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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

World Cup History and Winners List

The Cricket World Cup has been a tournament that has been the premier event of the cricketing landscape for nearly 50 years now: the 13th edition of the tournament returns later this year, being hosted in India for the fourth time. While Test cricket is still considered the ultimate form of cricket and the pinnacle of the sport, there is nothing greater than the World Cup to be won, and it can be the highlight of a player’s career.

The ICC, having become the International Cricket Council overseeing a vast and growing sport in 1964, introduced the idea of a World Cup for cricket in 1971, and the logistics had been put in place to host the first tournament in England in 1975. The first three tournaments were held in England, and were quite a bit different to how they are now: they were 60-over affairs, played in all-whites, and with a red ball.

The first three tournaments were dominated by the awe-inspiring West Indies team of those decades, headed by the four-horsemen pace attack and on the batting end by Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, and their captain Clive Lloyd. The West Indies won the first two tournaments — called the Prudential World Cup due to branding — and reached the final of the third, where they lost famously to Kapil Dev’s gutsy Indian team at Lord’s. The World Cup would move to India and Pakistan in 1987, and the reduction to 50 overs was an enforced change due to fewer daylight hours on the subcontinent. Australia won their first World Cup under Allan Border, but the ODI World Cup, and the format itself, wouldn’t begin to become what it is today until the 1992 edition in Australia and New Zealand. White balls were introduced, as well as coloured clothing which has become synonymous with international cricket ever since.

Pakistan would win in 1992, and Sri Lanka would be the first ever hosts to lift the trophy when they won in the co-hosted 1996 tournament. 1996 would signal the beginning of Australia’s dominance, as they reached that final before three-peating in 1999, 2003, and 2007. India would host and win the 2011 World Cup with MS Dhoni famously finishing it off, before Australia would make it 5 at home in 2015, and England finally won by beating New Zealand in a tied game and then a tied super-over.

Over the course of its history, the World Cup has borne witness to some of the game’s greatest. Sachin Tendulkar is its all-time leading run-scorer, his remarkable longevity best seen in the fact that he played at six World Cups, winning his final one at home in Mumbai. He also has the most centuries, tied with Rohit Sharma on 6, with Sharma having scored 5 at the 2019 World Cup, a record of its own. The highest individual score is Martin Guptill’s 237* against the West Indies in 2015, a tournament which saw the first two non-Indians to score a double century in ODI cricket.

On the bowling side, Glenn McGrath was the spearhead for the dominant Australia team from 1996 to 2007, as those 4 finals runs saw him pick up 71 wickets. He also possesses the best figures, with 7/15 against Namibia in 2003.

The ODI World Cup shares its name with the T20 version now, but its history and legacy mean it will always remain the ultimate prize for any cricketer to win. It’s never been more diverse or competitive than it is now, and that means it promises to be a cracker of a tournament before the World Cup celebrates its 50th birthday two years from now.

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ENG
2019 Winner England

England won their first-ever 50-over World Cup at the 2019 rain-marred edition, this becoming the third straight team to win the ultimate glory on its home soil. The 2019 Cricket World Cup, hosted by England and Wales, provided an unforgettable spectacle filled with amazing moments, exceptional performances, and dramatic twists.

AUS
2015 Winner Australia

The 2015 Cricket World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, dished out some thrilling cricketing action, exceptional performances, and unforgettable moments. With 14 teams battling it out for cricket's ultimate prize, the tournament provided fans with a rollercoaster ride of emotions and culminated in a memorable final between the host nations.

IND
2011 Winner India

The 2011 Cricket World Cup, hosted jointly by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, marked a significant moment in Indian cricket history. With intense competition among 14 nations, passionate crowds, and memorable performances, the tournament culminated in an extraordinary final that brought joy to a cricket-crazy nation of India when MS Dhoni's Fantastic 15 won the World Cup after 28 long years.

AUS
2007 Winner Australia

In 2007, Australia became the first and only team to record a hat-trick of World Cup wins. Held in the West Indies, it is remembered as one of the most unpredictable and surprising World Cups in history. Amidst some captivating matches and unforeseen upsets, Australia reached new heights of dominance, while several traditional powerhouses suffered shocking early exits, leading to a highly controversial and memorable event.

AUS
2003 Winner Australia

The 2003 Cricket World Cup held in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya witnessed Australia's unparalleled dominance as they swept through the tournament with unwavering authority. Led by captain Ricky Ponting and an exceptional group of players, Australia displayed formidable skills, tactical brilliance, and an unmatched team unity en route to claiming their third World Cup title.

AUS
1999 Winner Australia

The 1999 Cricket World Cup was a highly competitive tournament that exhibited exciting contests, exceptional individual performances, and the dominance of the Australian cricket team. Held in England, the tournament witnessed Australia's remarkable journey to secure their second World Cup title under the inspirational leadership of Steve Waugh.

SL
1996 Winner Sri Lanka

The 1996 Cricket World Cup held in the Indian subcontinent marked a significant milestone in the tournament's history. This edition witnessed remarkable performances, riveting matches, and the emergence of Sri Lanka as a cricketing powerhouse. Led by Aravinda de Silva's heroics, Sri Lanka achieved their maiden World Cup victory, running roughshod over their throughout the tournament.

PAK
1992 Winner Pakistan

The 1992 Cricket World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand was a landmark event that witnessed several big changes. From a revised format to coloured clothing and floodlit matches, this edition brought new dimensions to the tournament. It also marked a defining moment for Pakistani cricket, as Imran Khan led his team to a remarkable victory

AUS
1987 Winner Australia

The 1987 Cricket World Cup marked a significant milestone in cricketing history as it introduced a new format and witnessed the Australian team winning the first of its five World Cups. Held jointly by India and Pakistan, this edition produced incredible matches, exceptional performances, and Australia's dominance throughout the tournament.

IND
1983 Winner India

The 1983 Cricket World Cup is etched in cricketing history as one of the most memorable and transformative tournaments ever. Held in England, this edition witnessed a stunning outcome, as a spirited Indian team led by Kapil Dev defied all odds to clinch their first-ever World Cup title, creating a watershed moment for Indian cricket.

WI
1979 Winner West Indies

The 1979 Cricket World Cup marked the second edition of the prestigious tournament, held in England. Building on the success of the inaugural World Cup, this edition witnessed intense competition, outstanding performances, and the continued dominance of the West Indies, who emerged as the back-to-back champions.

WI
1975 Winner West Indies

The year 1975 witnessed a ground-breaking moment in the world of cricket as the inaugural Cricket World Cup took place in England. With the introduction of limited-overs cricket on the global stage, this historic tournament marked the birth of a new era in the sport. The tournament featured a format consisting solely of One-Day Internationals (ODIs), a relatively new concept at the time.

The Cricket World Cup has been a tournament that has been the premier event of the cricketing landscape for nearly 50 years now: the 13th edition of the tournament returns later this year, being hosted in India for the fourth time. While Test cricket is still considered the ultimate form of cricket and the pinnacle of the sport, there is nothing greater than the World Cup to be won, and it can be the highlight of a player’s career.

The ICC, having become the International Cricket Council overseeing a vast and growing sport in 1964, introduced the idea of a World Cup for cricket in 1971, and the logistics had been put in place to host the first tournament in England in 1975. The first three tournaments were held in England, and were quite a bit different to how they are now: they were 60-over affairs, played in all-whites, and with a red ball.

The first three tournaments were dominated by the awe-inspiring West Indies team of those decades, headed by the four-horsemen pace attack and on the batting end by Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, and their captain Clive Lloyd. The West Indies won the first two tournaments — called the Prudential World Cup due to branding — and reached the final of the third, where they lost famously to Kapil Dev’s gutsy Indian team at Lord’s. The World Cup would move to India and Pakistan in 1987, and the reduction to 50 overs was an enforced change due to fewer daylight hours on the subcontinent. Australia won their first World Cup under Allan Border, but the ODI World Cup, and the format itself, wouldn’t begin to become what it is today until the 1992 edition in Australia and New Zealand. White balls were introduced, as well as coloured clothing which has become synonymous with international cricket ever since.

Pakistan would win in 1992, and Sri Lanka would be the first ever hosts to lift the trophy when they won in the co-hosted 1996 tournament. 1996 would signal the beginning of Australia’s dominance, as they reached that final before three-peating in 1999, 2003, and 2007. India would host and win the 2011 World Cup with MS Dhoni famously finishing it off, before Australia would make it 5 at home in 2015, and England finally won by beating New Zealand in a tied game and then a tied super-over.

Over the course of its history, the World Cup has borne witness to some of the game’s greatest. Sachin Tendulkar is its all-time leading run-scorer, his remarkable longevity best seen in the fact that he played at six World Cups, winning his final one at home in Mumbai. He also has the most centuries, tied with Rohit Sharma on 6, with Sharma having scored 5 at the 2019 World Cup, a record of its own. The highest individual score is Martin Guptill’s 237* against the West Indies in 2015, a tournament which saw the first two non-Indians to score a double century in ODI cricket.

On the bowling side, Glenn McGrath was the spearhead for the dominant Australia team from 1996 to 2007, as those 4 finals runs saw him pick up 71 wickets. He also possesses the best figures, with 7/15 against Namibia in 2003.

The ODI World Cup shares its name with the T20 version now, but its history and legacy mean it will always remain the ultimate prize for any cricketer to win. It’s never been more diverse or competitive than it is now, and that means it promises to be a cracker of a tournament before the World Cup celebrates its 50th birthday two years from now.