Cricket is one of the very few sports where the conditions and grounds affect the game by a huge margin. Unlike football or wrestling, location and weather can completely flip cricketing results. When the cricket world cup was announced in 1975 it became a sensational event not only in England but throughout the cricketing world.
Initial stages of WORLDCUP:
IN 1975, West Indies was at its prime and dominated the cricketing world. While Australia, England, Pakistan and a few other followed right along it was certainly supposed to be a thrilling tournament of sport. Clive Lloyd led West Indies to win the world cup consecutively. This not only made West Indies the first team to win the world cup but one of the greatest teams ever. They defeated both Australia and England in these finals. This team comprised of Sir Richards, Desmond Haynes, and Holding, Marshall, Andy Roberts made West Indies the strongest bowling side ever.
Past this stage, the 80s saw many teams emerging in the cricketing world, India was one of them. When world cup was announced Kapil Dev, one of the greatest all-rounders ever led the Indian team. Players like Allan Border, the Australian team, and other teams lined-up to take away the title from current champions. Surprisingly, after a remarkable 175 in a single match against Zimbabwe, India was up against West Indies where their batting was reduced to a 180. West Indies started off well with Richards dominating Indians but after the dismissal of Lloyd and Viv match slipped of the West Indians and India became world champions in 1983. Amarnath set a new sense of importance for all-rounders after this tournament.
The 1987 world cup was held outside England for the first time. Jointly hosted by India-Pakistan, the sub-continent conditions made this tournament a treat for viewers. Australians under Border were charged up and dominated the entire tournament with their batting. The pitches seemed to slow down bowlers and this time it was a batting show. England faced Australia in the finals and it was one of those rare moments when a finale was reduced to a close encounter. Australia managed to beat the English team by just 8 runs and won their first world cup.
The 1992 world cup included any changes in the tournament apart from the 50 overs reduction. The white ball was used and the matches were now day-night. Finally, South Africa became a part of the cricket world cup. It was a grand tournament and much anticipated because of the changes. Before the tournament itself, Pakistan was at its prime, the Imran Khan led team was a terror because of its bowling. New captains included Martin Crowe, Gooch, Keppler Wessels, De Silva, and others led their teams to a very competitive tournament. This was also the first world cup of Sachin Tendulkar. With the help of its bowling and amazing captain, Imran’s Pakistan won its first world cup.
Following up the 1996 world cup was one of the most controversial tournaments ever. Though the Sri Lankans were strong, the semi-finals controversy and match-fixing corrupted this tournament. Australians like any other year did immensely well. New Zealand, South Africa, and others did remarkably well. Ranatunga helped his team win the tournament and was fortunate to be on the crease in the special moments.
The entire next decade, including 1999-03-07 world cups, were won by Australia. It won’t be wrong to say that the entire squad of Australia during these years was filled with legends. After Waugh in 1999, Ricky Ponting was the captain for the latter wins. Not only this made Australians a 4-time champion but also established dominance in the cricketing world.
2011 tournament was held in tri-subcontinent conditions where India was the favorite because of its previous performance. After the T20 world cup win, Dhoni was to lead India in this world cup. The Sri Lankans emerged again with the Sanga-Jayawardene duo leading the team. Australia’s defeat in quarters from India was a surprise. They were knocked out of the tournament after more than a decade. This finale was the greatest end to a cricket world cup with tight competition and the famous Six by the captain himself. Making it the 2nd world cup win for India and first for Tendulkar in the 6 he played.
2015 hosted in Australia-New Zealand was a high-level tournament with Indians still being the favorite along with the hosts. It was Australians who avenged by defeating India in the semi-finals and went on to win the world cup against the co-hosts. This made Australia a five-time winner and Shane Watson again proved that all-rounders are match winners.
2019! This year the number of teams is reduced to only 10 and the world cup is back to its home, England. Many teams have degraded after the retirement of players. India, Australia, England, South Africa are the teams to look at. But even these teams lack the all-rounder factor in them. On the whole, the teams have taken a significant hit of retirements. Still, the cricketing world has estimated a huge response by fans all around the world. Playing conditions are extremely pleasant and a good game of cricket will be the ultimate result. It will be a batsmen show with more than 60% of matches seeing 300+ scores and few even crossing 350 or 400. Will the big 4 emerge and play semis or will we see a surprise from underestimated teams. Either way, this summer is all about the cricket world cup.