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World Cup Origin and Facts - 1975 - 2003

World Cup Origin and Facts

The first attempt at a World Championship of cricket was in 1912, when a three-way test series was arranged between the current Test playing nations, Australia, England and South Africa. Dogged by poor weather, the experiment was not repeated until 1975, when following the success of domestic one-day competitions, the six Test playing nations (England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, India and Pakistan) were joined by Sri Lanka and East Africa in the first World Cup. A resounding success, the tournament has taken place every four years since. In Feb and March of 2003, the 8th World Cup will be played in South Africa and Zimbabwe for the first time.

[ 1975 | 1979 | 1983 | 1987 | 1992 | 1996 | 1999 | 2003 ]

1975 Prudential Cup

  • Four years after the impromptu first-ever one day international, played between Aus & Eng in 1971, the World Cup was launched in England. It was a grand success and the organizers were encouraged by the£1,88,598 that they collected as gate money.
  • Besides 6 test playing nations, the ICC invited Srilanka and East Africa an assorted team comprising players from Kenya, Uganda,Tanzania and Zambia.
  • The teams which were divided into two groups, first played league matches and the top two from each group progressed to the semifinals.
  • In all 15 matches were played between 7 and 21st June with the Clive Lloyd-led West Indies emerging deserving winners.
  • The Title Sponsors, Prudential Insurance Company, invested £1,00,000 in the tournament, including £9,000 as prize money.
Group A: England, East Africa, India and New Zealand
Group B: Australia,Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies

1979 Prudential World Cup:

  • Eight teams, comprising six test nations and two ICC associated members in the form of Sri Lanka and Canada participated in the second edition of the World Cup.
  • The tournament was hit by some of the top players’ involvement in Kerry Packer’s rebel World Series in Australia. Eventually barring England and Australia, who ignored the rebel players, all the other teams included those who had played for Packer.
  • West Indies triumphed again, as the organisers collected £ 3,59,717 in gate money. Besides England, India was the other contender to host this World Cup. But the Sponsor’s clout, an enhanced deal (£ 2,50,000, including £ 25,900 as prize money) and logistical considerations were said to have gone in England’s favour as the venue.
Group A: Australia,Canada, England and Pakistan.
Group B: Sri Lanka, West Indies, India and New Zealand.

1983 Prudential Cup:

  • Before the 1983 World Cup began, Aus-captain Kim Hughes had predicted that “India would be the dark horse”. Kapil Dev’s team proved him correct and surprised all with their upset Title win, despite being given a 66-1 chance by the bookies. India received £ 20,000 in prize money.
  • Kapil’s unbeaten 175 in a league match against Zimbabwe was the turning point for India in the tournament.
  • Prudential sponsored the Cup for the last time, to the tune of £ 5,00,000. The seven test- playing countries received £53,900 as guarantee money, while the ICC associate member Zimbabwe and the qualifiers were given £30,200 each. Additionally, the ICC distributed a surplus of £1,00,000 amongst its full and associate members.
  • Thanks to the massive public response, the organisers collected £ 11,95,712 in gate receipts.
  • A change in the format, which entailed a team playing twice against all other teams in the group league, led to the increase in the number of matches, bringing it up to 27.
Group-A: England,New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan
Group-B: West Indies, Australia, India and Zimbabwe

1987 Reliance Cup

  • India and Pakistan successfully bid to jointly host the fourth edition of the World Cup as title sponsor Reliance had put in Rs.2.2 crores. Each test playing nation received the guarantee money of £ 2,00,000, while Zimbabwe, which again qualified from amongst the ICC associate members collected £ 1,70,000. Apart from the prize money being hiked substantially, the organizers also gave the ICC £ 18,00,00.
  • At 21 venues, India hosted 17 matches, including a semifinal and the final,while Pakistan hosted ten matches. The tournament proved a huge success, even though the teams had to travel long distances.
  • Among the several firsts, umpires from third countries officiated in all the matches.
  • Considering the duration of daylight in the sub-continent, matches were restricted to 50 overs per side, from the 60 overs per side played in the first three World Cups.
  • There were strict penalties discouraging time-wasting tactics by teams.
Group A: India, Australia,Zimbabwe, New Zealand.
Group B: West Indies, Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka.
  • 1987 TOURNAMENT The fourth World Cup saw a move away from England, with India and Pakistan co-hosting the event, which saw the same cast of teams as in 1983, Zimbabwe having emerged victorious from the ICC trophy once again.
  • As before, the preliminary matches featured two groups of four teams, who played each other twice. The surprise of the qualifying stages was West Indies‘ failure to reach the semi-finals. First England, then Pakistan conjured unlikely last-over victories against the former champions, and not even a record score of 360 for 4(Richards 181) against Sri Lanka could save them.
  • The co-hosts were playing for a 'dream final' between India and Pakistan at the vast Eden Gardens ground at Calcutta, but Australia put paid to these fond hopes by defeating Pakistan in the Lahore semi-final. With Miandad and Imran going well, Pakistan seemed set to overhaul Australia's 267 for 8, but four quick wickets from tear away fast bowler McDermott, who finished with 5 for 44, ended Pakistan's challenge.
  • England dealt a similar blow to India's hopes in the second semi-final at Bombay, where Gooch's 115, which featured many adventurous sweep shots against India's spin- oriented attack, was the mainstay of a total of 254 for 6. Despite 64 from the gracefulAzharuddin,Indiafell 35 runs short, with veteran off-spinner Hemmings taking 4 for 52.
  • In the final, Australia got off to a flying start against some wayward early bowling. Boon's 75, aided and abetted by useful contribution from Jones, Border, and MikeVeletta, took Australia to 253 for 5 in 50 overs. Despite the early loss of Robinson for a duck, England seemed set fair for victory after Athey's careful 58. Gatting and Lamb both reached 40, but one rash act from the England captain cost him his wicket and probably cost his side the match.Gatting essayed a reverse sweep at the first ball bowled by his rival captain Border, and the ball ballooned up to be caught by the wicketkeeper. Border also disposed of Downton, and the tail enders could not muster quite enough runs to take England to victory, Australia's eventual winning margin of seven runs being the narrowest in any of the four World Cup finals so far.
1992 World Cup: Australia and New Zealand
  • This was the biggest ever World Cup, and was again staged jointly. Nine teams played thirty nine matches in 33 days, 25 in Australia and 14 in New Zealand.
  • Besides the 8 test playing nations, Zimbabwe qualified for the 3rd successive time by winning the ICC Trophy, contested by the associated member nations. It was the World Cup in which coloured clothing, white balls and black sight screens were used, with some matches being played at night and overs were restricted to 50 overs per side.Pakistan staged a dramatic comeback to win the tournament.
  • The tournament will be remembered for its controversial rain rule, which ensured that South Africa’s first ever world cup ,was a bitter experience in their match against England and put them out of the event.
  • Surprisingly there was no reserve day for a fresh replay of a rain curtailed match.
1996 Wills World Cup
  • 1996 saw yet another format change in the World Cup.
  • The 1992 set-up allowed no participation from non-Test playing teams now that Zimbabwe had been granted full Test status, so the tournament was expanded.
  • The preliminary rounds were in two groups of 6, with 8 teams advancing to quarter finals. This meant that three teams qualified via the ICC Trophy, held in Kenya for the first time. The host team Kenya advanced to the semi-finals, eliminating Bangladesh on the way, and were joined there by the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Bermuda.
  • The Kenyans and UAE booked a world cup berth by winning their semi-finals, and the Netherlands joined them after roundly beating Bermuda in the 3rd place play-off.
  • The tournament was not without controversy, as the United Arab Emirates team largely consisted of recent immigrants from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with only their captain Sultan Zarawani being born in the country. As the Wisden report on the tournament stated "a widespread suspicion lingered amongst opponents that the Emirates' real triumph was over the tournament 4-year residential rule".
  • The main tournament returned to Asia, with the games spread over three countries, India, Pakistan and the newcomer, Sri Lanka.
  • The pre-tournament lead up was overshadowed by security concerns, particularly on the part of the Australian side. Members of their squad had been involved in much publicized accusations of match fixing by Pakistani players.
  • Sri Lanka was also undergoing internal political turmoil, with threats of disruption by the Tamil rebel groups, and after a massive bomb blast in Colombo (killing 80) in late January, the Australian team decided that they would forfeit their preliminary round matches in Sri Lanka rather than travel there.
  • The West Indies board followed suit a week later, leaving the tournament in tatters before it even started.
1999 ICC World Cup:
  • Steve Waugh’s Australia came back from the dead to clinch the title, and become only the second country after West Indies to win it twice.
  • The format was changed again, with a complex Super Six round replacing the easily comprehensible quarterfinals.
  • The 1999 World Cup lasted 37 days, with 42 matches held at 21 grounds, including two in Scotland and Holland.
  • The Super Six format came in for severe flak for its Byzantine Points system, which meant that a team carried forward only those points it had earned against the two other qualifying teams from that group.
  • Accordingly India and Australia, which barely avoided an early exit, advanced to Super Six with no points despite collecting six apiece in the league.Another absurdity was the tie-breaker used to determine the winner of the tied semifinal between Aus & S.A.- Aus won on better run rate.
Group A: England, Zimbabwe, India, South Africa, Kenya, Sri Lanka.
Group B: West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Scotland.

2003 ICC World Cup

  • If the modern cricketer is inspired only by the green stuff (and who can blame him?). then there would be no dearth of inspiration. The prize money allocated for the 2003 World Cup is nearly five times more than what the teams received for the 1999 World Cup.
  • The winners will walk away with US$ 2,000,000, while the runners-up will receive US$ 800,000. Dr Ali Bacher, when asked about the huge difference in prize money between the top two teams, replied, "Well, winning is everything!"
  • The losing semifinalists will pocket a cool US$ 400,000 each, while the fifth- and sixth-placed teams will take home US$ 150,000 and US$ 80,000 respectively.
  • Cricket has come a long way, trying to catch up with other sports with regards to global appeal and prize money. Cricket has gone to the far corners of Morocco and Singapore, and it is telecast in countries where few had any idea about the game a decade ago.
Pool A: Australia, England, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Netherlands
Pool B: South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Kenya, Bangladesh, Canada