International Cricket Council’s World Cup is held every four years. It is now being played in Australia and New Zealand. Lets take a look what happened at the past World Cups.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), the body that regulates cricket around the world, conducts the Cricket World Cup that takes place once every four years. The current (2015) edition is the eleventh of the series and is being held in Australia and New Zealand. Let’s take a peek into the past editions for highlights about the ICC World Cup (ICCWC) so far.
The first World Cup was called the Prudential World Cup and was held in England in 1975.
The heroes of the first two World Cups were the West Indian skippers Clive Lloyd (1975) and Sir Vivian Richards – both scored match winning centuries in the final.
In 1983, India led by the dashing all-rounder Kapil Dev turned the tables on the mighty West Indies and beat them to win a memorable final.
1987 saw the World Cup travelling to the Asian sub-continent and the tournament was co-hosted by India and Pakistan. The Reliance World Cup, as it was called that year, was played by eight teams and was won by Australia, led by Allan Border when they beat their arch rivals England by seven runs in a close game.
The 1987 edition also saw Indian all time great Sunil Gavaskar score his first and only One Day century when he scored an unbeaten 103 runs against New Zealand at Nagpur. Medium pacer Chetan Sharma also took a hat trick in that game. Sadly for the hosts, they lost to England in the semi-finals in Mumbai in what turned out to be the last appearance of the great Gavaskar in official international cricket for India.
The fifth edition of the ICCWC that was held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992 saw many firsts. Coloured clothing and the white ball and dark sightscreens made their World Cup debut. Another Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar appeared for the first time in this tournament, as did Pakistan great Inzamam Ul Haq. The topsy-turvy tournament had South Africa playing for the first time and becoming victims of the Duckworth-Lewis method (to derive a result in matches that are affected by bad weather).
Pakistan emerged as the winners of this tournament when they beat the strong New Zealanders in the semi-final in Auckland by 4 wickets and beat England by 22 runs to lift the title. This tournament also saw the coming of age of Wasim Akram who went on to become one of the finest left-arm pacers the cricket world has ever seen.
The ICCWC came back to Asia in 1996 and was jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka who came together to give fans a wondrous treat of cricket. The Wills World Cup, as it was called, saw the advent of big-time sponsorship and television rights for the first time and was won by Sri Lanka when they beat a strong Indian team at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in the semi-final and repelled the Australian challenge at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Diminutive Lankans, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharna were well marshaled by skipper Arjuna Ranatunga to take the team to the top of world cricket. The tournament was a big success for the hosting countries and marked the entry of Sri Lanka as a super-power in world cricket.
The Cup went back to England in 1999 and had twelve teams contesting for the much-coveted title. The tournament was played in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Netherlands.
The Australians, led by Steve Waugh, won this edition by comfortably beating Pakistan in the final at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. The final was an easy game for Australians who were stretched in the semi-finals by South Africa. The tied game (when both teams have equal scores) went in favour of the Australians thanks to a better run-rate (a mathematical calculation of runs scored and given versus wickets lost and taken).
The eighth staging of the ICCWC in 2003 was hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya and saw 14 teams vying for the crown. The tournament had a few surprises in store for the cricket fan. A resurgent India came back into the tournament by reaching the final against all odds and Kenya (a non-Test playing country) reached the semi-final for the first and only time in the tournament.
Australia, the strongest team in the tournament, beat India comfortably by 91 runs to lift the trophy under the leadership of Ricky Ponting who scored 140 not out. The Indians too had their moment of joy when they beat a strong Pakistan team by six wickets thanks to a superb 98 by the master blaster Tendulkar who negated a sharp bowling attack that included Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.
2007 & 2011
In 2007, the West Indies, as hosts of the ICCWC saw 16 teams participating – the largest in the tournament so far. This edition was, probably, the worst for team India in the history for the tournament, as they failed to qualify for the Super 8 stage. Their loss to neighbours Bangladesh in the league stage of the tournament is considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of Indian cricket.
The strong Australians, once again, won the tournament by beating Sri Lanka with ease in the final in Bridgetown, Barbados. Wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist’s innings of 149 runs of a mere 104 balls is still considered a classic in the history of the ICCWC.
The 2011 staging of the ICCWC will always be etched in the memory of the Indian cricket fan. The tournament added Bangladesh as a host country along with India and Sri Lanka. The 14 participating teams crisscrossed the subcontinent and fans were rewarded with magical, exciting cricket, watched by millions across the world!
India, won this edition in front of their home crowds by beating a strong Australia by 5 wickets in Ahmedabad, Pakistan by 29 runs at Mohali, Punjab and co-hosts Sri Lanka in a pulsating final in the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni proudly lifted the Trophy after a scintillating final and crowd favourite, Yuvraj Singh was pronounced the Man of the Tournament.
From 1975 till 2011, the ICCWC has come a long way providing excitement and super cricket to fans across the world. In a month, many records have been broken and it does look like many more may not stand the test of time. Till then, lets continue to watch the magic created by international cricketers and have a blast!