ICC Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the most prestigious cricket event that is organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket is held every four years and is the fourth most watched sport event in the world.
The Cricket World Cup was first held in England in 1975, while the first Women’s Cricket World Cup was organised two years earlier. England, however, wasn’t only the first host of the prestigious event but it also played the key role in the introduction of one-day cricket (commonly known as limited overs cricket), a shortened versions of the sport that is completed in one day.
It was the English county teams that first started to play the shortened version of the first class cricket in the early 1960s. In 1963, the first top level limited overs cricket tournament was held – the Gillette Cup (today’s Friends Provident Trophy) and in 1969, limited overs cricket league for first class cricket was introduced in England and Wales – the Sunday League (today’s Pro40).
By the end of the 1960s, the popularity of one-day cricket grew tremendously in England and Wales, and other ‘cricket countries’ soon followed the example. The first international one-day cricket match was played between England and Australia in 1971 to entertain the crowd after Test match between both national teams was cancelled due to rain.
Influence of the Breakaway World Series Cricket (WSC)
Kerry Packer’s WSC in the late 1970s was a hard time for the sport of cricket. But it introduced a number of features that were later adopted by the ODI cricket including day/night matches, white balls and coloured uniforms, multiple angles camera, etc..
Cricket World Cup from 1975 to the Present Day
A growing popularity of one-day cricket in England and elsewhere encouraged the ICC to organise the World Cup. Organisation of the inauguration World Cup was entrusted to England that hosted the event known as the Prudential Cup three times in a row. At the second World Cup in 1979, the ICC World Cup Qualifiers (ICC Trophy) was introduced for non-Test teams.
After three consecutive World Cups in England, the tournament moved to the Indian Subcontinent, and then to Australia and New Zealand. In 1999, the championship was held by England for the fourth time. The last World Cup was played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that hosted the tournament jointly in 2011. The next one will be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, while the 2019 World Cup will take place in England and Wales for the 5th time.
Cricket World Cup Champions
The most successful World Cup team is Australia, winning the championship four times. India and the West Indies took two titles, while Sri Lanka and Pakistan won once each.