with captain Imran Khan scoring a crucial 72 runs and Javed Miandad scoring 58 runs to help Pakistan cross the finish line. In the end, Pakistan won the match by 22 runs, clinching their first-ever World Cup trophy.
The “Cornered Tigers” became a symbol of inspiration for cricket fans in Pakistan and around the world. The team’s underdog story and their never-say-die attitude continue to inspire new generations of cricketers and fans. The 1992 World Cup remains one of the greatest moments in Pakistan cricket history, and the legacy of the “Cornered Tigers” continues to live on.