A Brief History Of The Cricket World Cup
The first attempt at a World Championship of cricket was in 1912, when a three-way series was arranged between the current Test playing nations, Australia, England and South Africa. Dogged by poor weather, the experiment was not repeated until 1975, when following the success of domestic one-day competitions, the six Test-playing nations (England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, India and Pakistan) were joined by Sri Lanka and East Africa in the first World Cup.
The 1979 tournament was with a similar format to 1975, with two groups of four, with the top two teams advancing to semi-finals, and the games at 60 overs per innings. Between this and the previous World Cup, the Packer "circus" had torn cricket asunder, and despite a "peace" agreement signed shortly before, England and Australia chose not to field their Packer players, whereas the other teams were at full strength.
1983 saw the elevation of Sri Lanka to Test status, only one place was available through qualification at the ICC Trophy, this went to Zimbabwe. There was a change of format, with again two groups of four, but this time they played each other twice each, thus doubling the number of matches played.
1987 and the Cricket World cup was hosted outside England for the first time with India and Pakistan the choosen hosts. The format of the tournament remained much the same, the only difference being the reduction of overs to the now standard 50 per side.
The 1992 World Cup marked a turning point in World Cup history. The first held in the southern hemisphere, jointly between New Zealand and Australia, the tournament was greatly expanded. South Africa had rejoined the Test ranks, Zimbabwe had been given Test status, and thus the tournament consisted of the same eight teams that had contested the 1987 tournament, plus South Africa. Day/night cricket made its debut, along with the white ball and coloured clothing.
1996 saw yet another format change in the World Cup. The 1992 set-up allowed no participation from non-Test playing teams now that Zimbabwe had been granted full Test status, so the tournament was expanded. The preliminary rounds were in two groups of 6, with 8 teams advancing to quarter finals. This meant that three teams qualified via the ICC Trophy. The main tournament returned to Asia, with the games spread over three countries, India, Pakistan and the newcomer, Sri Lanka. The pre-tournament lead up was overshadowed by security concerns, particularly on the part of the Australian side. Members of their squad had been involved in much publicized accusations of match fixing by Pakistani players. Sri Lanka was also undergoing internal political turmoil, with threats of disruption by the Tamil rebel groups, and after a massive bomb blast in Colombo (killing 80) in late January, the Australian team decided that they would forfeit their preliminary round matches in Sri Lanka rather than travel there. The West Indies board followed suit a week later, leaving the tournament in tatters before it even started.
1999 and the Cricket World Cup came back to England, Once again there were 12 participating teams, placed in two groups. The nine Test-playing nations were joined by Kenya, Bangladesh and Scotland. While Group A comprised England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Group B comprised Australia, Bangladesh, Scotland, Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand. The top three in each group qualified for the Super Six stage that was played on a league basis, and the top four made it to the knock-out semi-finals.
2003 and the Cricket World Cup was hosted by South Africa for the first time, the format was the same as in 1999 with the groups as follows; A Australia, England, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Netherlands. Group B South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Kenya East, Bangladesh, Canada. The tournament was dogged by controversy with the political situation is Zimbabwe resulting in England refusing to play and having points deducted.
2007 and the Cricket World Cup was hosted in the caribbean for the first time, the format was changed to four groups of four teams with the top two qualifing for the super 8's, the groups where as follows; Group A, Australia, Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa; Group B, Bangladesh, Bermuda, India, Sri Lanka; Group C, Canada, England, Kenya, New Zealand; Group D, Ireland, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe. Australia created history in the finals becoming the first team to win three world cups in a row.
Previous Winners Of The Cricket World Cup
India Beat Sri Lanka 6 wickets
Australia Beat Sri Lanka 53 runs (DL Method)
Australia Beat India 125 runs
Australia Beat Pakistan 8 wickets
Sri Lanka Beat Australia 7 wickets
Pakistan Beat England 22 runs
Australia Beat England 7 runs
India Beat West Indies 43 runs
West Indies Beat England 92 runs
West Indies Beat Australia 17 runs