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Australia, the winners of 1999 Cricket World Cup, had now emerged tall over the other cowering teams. Its supremacy remained to be challenged. The 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa Zimbabwe and Kenya provided an ideal arena for a pitched battle. Most teams like India, England and Pakistan had young, confident teams, though many doubted if their prowess were enough to outdo the mighty Aussies.
There were 14 teams contesting in the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The teams were
· South Africa
· Sri Lanka
· West Indies
· New Zealand
The inclusion of teams like Netherlands and Canada was a part of the desperate strategies of the ICC to disseminate the popularity of cricket beyond the few test-playing nations.
The format followed was super-six, same as the previous world cup in 1999. The teams were divided into two pools; Australia topped the Pool A while Sri Lanka dominated Pool B.
The semi finals were held between Australia and Sri Lanka, and between India and Kenya. The 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya proved lucky for one of the host nations, Kenya. It became the only non-test playing nation to reach the finals of the Cricket World Cup.
The final proved to be a big disappointment for the thousands of Indian fans who had cut across the oceans to support their team. India lost tamely against the 2nd time winner Australia. The only consolation for them came in the form of Player of the Tournament award for Sachin Tendulkar.
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