NEW DELHI, March 2, 2007 (AFP) – Where there’s cricket, there’s controversy and at the 2003 World Cup the phrase “It’s not cricket” vied for attention with on-field contests. The tournament, jointly hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, was not only the biggest in the history but also had more than its fair share of controversies, beginning with a drug-ban involving Australian Shane Warne.
Australia got the news before their opening match against Pakistan that the star spinner had been ruled out after testing positive, but it was a tribute to their tenacity that they did not allow it to affect their performance.
The ace leg-spinner was handed a 12-month ban and never played one-day cricket again for Australia.
The tournament had just got off the blocks when cricket was again pushed into the background as Zimbabweans Henry Olonga and Andy Flower wore black armbands to protest the “death of democracy” in their country.
Both were later driven into cricketing exile, but the Zimbabwe shadow was to fall on the event again when England boycotted their match at Harare on political grounds.
That the tournament was more than just a simple contest between