The term “World Cup” tends to be associated with football more than any other form of sport. Ask any football fan about the current champions of the World Cup (2014), and they will quickly say Germany. However, to those who love cricket, the Cricket World Cup is not a new thing.
The ICC Cricket World Cup is a One Day International cricket tournament played at the international level. The International Cricket Council (ICC), which is the sport’s governing body, is responsible for the organisation of the tournament at a four-year interval. Just like the FIFA World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup involves preliminary rounds of qualification, which culminates in a finals tournament. Today, cricket World Cup is one of the most watched tournaments, and the ICC considers it the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar.”
The ICC treated cricket fans to the first world cup in 1975, and England hosted the tournament. The following two cricket World Cups (in 1979 and 1983) were still held in England because the country was the only place with enough resources to host the tournament of such a magnitude. The tradition changed from 1987 event when the tournament participants began sharing the hosting.
The participants of the first World Cup were New Zealand, West Indies, England, Australia, and India. Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, and East African composite team also participated. South Africa was conspicuously missing because the country had been banned from participating in the tournament due to apartheid. West Indies emerged victorious after a 17-run winning margin against Australia in the final match of the tournament.
During the 1979 World Cup, the ICC Trophy competition was introduced as a way of selecting non-Test playing teams for the big tournament. Once again, West Indies emerged victorious in the second World Cup before India lifted the cup four years later. Currently, Australia is the champion (2015).