The ICC Cricket World Cup is the biggest international championship tournament of One Day International (ODI) cricket, normally held after every four years. The tournament is organized by the top governing body of international cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC). The cricket world cup tournament is considered as the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar” by the ICC. The first ever cricket World Cup was played in 1975 in England. England was the host of the first three cricket World Cups such that in 1975, 1979 and 1983.
Hosting has been shared between two or more countries from the 1987 tournament onwards. Till the latest edition of the cup in 2015, 20 teams have been competed in the eleven editions of the tournament. Moreover talking about the winners of the cup, Australia has won this prestigious tournament of cricket five times, West Indies and India two times each, Pakistan and Sri Lanka once each. The best performance by a non-full-member team is given by Kenya, when they reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2003.
Cricket history before the Cricket World Cups
The first unofficial international cricket match was played between the United States and Canada in 1844. However, the first credited and official cricket test match was played between Australia and England in 1877, and the two teams competed regularly for very famous test match series ‘The Ashes’ in subsequent years. South Africa became the third test playing team when it entered the test team’s list in 1889. These cricket teams were selected to tour each other country to play bilateral cricket series. Cricket was also included in Olympics in 1900 held in Paris. In these games, Great Britain hit the gold medal after beating France.
The first multilateral international cricket tournament, i.e., triangular was played in 1912. It was a Test cricket tournament played between all three Test-playing countries at the time such that England, Australia and South Africa in England. Since then, there were only bilateral test match serieses and the next multilateral Test tournament was the Asian Test Championship in 1999.
The test playing countries increased gradually over time, when West Indies became test playing nation in 1928, New Zealand in 1930, India in 1932, and Pakistan in 1952. The first One-Day International (ODI) match was played between Australia and England in 1971 in Melbourne. It was not scheduled earlier and just was a co-incidence. On the rain-disturbed fifth day of the first ever test match, a 40 over (eight balls per over) match was played to fill the time available and as an entertainment for the frustrated crowd.
The Cricket World Cup history
The first three world cups were held in England and officially known as the Prudential World Cup after the name of the sponsors ‘Prudential plc’. Each match consisted of 60 overs (6 ball/over) per team. All teams played their matches wearing white cricket dresses and matches were played with red cricket balls.
World Cup 1975
There were 8 teams participating in the first world cup tournament. It included 6 test playing countries: Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, India and the West Indies, while 2 non-test playing nations Sri Lanka and East Africa.South Africa was just banned then to play international cricket due to apartheid. The 1975 world cup was won by the West Indies, beating Australia by 17 runs in the final at Lord’s.
World Cup 1979
The 1979 World Cup welcomes the two new teams i.e. Sri Lanka and Canada. The tournament was won again by the West Indies and thus winning the cup two times consecutively. WI won this World Cup tournament defeating England in final with 92 runs, which was also the host of the tournament.
World Cup 1983
The World Cup 1983 was hosted by England again and for a 3rd consecutive time. Along with all the previous nations, Zimbabwe was the new team to play world cup, who qualified through the ICC Trophy. For the first time, a new rule of fielding restrictions was introduced. There will be a circle 30 yards away from the stumps. Four fielders must be present inside it at all times. Surprising all, India won this 3rd edition of the world cup when they beat the previous champions the West Indies by 43 runs in the final in lords.
World Cup 1987
The 1987 cricket tournament was hosted by India and Pakistan jointly. It was the first time that the world cup was played outside England. The matches were reduced to 50 from 60 overs per innings. Australia won the world cup championship defeating England in the final by 7 runs. It was the record of the closest margin in World Cup final history.
World Cup 1992
In The World Cup 1992, which was held in Australia and New Zealand, many changes were introduced to the game, as coloured dresses, day/night matches, white colour balls etc.
Surprisingly, only the 3rd test playing nation the South Africa, participated in the world cup for the first time.
This tournament introduced Pakistan as a new winner, when Pakistan smash England by 22 runs in the final match.
World Cup 1996
Indian subcontinent holds the 1996 championship for a second time. Sri Lanka also host some group stage matches. In an amazing and thrilling semi-final competition, Indian team was on 120-8 in front of Sri Lanka’s 252 and spectators riots in the stadiums against the Indian poor performance.
After that the game was stopped and the match officials declared the Lankan team as the winner of the match. Sri Lanka made his way to their maiden championship by crushing Australia by 7 wickets in the final at Lahore.
World Cups 1999 to 2007: The Australian era
World Cup 1999
England again hosts this cricket event in 1999. While some matches were also played in Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands. 12 teams were competed for this World Cup.
Australia entered the semi-final after an amazing victory on the last ball in the group match against South Africa. They Australian team moved to the final again beating South African team in the semi. Australia lifts the world cup trophy for the second time, when they beat Pakistan by 8 wickets in the final.
World Cup 2003
Now the turn was of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya to host the World Cup. Participating teams in this tournament increased from 12 to 14. Kenya’s victories over Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe were the amazing moments of the world cup. It move the Kenya team to the semis for the first time.
On the other hand, team India makes the way to the final for the second time in the world cup history. They beat Kenya in the semi by 91 runs.
In the final, India competed with Australia for the title. But Australia won the title for the third time, two times consecutively, beating India by 125 runs in the final at Johannesburg.
World Cup 2007
This event was organized in the West Indies, where total 16 teams compete in four groups (4 teams in each group). This world cup included number of shocking news.
First, India loses its first game against Bangladesh and can’t even reach to the next stage i.e. super 8 stages. Secondly, Pakistan sent back to the home by the non-test playing country Ireland, when they beat Pakistan in the group match as just like India-Bangladesh match. Third, Pakistani cricket team head coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room. Initially it seems a murder case, but later on, it was confirmed that he died because of heart failure.
In the final, Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 53 runs with D/L method. With this final match victory, Australian team became the first team to win 3 world cup finals consecutively.
World Cup 2011
The games with Pakistani venues redistributed to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The teams participating in this Cup dropped down again to 14 from 16. Australia lost in the final group stage and got out of the world cup. India won their 2nd World Cup title by beating Sri Lankan team by 6 wickets in the final in Mumbai and also became the first nation to win the world cup final on home ground.
World Cup 2015
This time the 2015 Cricket World Cup found its hosts as Australia and New Zealand together. The number of teams remained the same at 14. The host nation New Zealand beat South African team in a thrilling first semi-final to qualify for their maiden World Cup final. Australia dominating New Zealand in the final at Melbourne by 7 wickets to lift the World Cup trophy for the 5th time.
About the Cricket World Cup Trophy
The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy is the award to the winners of the World Cup tournament finals. The current trophy was made for the 1999 world cup championships and was the first permanent prize in the tournament’s history. Later on, different trophies were made for each tournament. The trophy was designed and produced by a team of craftsmen from Garrard & Co in the time span of more than two months in London.
The current trophy is made from gilt and silver metals and has a golden globe over it. There are 3 columns, representing 3 basic aspects of cricket: batting, bowling and fielding. While the globe denotes a cricket ball.
The height of World cup title trophy is about 60 centimeters and it weighs approximately 11 kgs. There is the list of names of the previous world cup trophy winners on the base of the trophy.