A capsule look at the 12 previous ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments

12:44 PM Sep 28, 2023 | PTI |

The ICC Cricket World Cup starts next week in India with a rematch of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand on October 5. The Associated Press takes a look at the the previous 12 editions of the tournament.


2019 in England – Final: England was awarded victory on a countback of boundaries against New Zealand after the teams finished tied after the regulation 100 overs and a Super Over.

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler described it as ” the most ridiculous (fantastic) game of cricket to have ever been played.” The final lasted longer than nine hours at Lord’s after New Zealand posted 241-8 and England, chasing 242 for victory, was dismissed for 241 on the last ball of its allocated 50 overs. A dramatic last over involved two run-outs and a throw that deflected to the boundary off Ben Stokes’ bat while he was running between wickets.

The Super Over also ended tied, with both teams scoring 15. England clinched its first World Cup title on an obscure and subsequently amended tie-breaker based on the higher number of fours and sixes its batters hit during the final.

The 2019 World Cup featured 10 teams, a reduction of four from the previous two editions, and a single round-robin format that finished with India on top with seven wins, one loss and a washout. Defending champion Australia was second with a 7-2 record, followed by England (6-3) and 2015 runner-up New Zealand (5-3 with one washout).


England, hosting the tournament for a fifth tournament, beat archrival Australia in the semifinals and New Zealand upstaged India.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was voted player of the tournament, India’s Rohit Sharma was the leading scorer with 648 runs and Australia’s Mitchell Starc led the bowlers with 27 wickets.

2015 in Australia and New Zealand – Final: Australia defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets After being involved in two classic World Cup contests to heighten expectations of a major upset, New Zealand faltered in a final that was an almost foregone conclusion from the first over.

Brendon McCullum’s blazing starts had been instrumental in New Zealand reaching the World Cup final for the first time, but it was his wicket — bowled by a Mitchell Starc yorker for a third-ball duck — that foreshadowed Australia’s victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

New Zealand labored for 183 from 45 overs and Australia raced to 186-3 in 33 overs with Steve Smith unbeaten on 56. After winning titles in India, England, South Africa and the Caribbean, it was Australia’s first World Cup triumph on home soil.

Starc and New Zealander Trent Boult took 22 wickets apiece to lead the tournament bowling charts. New Zealander Martin Guptill topped the run-scoring list with 547 runs in a tournament that featured two groups of seven teams and quarterfinals.

Boult edged Starc for the player of the match in their dramatic group-stage encounter which New Zealand won by a wicket in Auckland, taking 5-27 from 10 overs to help dismantle Australia for 151. The New Zealanders were in total control at 78-1 until McCullum was out for 50 and Starc tore through the lower order to return 6-28. With a wicket in the balance and six runs needed, No. 11 Boult hung on with Kane Williamson to get the Kiwis across the line.

As if that wasn’t close enough, it took Grant Elliott’s driven six off the penultimate ball of the semi-final from pace spearhead Dale Steyn to extend New Zealand’s run and inflict yet another painful World Cup blow to South Africa.

India’s title defense ended in a lopsided semifinal loss to Australia.

2011 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – Final: India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets Sachin Tendulkar finally picked up a World Cup trophy to add to his glittering list of personal cricket triumphs, and he said it was the highlight of his career.

Sri Lanka won the toss — in unusual circumstances after a second flip of the coin was required because the match referee couldn’t hear Kumar Sangakkara’s first call — and posted 274-6 after a brilliant 103 from Mahela Jayawardena at Wankhede Stadium.

India was in trouble after losing Virender Sehwag (0) and Tendulkar (18), but Gautam Gambhir (97) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91) shared a 109-run stand to guide the home team to victory.

Tendulkar missed out on scoring his 100th international century that day, but was still hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates as they did a victory lap.

“He carried the hopes of the nation for 21 years, so it’s time we carried him on our shoulders,” India batsman Virat Kohli said.

India was the first team to win the World Cup on home soil, starting a run of three for tournament hosts.

For Tendulkar, it was a first title in six World Cups. India was an early favorite but had to take a hard route to the title. The group stage included a high-scoring tie with England — both teams scoring 338 — and a loss to South Africa.

Yuvraj Singh starred in a quarterfinal win at Ahmedabad that ended Australia’s run of World Cup titles at three, and contributed to his selection as player of the tournament.

2007 in the West Indies – Final: Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 53 runs Australia clinched an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title after a rain-reduced final that ended in farcical circumstances in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Adam Gilchrist smashed 149 — posting the fastest century and highest score in a World Cup final — as Australia scored 281-4 from 38 overs.

Sri Lanka was 206-7 with three overs to go when its two batsmen left the field amid dark and overcast conditions, prompting celebrations among the Australians and the crowd, who thought the game was over.

After some confusion on the field, the batsmen returned and the game resumed in near darkness.

Lasith Malinga was subsequently run out and the final few balls were played out in surreal circumstances, as Sri Lanka had no hope of victory.

“It’s a bit dark, but I’m loving every minute of it,” said veteran Australia paceman Glenn McGrath, who then retired from international cricket.

The tournament was overshadowed by the death of Pakistan’s England-born coach Bob Woolmer. He was found unconscious in his hotel room the day after Pakistan’s shocking loss to Ireland in the group stage, sparking a homicide investigation in Jamaica.

Police later said experts concluded Woolmer died of natural causes.

The group-stage exits of Pakistan and India also detracted from the tournament, while some individual performances left marks that will take a long time to beat.

Herschelle Gibbs became the first batter to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket when he repeatedly hit Dutch leg-spinner Daan van Bunge out of the ground in a group match at St. Kitts.

South Africa was on the receiving end of a notable individual record when Sri Lanka’s Malinga took four wickets with four consecutive deliveries — also a first.

2003 in South Africa – Final: Australia defeated India by 125 runs After cruising through the tournament unbeaten, Australia became only the second team to retain the World Cup.

Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden shared an opening partnership of 105 before captain Ricky Ponting smashed 140 from 121 balls in a man-of-the-match performance to steer Australia to 359-2 from 50 overs at Johannesburg.

Glenn McGrath had Sachin Tendulkar out caught-and-bowled in the first over of India’s reply. McGrath finished with 3-52 as India was dismissed for 234.

The success was also notable for the absence of star spinner Shane Warne, who was sent home the day before Australia’s opening match after testing positive for a banned diuretic.

The first World Cup in Africa was co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. The Kenyans provided the surprise of the tournament by beating Sri Lanka on the way to an appearance in the semi-finals.

But, the success of Kenya and Zimbabwe in an interminable tournament that required 42 games to narrow the field from 14 teams to six owed much to the refusal of England and New Zealand to play in those countries because of security concerns.

1999 in England and Wales – Final: Australia defeated Pakistan by 8 wickets Shane Warne was the star with four wickets in the final, as Australia bowled out Pakistan for 132 at Lord’s and eased to 133-2 from 20 overs thanks to Adam Gilchrist’s 54 from 36 balls.

Australia’s first World Cup title since 1987 confirmed its status as cricket’s premier limited-overs line-up, but it was its two matches against South Africa that went down in cricketing folklore.

Australia won the first of those in the inaugural Super Sixes stage by five wickets, with Steve Waugh scoring a match-winning 120. The Australia captain was dropped by a prematurely celebrating Herschelle Gibbs when he was on 56 and was said to have told the South African, “You’ve just dropped the World Cup.” Waugh denied saying it, but the comment rang true after the teams met in the semi-finals.

With victory in sight, South Africa’s Allan Donald was run out with two balls left following a miscommunication with all-rounder Lance Klusener. The match ended in a tie, with both teams on 213 all out, allowing Australia to advance by virtue of its win in the earlier head-to-head match.

After two losses in its first three matches, Australia simply hit form at the right time.

Host England and the fading West Indies were knocked out in the first round of the 12-team tournament.

1996 in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka – Final: Sri Lanka defeated Australia by 7 wickets Aravinda da Silva’s all-round brilliance inspired Sri Lanka’s first World Cup title.

Da Silva claimed three wickets, including Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting, and two catches as Australia struggled to 241-7 in the final at Lahore, Pakistan.

He then sealed his third man-of-the-match award of the tournament with an unbeaten 107 as Sri Lanka reached its victory target with ease.

Sri Lanka’s surprising and emotional win ensured the event at least ended on a high note.

The sixth Cricket World Cup exasperated fans with a three-week group stage that took in 29 matches before eliminating only Zimbabwe, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.

Australia and West Indies forfeited their group games in Colombo following a terrorist bombing in the city three weeks earlier.

The tournament reached another low in the semi-final at Calcutta when India’s fans, angered by their team’s slide to 120-8 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 251-8, began throwing bottles onto the pitch and lighting fires in the stands. The game was abandoned.

1992 in Australia and New Zealand – Final: Pakistan defeated England by 22 runs Pakistan lifted the World Cup for the first time with a 22-run win over England in front of a crowd of 87,182 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Imran Khan (72) and Javed Miandad (58) helped Pakistan set a target of 250, and Wasim Akram took crucial wickets in the reply as England fell short, sparking jubilant scenes on the streets of Pakistan.

“It was one of the biggest days in Pakistan cricket history,” Khan said later.

This World Cup was the first to feature colored clothing, a white ball, and matches under floodlights.

Defending champion Australia missed out on the semi-finals. South Africa’s return to international competition after 21 years of isolation was a success, as Kepler Wessels’ squad opened with a dominant win over the Aussies on its way to the semi-finals.

But, its campaign ended in bizarre fashion when, needing 22 from 13 balls to beat England, a heavy shower in Sydney delayed play. The rules at the time to recalculate targets in rain-affected matches left South Africa needing 21 from one ball. The ensuing controversy eventually led to the introduction of the Duckworth/Lewis Method of revising targets.

1987 in India and Pakistan – Final: Australia defeated England by 7 runs Australia captain Allan Border was carried on the shoulders of his teammates at Calcutta’s Eden Gardens after leading the team to its first World Cup title. The first World Cup outside England was also the first to be reduced from 60 to 50 overs for each innings.

Chetan Sharma recorded the first hat-trick in a World Cup in India’s nine-wicket win over New Zealand in a group stage which delivered several thrilling encounters.

Pakistan’s 15-run win over Sri Lanka set the tone; Australia beat India by a run; England scored 35 runs in the last three overs to beat West Indies; New Zealand avoided an almighty upset by edging rookie Zimbabwe by three runs.

England, with a win over India, and Australia, which beat Pakistan, put paid to the co-hosts’ hopes in the semi-finals before Border’s line-up, propelled by David Boon’s 75, prevailed in a hotly contested final.

1983 in England – Final: India defeated West Indies by 43 runs India caused a major upset by lifting the trophy at Lord’s against a West Indies squad that had won the two previous editions and featured Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd.

Having successfully negotiated the group stage, in which teams played each other twice, India beat England by six wickets in the semifinals.

The West Indies were even more impressive, though, in limiting Pakistan to 184 before cruising past the victory target for the loss of just two wickets at The Oval.

West Indies started the final as a hot favorite, with odds shortening after India was dismissed for 183.

However, things started to go wrong for the West Indies after Haynes’ dismissal left his team on 50-2. Two catches by Kapil Dev removed Richards and Lloyd, as Mohinder Amarnath (3-12) and Madan Lal (3-31) ripped through the West Indies batting order.

The West Indies were all out for 140 in what became a defining moment for Indian cricket.

1979 in England – Final: West Indies defeated England by 92 runs The West Indies were worthy winners, helped in the final by the brilliance of Viv Richards and Collis King and an England batting collapse.

In a promising start, England bowlers Mike Hendrick and Chris Old appeared to have the reigning champions in some trouble at 99-4. But, King’s 86 off 66 balls and a 138 from Richards helped the Caribbean team regain control.

Set a victory target of 287, Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott put runs on the board — but did so too slowly.

England needed 38 overs to reach 129 for the first wicket. From 183-2, England’s batsmen added just 11 runs for the next eight wickets as the West Indies retained their title.

There was no room in the semi-finals for a below-strength team from Australia, whose best players were all absent due to their contracts with Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket.

1975 in England – Final: West Indies defeated Australia by 17 runs The inaugural two-week tournament was considered a major innovation for the sport. Eight teams were divided into two groups, with the top two in each advancing to the semi-finals before a showcase final at Lord’s.

Attacking teams like West Indies and Australia flourished in the 60-over format, while other test nations struggled to grasp the need for quick runs.

India’s Sunil Gavaskar batted through all 60 overs against England, scoring just 36 runs in a heavy group-stage defeat.

Australia beat England in the semifinals after a superb display by Gary Gilmour, whose bowling figures of 6-14 remain a World Cup record and whose 28 runs in as many balls helped seal a four-wicket victory.

The West Indies went one better, beating New Zealand by five wickets in the other semifinal, to line up a decider in which Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards dominated the pace attack of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

Lloyd’s 102 in an innings total of 291 had Australia under pressure right from the start, while Richards’ three runouts — among a remarkable total of five — decided an entertaining contest.


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