Cricket, known as the gentleman’s game, is undergoing tremendous change. From test cricket it has evolved into the short and sweet T20 avatar and is gaining popularity and a huge fan base.
The game’s history can be traced back to 1844 when the first ever international cricket match was played between Canada and the United States, on the 24 and 25 September 1844.
Then in the year 1877 the first credited Test match was played. Competing teams Australia and England have since regularly played the Ashes.
In 1900 cricket found a place as an Olympic sport and Britain defeated France to win gold. This was cricket’s sole appearance in Summer Olympics.
But about 12 years later in 1912 the first international Triangular Tournament, a Test cricket match, was played in England. England, Australia and South Africa were the participating teams.
A multilateral test tournament was later organised at quadrangular Asian Test Championship in 1999.
More test playing nations were added to the list in later years – West Indies 1928, New Zealand 1930, India 1932 and Pakistan 1952.
It was in the 1960s that English county cricket teams began playing the one day version of the game. And it was the success of the shortened versions of the game that prompted the ICC to consider organising a Cricket World Cup.
In 1975 the inaugural World Cup was organised and was hosted by England the only nation that had the resources to do so. So it was on June 7 the first world cup started and the first three events were all held in England.
The matches consisted of 60, six-ball overs per team, played during the daytime in traditional form, with the players wearing cricket whites and using red cricket balls.
The first World Cup had eight participants including: Australia, Pakistan, England, the West Indies, India, and New Zealand, Sri Lanka and a composite team from East Africa.
The first World Cup was won by West Indies who defeated Australia by 17 runs in the final at Lord’s.
The 1983 event was hosted by England for a third consecutive time and was won by India and is till date India’s only victory at the World Cup.
The 1987 tournament was held in India and Pakistan. This was the first time someone apart from England was hosting the tournament. The games were reduced from 60 to 50 overs per innings, which is also how it is played till date. Australia took the crown that year.
In 1992 the World Cup was held in Australia and the game underwent many changes such as – coloured clothing, white balls, day/night matches and an alteration to the fielding restrictions. Pakistan won the cup that year.
In 1996 the World Cup was again held in the Indian subcontinent Sri Lanka went on to win their maiden championship by defeating Australia
Then in 1999 the event was hosted by England and Australia won the cup defeating Pakistan that year.
The next world cup in 2003 was hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya and that year India was defeated badly by Australia by 125 runs.
In 2007 the tournament was hosted by the West Indies and was won once again by Australia.