Cricket World Cup History
In the world of men's ODI cricket, ICC World Cup is regarded as the premier tournament, witnessing participation as well as viewership from all across the globe. Its history dates back to the year 1975, when the inaugural tournament was played on England soil, with the participants being the six Test-playing nations at the time i.e. Australia, England, the West Indies, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan, along with Sri Lanka and a composite team from East Africa. The first three events of the competition were held in England and officially known as the Prudential Cup, after the sponsor - Prudential plc.
The first World Cup, A. K. A. the Prudential Cup Trophy, had matches of 60 overs per innings, with each over comprising of 6 balls. The tournament comprised of daytime matches, played in the traditional form, and was won by West Indies (who defeated Australia in the finals). The Second World Cup saw the introduction of ICC Trophy, held for the purpose of selecting non-Test playing teams for the World Cup. In the first ICC Trophy, Sri Lanka and Canada emerged as the winners. However, the World Cup went, once again, to the West Indies team, who won the final match after defeating the hosts i.e. England.
In a meeting following the Second ODI World Cup, the International Cricket Conference decided to make the competition a quadrennial event i.e. an event that would be held only once in four years. So, the next tournament was held in 1983, hosted by England and won by the Indian team (after defeating the previous champions - West Indies - in the final match). It was in this World Cup only that the fielding circle was introduced, 30 yards (27 m) away from the stumps, in which four fieldsmen had to be present at all times.
The fourth ICC Cricket World Cup was held in 1987, with India and Pakistan playing the hosts. The tournament saw two new occurrences – first, it was the first time that the matches were played outside England and second, the overs were reduced from 60 to 50 per innings. The Australian team won this time, defeating England by 7 runs in the final (this is, till now, the closest margin in World Cup final history). Australia and New Zealand hosted the fifth World Cup, in which Pakistan emerged as the winner, after defeating England. This tournament also saw the introduction of colored clothing, white balls and day/night matches, along with a change in the fielding restrictions
The Indian subcontinent once again became the host of World Cup in 1996, when the matches were played in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The final match was played in Lahore and saw Sri Lanka emerging as the winner, defeating Australia by seven wickets. The next tournament was organized, once again, in England, with some matches also being held in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Netherlands. The final match, played between Australia and Pakistan, saw the former claiming its second win. The feat was repeated by Australia in the next World Cup, held in 2003, when it beat India by 125 runs.
The eighth World Cup saw the number of participating teams increase to fourteen, from twelve; Kenya's victories over Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe; and forfeiture by New Zealand (because of security reasons). The ninth ODI World Cup was hosted by the West Indies. With this, it became the first such tournament to be hosted on all six populated continents. The competition saw a number of firsts. It was the first time Bangladesh progressed to the 2nd round and it was the first time Ireland played in the World Cup (and even went ahead to the main ODI table). The tournament was won by Australia, registering its fourth win (defeating Sri Lanka in the final match).
The 10th ICC Cricket World Cup was hosted by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. 2011 WC was won by India who defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets. India became the first nation to win a world cup final on home soil.