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The countdown to the ICC Cricket World Cup returning to Birmingham for the first time in 20 years has begun and tournament organisers have today announced the ticket timeline for the year ahead.

Next year’s tournament, which will feature 10 teams across 48 matches between 30 May and 14 July, will be the fourth time England & Wales have hosted the global event.

To reward the hard work that goes into running the game across England & Wales, anyone in the cricket family will get priority access to the ticket ballot on 1 May. There will then be a public ballot in July. Ticket prices and the full match schedule will be announced at the end of March.

Whether its players, coaches, umpires or fans, this will be their chance to beat the rush and book their seats early. The full match schedule and ticket prices will be announced at the end of March.

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To mark the 500 days to go milestone, we look back at the last time Birmingham hosted World Cup cricket.

The first three Cricket World Cups were held in England & Wales, before it returned in 1999 for the 7th edition, which Australia won by defeating Pakistan in the final at Lord’s.

On the pitch in 1999, Australia were just starting to assert their dominance on the one-day international game, claiming the first of their hat-trick of World Cup successes, but it wasn’t without drama, namely that Semi-Final against South Africa at Edgbaston.

Edgbaston hosted three fixtures at the World Cup in 1999, so we decided to roll the clocks back 19 years to that summer and re-live the games that took place in Birmingham…

England v India (29-30 May 1999)

India won by 63 runs

England will be hoping home comforts will help their cause in 2019, but it wasn’t the case at the Cricket World Cup in 1999, as they failed to make it out of the group stage.

Alec Stewart’s side faced India at Edgbaston, knowing a win would cement their spot in the Super Six stage of the tournament. However, it was India who stole the spot after beating the host nation by 63 runs.

With a batting line-up laced with talent, India scored 232/8 in their 50 overs, thanks to 53 from top-scorer Rahul Dravid and 40 from opener Sourav Ganguly.

In response, England struggled to get going, and were bowled out for just 169 in 45.2 overs. Ganguly made sure of the man-of-the-match award by leading the way with the ball for India, taking 3/27 to send his team into the next stage of the tournament, much to the delight of India’s fans in Birmingham.

New Zealand v South Africa (10 June 1999)

South Africa won by 74 runs

South Africa continued their march to the Cricket World Cup 1999 Semi-Finals by easily disposing of New Zealand at Edgbaston.

Batting first on a good track in Birmingham, South Africa’s openers Gary Kirsten (82) and Herschelle Gibbs (91) put on 176 for the first wicket as the Proteas got off to a flying start.

Jacques Kallis blazed his was to a quick-fire 53 off just 36 balls, while Hansie Cronje added more quick runs (39 off 22) as South Africa finished their innings on 287/5 – their highest total of the tournament.

In reply, New Zealand finished on 213/8, with Kallis, Cronje and Lance Klusener all taking a brace of wickets apiece.

Australia v South Africa (17 June 1999)

Match tied – Australia qualify for the Final

Possibly the greatest World Cup match of all time.

Australia and South Africa’s Semi-Final at Edgbaston in 1999 had everything, with undoubtedly the most dramatic ending to any game in Cricket World Cup history.

Australia batted first in the Semi-Final, and scored 213 all out, thanks to 56 from captain Steve Waugh and 65 from Michael Bevan. Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald were in exceptional form with the ball for South Africa, taking 5/36 and 4/32 respectively.

Much like Australia’s innings, it was South Africa’s middle order that did the majority of the run scoring, with Jacques Kallis hitting 53 and Jonty Rhodes scoring 43.

Lance Klusener, who had been in truly stunning form throughout the Cricket World Cup, raced to 31 off 14 balls to leave the scores level with four balls remaining and one wicket to spare.

Then came the drama…

Klusener – who had hit two fours from the first two balls of the last over – then hit the third straight to Darren Lehmann, who nearly ran out Donald at the non-strikers’ end, after the South African tail-ender had been backing up enthusiastically.

The two batsmen didn’t learn their lesson, though. On the next ball, Klusener again miss-hit, but this time went for the run. Donald, missed the call, however, dropped his bat and tried to make his ground, but it was too late. Gilchrist had taken the bails off and Australia had booked their spot in the World Cup final, due to finishing above South Africa in the Super Six stage.

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