In the last five decades, crickets has undergone rapid evolution. However, a turning point took place in the history of the game when the first One Day International (ODI) was played between England and Australia in Melbourne on January 5, 1971.
Two years later, the International Cricket Council (ICC), formerly known as the International Cricket Conference, hosted the men’s Cricket World Cup in 1975.
Since then, 12 editions of ODI World Cups have been played till date. Australia won five trophies while West Indies and India won two titles each. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England complete the ODI World Cup winners list.
West Indies emerged as early trendsetters
The first edition of the men’s ODI Cricket World Cup in 1975 was played in England with eight teams — England, India, Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and East Africa.
the West Indian cricket teamled by Clive Lloyd, won the inaugural World Cup by beating Australia in the final by 17 runs at Lord’s.
Bowlers Keith Boyce, Andy Roberts and Bernard Julien and legendary batter Vivian Richards and Lloyd himself helped the Caribbean side win the Cup without losing a game.
England also hosted the next two editions of the World Cups. With their core intact, West Indies also won the 1979 edition, defeating the hosts by 92 runs in the final.
Underdogs India ended West Indies’ reign
India exited in the group stages of the 1975 and 1979 ODI World Cups and few gave them a chance to lift the title in 1983.
West Indies and India advanced to the semi-finals from a group that also included Australia and Zimbabwe. India beat England in the semi-finals while West Indies beat Pakistan.
After bowling out India for a modest 183, West Indies are eyeing their third title on the trot. However, inspired bowling performances from Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal, who took three wickets each, helped India bowl out West Indies for 140 in 52 overs. It remains the lowest total ever successfully defended in a World Cup final.
It was also the last time West Indies played in the final of the ODI World Cup.
Australia won the maiden title
The 1987 World Cup was jointly hosted by India and Pakistan. Although the number of teams remained the same, matches were played over 50 overs per side instead of 60 in previous editions.
After failing to make the semi-finals in 1983, Australia, under the leadership of Allan Border, emerged as a real force in the 1987 World Cup. They defeated Pakistan by 18 runs in the semi-finals and rode on David Boon’s 75, who posted 253/5 against England in the final to win by 17 runs at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Tigers cornered by Imran Khan
The 1992 ODI Cricket World Cup was co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Nine teams, including South Africa, participated in the fifth edition.
Played in a league format where each team faced the other eight teams once to qualify for the semi-finals, Pakistan won just one of their first five matches. However, they made it to the semi-finals by winning the next three games in the league stage.
Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 60 off 37 helped Pakistan beat pre-tournament favorites New Zealand in the semi-finals by four wickets. Pakistan, led by captain Imran Khan’s 72, posted 249/6 in the final and defeated England by 227 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Sri Lanka defeated the mighty Australia
The 1996 Cricket World Cup was jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A total of 12 teams, divided into two groups, fought for places in the quarter-finals.
The island nation, led by Arjuna Ranatunga, remained unbeaten in the group stage. Sri Lanka defeated England by five wickets in the quarter-finals, beat India by 131 runs in the semi-finals and then handed Australia a seven-wicket defeat to clinch the title in Lahore.
Australia’s unrivaled dominance
No team in the history of cricket has dominated the sport like the Australian team did in the 1990s and 2000s. Steve Waugh’s Australian team, who entered the final based on net run-rate after a drawn semi-final in South Africa, cruised past Pakistan in the final to win the 1999 World Cup in England.
Four years ago, Ricky Ponting’s men added a third World Cup title to the Australian cabinet, beating Sourav Ganguly-led India by 125 runs in the summit clash with the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Ponting’s Australia enjoyed another unbeaten campaign in the West Indies in 2007. Powered by Adam Gilchrist’s 149 this time, Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs in the final to become the first cricket team in history to win a hat-trick -trick of World Cup titles.
India won the title after 28 years
The 2011 World Cup, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, was the first time two Asian teams — India and Sri Lanka — contested the final. A total of 14 teams, divided into two groups of seven, played for a place in the quarter-finals.
India, who lost to South Africa and drew with England in the group stage, ousted Australia in the quarter-finals, defeated Pakistan in the semi-finals and beat Sri Lanka in the final by six wickets to claim their second trophy.
MS Dhoni’s composed captaincy style, Yuvraj Singh’s match-winning knocks and crucial bursts from Zaheer Khan proved crucial in India’s title win.
Australia took back the top prize
In 2015, Australia matched India’s feat of winning the World Cup on home soil. The number of teams and format remained the same as the 2011 World Cup.
Although New Zealand and India emerged unbeaten from the group stages, Australia defeated both sides en route to winning their fifth title. After defeating Pakistan by six wickets in the quarter-finals, Australia defeated India by 95 runs in the semi-finals and handed New Zealand a seven-wicket defeat at the MCG to clinch the title.
Mitchell Starc, for taking 22 wickets in eight matches, was adjudged the player of the tournament.
England won the World Cup by a margin
After losing the World Cup final three times, England finally claimed the World Cup trophy by defeating New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
The final ended in a tie with England bowled out for 241 in reply to New Zealand’s 241/8 in 50 overs. The 84 not out by Ben Stokes took the game to the super over where England won on the ‘boundary count’ after even the super over was tied between the two sides which ended with 15 runs.
Earlier in the competition, England beat Australia by eight wickets in the semi-final after finishing third in the league stage.
ODI World Cup winners