Photo Credit: ICC
With nearly half a century of history, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is steeped in glory, drama, and iconic moments.
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Since the West Indies claimed the inaugural title in 1975, teams from around the globe have convened roughly every four years to crown its one-day champions.
With all eyes on India for the latest edition of the tournament, here’s a look back at how the 12 competitions so far have played out.
The West Indies became the first-ever world champions as they beat Australia by 17 runs in the final at Lord’s.
Eight teams took part in the inaugural tournament, where matches consisted of 60 overs an innings and used a red ball.
The Windies won all three matches in their group, beat New Zealand in the semi-final and were then fired to victory in the final by a century from captain Clive Lloyd.
Four years later, the West Indies successfully defended their title with England this time the defeated finalists at Lord’s.
Viv Richards’ unbeaten 138 saw the defending champions set the hosts 287 to win and Joel Garner took five for 38 to help bowl England out for 194 as the Windies sealed back-to-back crowns.
India had won just a single match in the first two tournaments but claimed their first title in the third as they beat the West Indies at Lord’s to put a new name on the trophy.
After trading victories in the new double round-robin group stage, India won the third meeting between the two nations in the final, Mohinder Amarnath producing a match-winning three for 12 as West Indies were bowled out for 140 in pursuit of 184.
The first World Cup to be held outside of England saw India and Pakistan team up as hosts, and there was a new champion as Australia claimed their first title.
Both hosts topped their group but it was Australia and England who faced off in the final, when David Boon top-scored with 75 as Australia’s 253 proved an insurmountable tally for England to chase in the first 50-over tournament.
The first tournament to be hosted in Australia saw Pakistan earn their first title, as they comfortably beat England in the final of the first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to feature coloured clothing.
A captain’s innings of 72 from Imran Khan helped Pakistan to a total of 249 which England looked well-placed to chase before Wasim Akram dismissed Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis in consecutive balls.
Sri Lanka became the fourth new champions in a row, and the first victorious hosts, as they comfortably beat Australia in the final of the first 12-team tournament.
Despite losing player of the series Sanath Jayasuriya and fellow opener Romesh Kaluwitharana cheaply, Aravinda de Silva’s unbeaten 107 fired the co-hosts to victory in Lahore as they chased down 241 with 3.4 overs to spare.
Australia joined the West Indies on two World Cup titles as they beat Pakistan at Lord’s in a tournament hosted across five nations.
Co-hosts England and Scotland both crashed out at the group stage, with matches also held in Dublin, Cardiff and Amstelveen.
Australia lost twice in their group, including to Pakistan, and scraped past South Africa in the last four following a memorable tie which saw Steve Waugh’s side advance by virtue of their superior run rate in the new Super Six stage.
The final was a more one-sided affair, Australia winning by eight wickets after Shane Warne’s four for 33 helped dismiss Pakistan for just 132.
Australia retained their crown in South Africa, winning all their matches in the group stage and Super Six, including a win over co-hosts Kenya, who reached the semi-finals for the first time.
Ricky Ponting’s 140 not out helped set India 360 to win in the final, which ultimately proved 125 runs too many despite a fine 82 from Virender Sehwag.
Australia completed an unprecedented hat-trick of victories as they stormed to a third consecutive title in the West Indies.
The new 16-team format saw four groups of four, with Australia breezing through theirs and continuing their form into the Super Eight stage with seven wins from seven.
A semi-final victory over South Africa set up a rain-affected final against Sri Lanka, a repeat of the 1996 showpiece, with Adam Gilchrist’s knock of 149 proving match-winning.
India became just the second hosts to win the World Cup on home soil as they overcame co-hosts Sri Lanka to claim a second title.
After ending Australia’s pursuit of a fourth straight title in the quarter-finals, India beat rivals Pakistan by 29 runs in the last four.
Mahela Jayawardene’s 103 not out meant India were 275 to win in the final and knocks of 97 from Gautam Gambir and 91 not out from M.S. Dhoni sealed victory with 10 balls to spare as the players carried Sachin Tendulkar around the Wankhede Stadium.
A second all co-host final in succession saw Australia beat New Zealand at the MCG to regain their crown.
The Black Caps shone in the group stage, winning all their matches including a thrilling one-wicket victory over Australia in Auckland.
When they met again in the final, three wickets apiece from Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner meant Australia required just 184 to win and half-centuries from Steve Smith and Michael Clarke got them over the line.
Following the most dramatic final to date, England won their maiden title after edging New Zealand on boundary countback after the sides were tied after both 50 overs and a Super Over.
Both finalists lost three games in the group stage, progressing in third and fourth place, but won their semi-finals to guarantee a new champion would be crowned at Lord’s.
And it would be England who would add their name to the trophy by the barest of margins after the two teams simply could not be separated.