History of the Cricket World Cup
From: Ian Canaway
A Quick History of World Cup Cricket
Despite test cricket being played since 1877, it took until 1975 for the ICC to introduce the Cricket World Cup to the sport. During its short history, the competition has paid host to some of the most memorable events and spectacular feats to be seen in the game; Kapil Dev’s 175 not out for India against Zimbabwe in 1983 and Sachan Tendulkar’s career record of 2278 world cup runs (as of April 2011) name but a couple. Now firmly established in the cricketing calendar, the World Cup, which follows a 50 over format, is contested every four years between the sport’s top 14 nations. Australia currently stands as the most successful team to play in the championship, and so far no other nation has come close to its record of four wins.
The list of World Cup Winners since 1975 is listed below:
- 2011 India
- 2007 Australia
- 2003 Australia
- 1999 Australia
- 1996 Sri Lanka
- 1992 Pakistan
- 1987 Australia
- 1983 India
- 1979 West Indies
- 1975 West Indies
The popularity of the competition has undergone a monumental rise from the 20,000 people thought to have watched the first test match to the current estimated 2.2 billion TV viewers worldwide. Despite this, concern still remains over the viability of the competition in its current format. As the Twenty20 World Cup and the IPL threatens to detract attention and focus of the game’s best players away from the longer form of one day cricket (and international Test matches).
Further developments may be seen in the competition’s format and plans to cut the number of competing nations from 14 to 10 are in the final stages of implementation, despite being met with a decidedly mixed reception. The change has not been welcomed by some nations who view it as a deterrent to the growth of cricket and another instance of elitism in the sport, a reputation that cricket has long fought to dispel. The invitational format of the competition has proved a further point of contention for nations such as Ireland who plan to fight their exclusion from the 2015 tournament.
Controversy also defined the aftermath of the 2011 competition when the ICC was accused of presenting India with a replica trophy instead of the genuine cup. Although the ICC has consistently denied any such wrongdoing, claims to the contrary have never been quashed fully. High profile protests such as the burning of an effigy of ICC President Sharad Pawar did little to help the reputation of the sport’s governing body.
Despite events such as this, the World Cup continues to stand as the sport’s most prestigious and celebrated competition of its kind. The legends of the game have been given enduring status in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, launched in 2009 to mark the authority’s 90th anniversary and present a lasting testimony to the international success of the sport.
All the best,
P.S. Now go play some cricket!
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