World Cricket Championship 2023: The stats and records that defined the epic final
The Cricket World Cup, officially known as ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world's most viewed sporting events and is considered the "flagship event of the international cricket calendar" by the ICC.
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The first World Cup was organised in England in June 1975, with the first ODI cricket match having been played only four years earlier. However, a separate Women's Cricket World Cup had been held two years before the first men's tournament, and a tournament involving multiple international teams had been held as early as 1912, when a triangular tournament of Test matches was played between Australia, England and South Africa. The first three World Cups were held in England. From the 1987 tournament onwards, hosting has been shared between countries under an unofficial rotation system, with fourteen ICC members having hosted at least one match in the tournament.
The first international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States, on 24 and 25 September 1844. However, the first credited Test match was played in 1877 between Australia and England, and the two teams competed regularly for The Ashes in subsequent years. South Africa was admitted to Test status in 1889. Representative cricket teams were selected to tour each other, resulting in bilateral competition. Cricket was also included as an Olympic sport at the 1900 Paris Games, where Great Britain defeated France to win the gold medal. This was the only appearance of cricket at the Summer Olympics.
The first multilateral competition at international level was the 1912 Triangular Tournament, a Test cricket tournament played in England between all three Test-playing nations at the time: England, Australia and South Africa. The event was not a success: the summer was exceptionally wet, making play difficult on damp uncovered pitches, and crowd attendances were poor, attributed to a "surfeit of cricket". Since then, international Test cricket has generally been organised as bilateral series: a multilateral Test tournament was not organised again until the triangular Asian Test Championship in 1999.
The number of nations playing Test cricket increased gradually over time, with the addition of West Indies in 1928, New Zealand in 1930, India in 1932, and Pakistan in 1952. However, international cricket continued to be played as bilateral Test matches over three, four or five days.
In the early 1960s, English county cricket teams began playing a shortened version of cricket which only lasted for one day. Starting in 1962 with a four-team knockout competition known as the Midlands Knock-Out Cup, and continuing with the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963, one-day cricket grew in popularity in England. A national Sunday League was formed in 1969. The first One-Day International match was played on the fifth day of a rain-aborted Test match between England and Australia at Melbourne in 1971, to fill the time available and as compensation for the frustrated crowd. It was a forty over game with eight balls per over. The success and popularity of the domestic one-day competitions in England and other parts of the world, as well as the early One-Day Internationals, prompted the ICC to consider organising a Cricket World Cup.
The inaugural Cricket World Cup was hosted in 1975 by England, the only nation able to put forward the resources to stage an event of such magnitude at the time. The 1975 tournament started on 7 June. The first three events were held in England and officially known as the Prudential Cup after the sponsors Prudential plc. The matches consisted of 60 six-ball overs per team, played during daytime in the traditional form, with the players wearing cricket whites and using red cricket balls.
Eight teams participated in the first tournament: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the West Indies (the six Test nations at the time), together with Sri Lanka and a composite team from East Africa. One notable omission was South Africa, who were banned from international cricket due to apartheid. The tournament was won by the West Indies, who defeated Australia by 17 runs in the final at Lord's. Roy Fredricks of West Indies was the first batsmen who got hit-wicket in ODI during the 1975 World Cup final.
India and Pakistan jointly hosted the 1987 tournament, the first time that the competition was held outside England. The games were reduced from 60 to 50 overs per innings, the current standard, because of the shorter daylight hours in the Indian subcontinent compared with England's summer. Australia won the championship by defeating England by 7 runs in the final, the closest margin in the World Cup final until the 2019 edition between England and New Zealand.
The 1992 World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand, introduced many changes to the game, such as coloured clothing, white balls, day/night matches, and a change to the fielding restriction rules. The South African cricket team participated in the event for the first time, following the fall of the apartheid regime and the end of the international sports boycott. Pakistan overcame a dismal start in the tournament to eventually defeat England by 22 runs in the final and emerge as winners.
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The 1996 championship was held in the Indian subcontinent for a second time, with the inclusion of Sri Lanka as host for some of its group stage matches. In the semi-final, Sri Lanka, heading towards a crushing victory over India at Eden Gardens after the hosts lost eight wickets while scoring 120 runs in pursuit of 252, were awarded victory by default after crowd unrest broke out in protest against the Indian performance. Sri Lanka went on to win their maiden championship by defeating Australia by seven wickets in the final at Lahore.
In 2007, the tournament was hosted by the West Indies and expanded to sixteen teams. Following Pakistan's upset loss to World Cup debutants Ireland in the group stage, Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room. Jamaican police had initially launched a murder investigation into Woolmer's death but later confirmed that he died of heart failure. Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the final by 53 runs (D/L) in farcical light conditions, and extended their undefeated run in the World Cup to 29 matches and winning three straight championships.
India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh together hosted the 2011 World Cup. Pakistan was stripped of its hosting rights following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, with the games originally scheduled for Pakistan redistributed to the other host countries. The number of teams participating in the World Cup was reduced to fourteen. Australia lost their final group stage match against Pakistan on 19 March 2011, ending an unbeaten streak of 35 World Cup matches, which had begun on 23 May 1999. India won their second World Cup title by beating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, making India the first country to win the World Cup at home. This was also the first time that two Asian countries faced each other in a World Cup Final.
The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy is presented to the winners of the World Cup. The current trophy was created for the 1999 championships, and was the first permanent prize in the tournament's history. Prior to this, different trophies were made for each World Cup.[clarification needed] The trophy was designed and produced in London by a team of craftsmen from Garrard & Co over a period of two months.
The current trophy is made from silver and gilt, and features a golden globe held up by three silver columns. The columns, shaped as stumps and bails, represent the three fundamental aspects of cricket: batting, bowling and fielding, while the globe characterises a cricket ball. The seam is tilted to symbolize the axial tilt of the Earth. It stands 60 centimetres (24 in) high and weighs approximately 11 kilograms (24 lb). The names of the previous winners are engraved on the base of the trophy, with space for a total of twenty inscriptions. The ICC keeps the original trophy. A replica differing only in the inscriptions is permanently awarded to the winning team.
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