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ICC Cricket World Cup

bat and ball on the cricket field

The ICC World Cup is one of the biggest cricket events. Every four years, this global event becomes the theatre of dreams. Fans all around the world support their team, wearing team jerseys and chanting the names of their cricketing heroes are common ways to give confidence to your team.

Cricket is a gentleman's game. In India, cricket is religion but in England, cricket is all about class. At the World Cup, such feelings unite the shared dream of the ultimate championship. Although in the 1960s, limited over cricket became part of international cricket but only in 1971, first limited overs match took place at MCG.

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The Birth Of The Cricket World Cup

The concept of a cricketing tournament was in the conversation of cricketing minds way before the first World Cup in 1965. In 1912, the first multilateral series took place between Australia, England, and South Africa. Unfortunately, it was bad experience for cricketing world.

In the 1960s, one-day cricket picked up in popularity. English county teams of the time played matches that lasted a day. One-day cricket grew in popularity in England, beginning in 1962 with a four-team knockout competition known as the Midlands Knock-Out Cup and continuing with the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963. In 1975, after attracting visitors and the addition of other technology advancements, England hosted the first World Cup.

The Inaugural First World Cup

At the time, only England had resources and visitors to host the birth of the mega stage of the cricket World Cup. The event was named the Prudential Cup. It was traditional form of cricket played during the day, with the cricketers dressed in cricket whites and using red kookaburra balls. Matches in this event were 60 overs per inning with 6 balls an over.

The first tournament featured eight teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the West Indies, as well as Sri Lanka and an East African composite team. The West Indies, under the leadership of Clive Lloyd, won the tournament by defeating Australia in the final at Lord's by 17 runs. During the 1975 World Cup final, Roy Fredricks of the West Indies became the first batsman to be hit-wicket in an ODI.

The Success of the World Cup

The World Cup has been part of international cricket since 1975 and every edition has been a successful event leading to another. Because of its ever-growing success, ICC has decided to include 4 more teams in the 2027 edition and onwards.

The popularity and success certainly picked a note in the 2003 World Cup which recorded a total attendance of 626,845 visitors and millions of other watched the live stream. In the most recent addition of the 2019 World Cup which had a quite dramatic event, 752,000 visitors attended the tournament. The 2011 Cricket World Cup was broadcast live in over 200 nations and was watched by over 2.2 billion people.

ICC Cricket World Cup Format

The majority of the teams that take part in the World Cup belong to the top rankings of ICC. Importantly, teams that don't have full membership will go through ICC World Cup qualifiers to find a place in event finals. The whole tournament is divided into two stages: a group stage and a knock-out round.

Finally, the four teams in each group competed in a round-robin group stage, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semi-finals. Recently, a new rule has been added to the 2023 World Cup and onwards, only host nations will qualify, and the rest of the teams will go through qualifiers.

Summary of ICC World Cup

ICC World Cup 1975

England hosted the 1975 Cricket World cup from 7 to 21 June 1975. There were eight countries participating divided into two groups. The games were played using red balls and traditional white clothes. After defeating Australia in the final match, the West Indies became the first winners of the World Cup.

  • Most runs: Glen Turner
  • Most wickets: Gary Gilmour

ICC World Cup 1979

Similar to previous edition, England hosted the 1979 Cricket World Cup dating between 9 and 23 June 1988. There were fifteen matches and the West Indies won the world cup for the second time by defeating England in the final match.

  • Most runs: Gordon Greenidge
  • Most wickets: Mike Hendrik

ICC World Cup 1983

Wales became joint host of the 1983 Cricket World cup from 9 to 25 June 1983. Eight teams participated and 27 matches all played during the daytime. India became the champion of the Cricket World cup for the first time.

  • Most runs: David Gower
  • Most wicket: Roger Binny

ICC World Cup 1987

In 1987, Pakistan and India jointly hosted the World Cup between 8 October and 8 November 1987. It was the first tournament of the world cup hosted by a country other than England. There were 27 matches and Australia became the champion.

  • Most runs: Graham Gooch
  • Most wicket: Craig McDermott

ICC World Cup 1992

Australia and New Zealand hosted the 1992 Cricket World Cup, held between 22 February and 25 March, Pakistan became the world champion for the first time by beating England in the final match. The event came in light of criticism by cricket experts because of the controversial Rain Rule.

  • Most runs: Martin Crowe
  • Most Wicket: Wasim Akram
  • Player of the tournament: Martin Crowe

ICC World Cup 1996

Cricketing rivals India and Pakistan hosted the World Cup in 1996 for the second time. It was also hosted by Sri Lanka for the first time. There were 12 participants and 37 matches and Sri Lanka won by defeating Australia in the final match.

  • Most runs: Sachin Tendulkar
  • Most wickets: Anil Kumble
  • Player of the tournament: Sanath Jayasuriya

ICC World Cup 1999

The 1999 Cricket World cup was one of its kind. England co-hosted it with Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, and Wales. It was held from 14 May to 20 June 1999. Australia won the tournament beating Pakistan in the final match by 8 wickets.

  • Most runs: Rahul Dravid
  • Most wickets: Geoff Allott and Shane Warne
  • Player of the tournament: Lance Klusener

ICC World Cup 2003

The 2003 Cricket world cup, held between 9 February to 23 March, was hosted by Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It was the first world cup played in Africa. There were 14 participants and Australia won the tournament. Shane Wane was found to be tested positive for using a banned substance.

  • Most runs: Sachin Tendulkar
  • Most wickets: Chaminda Vaas
  • Player of the tournament: Sachin Tendulkar

ICC World Cup 2007

The 2007 Cricket World Cup was hosted by the West Indies. There were 16 participants and 51 matches held from 13 March to 28 April. Australia won its third consecutive World Cup by beating Sri Lanka in the final match. Pakistan and India surprisingly failed to pass the group stage.

  • Most runs: Matthew Hayden
  • Most wickets: Glenn McGrath
  • Player of the tournament: Glenn McGrath

ICC World Cup 2011

The 2011 Cricket World Cup was held by India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from 19 February to 2 April. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, two Asian teams, India and Sri Lanka played in the final. India won the tournament by defeating Sri Lanka.

  • Most runs: Tillakaratne Dilshan
  • Most wickets: Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Khan
  • Player of the tournament: Yuvraj Singh

ICC World Cup 2015

The 2015 Cricket World Cup was held from 14 February to 29 March hosted by New Zealand and Australia for the second time. There were 14 teams participating in 49 matches and Australia won its fifth Cricket World Cup by defeating New Zealand in the final. India vs. Pakistan was the most-watched match of this tournament with over 1 billion viewers.

  • Most runs: Martin Guptill
  • Most wickets: Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult
  • Player of the tournament: Mitchell Starc

ICC World Cup 2019

The 2019 Cricket World Cup was hosted by England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July. There were 10 participants and 48 matches in this tournament. The final match was held at Lord’s in London ending in a tie between England and New Zealand. England won for the first time after the Super Over finishing level on boundary countback rule.

  • Most runs: Rohit Sharma
  • Most wickets: Mitchell Starc
  • Player of the tournament: Kane Williamson

ICC World Cup Records and Stats

History, records, and stats are part of every major event. Although the event started in 1975, the first Man of the Tournament award was only declared in 1992. This was given to New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe was the first player to get this title.

Additionally, Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for scoring the most runs (2,278) in world cup events. Also, he holds a record for scoring most centuries (6) alongside Rohit Sharma. Martin Guptill scored 237 runs against West Indies in 2015 which is the highest ever individual score in a World Cup match.

When it comes to bowling, ex-Australian speedster Glen McGrath reigns at the top with 71 wickets. In the 2003 World Cup, McGrath took 7/15 against Namibia which is the best individual performance by a bowler. Australia holds record for most consecutive wins (27), highest winning percentage (74.72) they are 5 time World Cup winners.


The World Cup has been an event of passion, hope, dedication and certainly, fierce competition. And, what you see in the World Cup is a blend of all these extraordinary faces of the most beloved sport in Asia. However, there have been ups and downs, scandals and media criticism. But, at the end of the day, it was cricket that won everything. Fortunately, we have spectacular memories of World Cup matches and there is a lot to come because the cricketing fever rises when the event comes near.


Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.