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ICC Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

 

The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world's most viewed sporting events and is considered the "flagship event of the international cricket calendar" by the ICC.[1]

The first World Cup was organised in England in June 1975, with the first ODI cricket match having been played only four years earlier. However, a separate Women's Cricket World Cup had been held two years before the first men's tournament, and a tournament involving multiple international teams had been held as early as 1912, when a triangular tournament of Test matches was played between AustraliaEngland and South Africa. The first three World Cups were held in England. From the 1987 tournament onwards, hosting has been shared between countries under an unofficial rotation system, with fourteen ICC members having hosted at least one match in the tournament.

The World Cup is open to all members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), although the highest-ranking teams receive automatic qualification. The remaining teams are determined via the World Cricket League and the ICC World Cup Qualifier. A total of twenty teams have competed in the eleven editions of the tournament, with fourteen competing in the latest edition in 2015; the next edition in 2019 will have only ten teams. Australia has won the tournament five times, with the West IndiesIndia (twice each), Pakistan and Sri Lanka (once each) also having won the tournament. The best performance by a non-full-member team came when Kenya made the semi-finals of the 2003 tournament.

Before the first Cricket World Cup

The first international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States, on 24 and 25 September 1844.[2] However, the first credited Test match was played in 1877 between Australia and England, and the two teams competed regularly for The Ashes in subsequent years. South Africa was admitted to Test status in 1889.[3] Representative cricket teams were selected to tour each other, resulting in bilateral competition. Cricket was also included as an Olympic sport at the 1900 Paris Games, where Great Britain defeated France to win the gold medal.[4] This was the only appearance of cricket at the Summer Olympics.

The first multilateral competition at international level was the 1912 Triangular Tournament, a Test cricket tournament played in England between all three Test-playing nations at the time: England, Australia and South Africa. The event was not a success: the summer was exceptionally wet, making play difficult on damp uncovered pitches, and attendances were poor, attributed to a "surfeit of cricket".[5] Since then, international Test cricket has generally been organised as bilateral series: a multilateral Test tournament was not organised again until the triangular Asian Test Championship in 1999.[6]

The number of nations playing Test cricket increased gradually over time, with the addition of West Indies in 1928, New Zealand in 1930, India in 1932, and Pakistan in 1952. However, international cricket continued to be played as bilateral Test matches over three, four or five days.

In the early 1960s, English county cricket teams began playing a shortened version of cricket which only lasted for one day. Starting in 1962 with a four-team knockout competition known as the Midlands Knock-Out Cup,[7] and continuing with the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963one-day cricket grew in popularity in England. A national Sunday League was formed in 1969. The first One-Day International match was played on the fifth day of a rain-aborted Test match between England and Australia at Melbourne in 1971, to fill the time available and as compensation for the frustrated crowd. It was a forty over game with eight balls per over.[8]

In the late 1970s, Kerry Packer established the rival World Series Cricket (WSC) competition. It introduced many of the now commonplace features of One Day International cricket, including coloured uniforms, matches played at night under floodlights with a white ball and dark sight screens, and, for television broadcasts, multiple camera angles, effects microphones to capture sounds from the players on the pitch, and on-screen graphics. The first of the matches with coloured uniforms was the WSC Australians in wattle gold versus WSC West Indians in coral pink, played at VFL Park in Melbourne on 17 January 1979. The success and popularity of the domestic one-day competitions in England and other parts of the world, as well as the early One-Day Internationals, prompted the ICC to consider organising a Cricket World Cup.[9]