The ongoing Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales is the 12th edition of the prestigious tournament organised by International Cricket Council (ICC). Over the years, several records have been made and broken at different World Cup editions creating memorable World Cup moments in the process. Some records and moments, however, will forever be special! One such moment is the first ever World Cup hat-trick, which was taken by Indian bowler Chetan Sharma during a match against New Zealand in Nagpur in 1987.
In 1987, for the first time, the World Cup was held outside England. The 1987 World Cup was held in India and Pakistan. With India winning the 1983 World Cup, all eyes were on the Indian Cricket Team. While India did manage to reach the semifinal of the tournament, it lost to England team, which headed to the final to face Australia.
During India’s sixth match against New Zealand on October 21, 1987, at VCA Stadium in Nagpur’s Civil Lines area, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. India had a decent bowling line up in bowlers such as Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabahkar and Chetan Sharma. Kapil Dev was the captain who led Indian team to crush the mighty West Indies and win the 1983 World Cup. But that day in 1987 did not belong to Kapil Dev, it belonged to Chetan Sharma, who was playing his first ever Cricket World Cup.
Sharma, a right arm medium pacer, made history that day! He became the first ever bowler in international cricket to take a hat-trick in a world cup tournament. Sharma took the wickets of Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield. Interestingly, all three batsmen were clean bowled by Sharma.
With the help of Sunil Gavaskar’s unbeaten 103 and Kris Srikkanth’s 75, India chased New Zealand’s total of 221 runs in 32.1 overs and won the match by 9 wickets. The highlight of match was, however, Chetan Sharma who had written his name gloriously in the pages of history. Sharma and Gavaskar were both announced as the Player of the Match.