The Game of Cricket is about to weave an absorbing incantation on cricket fans around the world when the World Cup strikes out from 30th May. Cricket’s most premier competition is on the verge of spellbinding millions, gripping them for hours and enchanting them in a charm of game’s inquisitiveness. The World Cup has always intrigued people and pulled them to the screens and venues, buzzed the workplaces and deserted streets and bazaars. It’s a carnival that encompasses countless moments of jubilation, setbacks and emotions that leave nostalgic feelings for years to come.
This year’s Cricket World Cup is expected to cast such a spell on people as always. Less experienced teams may stun the bigger test playing nations and the giants may fall to their feet and who knows what happens after each ball is delivered. Previous World Cups had flabbergasted many and left one nation celebrating and the other grieving at the same time.
It all began in 1975 when the first edition of the World Cup was organized in England. It was the era when West Indies ruled the world and they clinched it convincingly under Clive Lloyd’s leadership who scored a century to his team’s victory in the finals. They beat Australia by 17 runs.
The 1979 World Cup was also played in England. This time England met the mighty Windies in the finals. The West Indies managed to score 286 batting first, thanks to Vivian Richards 138 runs. They beat England compellingly in the end by 92 runs.
Third World Cup, again held in England, shocked everyone when India beat the West Indies to become the world champions. The complacent West Indies couldn’t chase a mediocre target of 183 in the finals and lost the match by 43 runs.
The 1987 Cricket World Cup officially known as Reliance Cup was the first tournament that was organized outside England. It was played in India and Pakistan for the first time. Australia beat England in the final at Eden Garden, Calcutta. England had to score 17 runs in the last over and finished 7 runs short. Aussies lifted the Cup for the first time.
This time Australia and New Zealand hosted the World Cup for the first time. 1992 World Cup carries unforgettable moments of euphoria for Pakistanis. Despite losing 3 out of first 4 matches, Pakistan managed to reach the finals. Imran Khan’s captain’s innings and Javed Miandad’s experience along with Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed’s outstanding bowling performance enabled Pakistan to beat England in the final by 22 runs.
The 1996 World Cup crowned Sri Lanka as champions. Sri Lanka emerged as a major Cricketing nation. This world cup was held in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka simultaneously. Final was played at Qadaffi Stadium Lahore where Sri Lanka beat Australia by 7 wkts.
It was the seventh World Cup and fourth to be held in the year 1999 in England. Two strong teams Australia and Pakistan reached the final. Pakistan batted terribly in the final and bowled out for just 132 runs in 39 overs. Australia easily chased the score in 20 overs to win their second world cup.
The 2003 World Cup was held in South Africa for the first time. Again the strong Aussie side reached the final along with India this time. Australia put a mammoth score of 359 graced by Ponting’s 140 not out. India tumbled terribly and was defeated by 125 runs.
Held for the first time in Caribbean, the 2007 World Cup made Aussies the champions again for the consecutive third time. Due to rain, the final was reduced to 38 over match and Australia set Sri Lanka a target of 282 runs. Australia won by 53 runs to accomplish a hat-trick of winning world cups.
The 2011 World Cup was held in India. It’s always very difficult to beat India on their soil and they proved it right again. Sri Lanka batting first scored 274 in allotted 50 overs which India chased easily in 49th over in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. It was for the first time a host nation was able to win the world cup.
2015 World Cup was played in Australia and New Zealand. It was all a down under affair when both host nations reached the final. New Zealand succumbed to the awe of Aussies and bowled out with just 183 runs on the board. Australia chased it with no trouble and won by 7 wkts to clinch their fifth World Cup title.
The 2019 World Cup is believed to be a feast for Cricket fans. England is a strong side and can capitalize on home conditions. Australian team is now reinforced as their suspended players have made a comeback. India, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand all are competitive teams but no team has entitled as a sole hot favorite for the world cup yet. The countdown has begun and the world attention will soon be turned to England and Wales for the ICC World Cup 2019. Stay Tuned.