Unlike some other sports who’s fixtures rotate around major tournaments, the bulk of international cricket is actually played in individual series featuring only two countries. This is because test cricket, the oldest and most prominent form of the game, runs for five days and running a tournament when games take that long just wouldn’t be practical.
There are international cricket tournaments but they only feature the shorter forms of the game. Twenty20 matches only take three hours and one day matches, as the name suggests, only last a single day making them a much better fit for multi-team international tournaments.
In this article we are going to be looking at the two major international one day tournaments tournaments which all the major cricketing nations attend. These are the ICC Trophy and the Cricket World Cup. While there are other regional and lower level tournaments, These two are the pinnacle of international cricket.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy
- First Held in: 1998
- Held: Every four years
- Teams participating: 8
- Current Champions: India
The ICC champions trophy is the second most important cricket tournament in the world with only the World Cup itself taking precedence. It is played every four years with the top eight cricketing nations in the world invited to attend.
History of ICC Champions Trophy
The Champions Trophy was first played in 1998 and was then known as the ICC knockout tournament. Hosted in Bangladesh, South Africa were the first team to win the event with their victory being their only win in a major ICC competition to date. Initially the tournament was held every two years but that changed in 2008 when the tournament was postponed and moved from Pakistan to South Africa due to security concerns. Since then the competition has been played every fours years in between Cricket World Cups.
ICC Champions Trophy Format
The format of the competition has changed multiple times over the years. In the first two tournaments the competition was knock out but this format was abandoned in 2002 after teams complained that it was a waste of resources for them to attend an international tournament where they may only play one game. It was replaced with a ‘four groups of three’ format where each team played the other two nations in their group once and the winner of each group proceeded to the semi finals.
In 2006 the format was again revamped again. Instead of their being four groups of three it was announced that there would only be two groups of four and that the top two teams from each group would progress to the semi-finals. Each team would still play every other team in their group with the winner of pool A playing the runner up in pool B and vice versa. The changes were made to differentiate the tournament from the World Cup and maximize the number of games invited teams were guaranteed to play. This format is still in use today.
Winners of ICC Champions Trophy
India are the current champions and are one of only two teams to have won the tournament twice having won previously in 2002. Australia are the only other country to have won twice with South Africa, New Zealand and The West Indies all having won once.
Notable facts about the ICC champions trophy
The 2002 tournament final abandoned and both participants declared joint champions after the game was rained out. Despite attempting to play the game twice and a total of 110 overs being played, a sufficient amount of play could not be completed in either game forcing organisers to declare the participants joint champions for the first and only time in the event’s history.
The West Indies will be the first of the major eight cricketing nations to miss out on qualification for the tournament after they slipped below Bangladesh in the world one day rankings. The West Indies were a powerhouse of one day cricket in the 80s and early 90s but have struggled in recent years. Bangladesh will now participate in the 2017 tournament, which is to be played in England and wales, for the first time since 2006.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup
- First Held in: 1975
- Held: Every four years
- Teams participating: 10
- Current Champions: Australia
The ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the most watched sporting events in the world and is the most coveted prize in international one day cricket. Featuring teams from all over the world, the World Cup sees the world’s best cricket nations fight it out to be declared world champions.
History of Cricket World Cup
The first world cup was held in 1975 just four years after the first one day international was played. Prior to 1970, cricket had been played almost exclusively in the longer form of the game with five day test matches being the norm for international cricket. While there had been some voices calling for a shorter version of the game to be officially recognised, It was only when Australian media mogul Kerry Packer started a rival competition with games that went for just one day that the ICC started to pay attention. A shorter version game was promptly introduced and the rival league was eventually given official status.
The first three world cups were held in England and were known as the Prudential Cups, named after the sponsors of the tournament. After the second event which was held in 1979 it was agreed that the tournament should take place every four years and that the hosting rights should rotate like they did for the Olympics. The first event held outside of England was in 1987 with India and Pakistan acting as joint hosts.
The 1992 World cup was held in Australia and saw some major changes to the way the game was played. For the first time fielding restrictions were introduced meaning only a restricted number of players were allowed outside a certain perimeter. This was introduced to encourage aggressive play. It was also the first time that day-night matches were played. While these games had the same number of overs, they started in the afternoon meaning the second innings was played under lights at night time.
The ICC Cricket World Cup technically has two distinct stages. The qualification stage and the tournament itself. All test playing nations receive automatic qualification into the tournament with the remaining spots going to the highest ranked teams from the ICC Cricket Leauge. This a competition for associate members of the ICC who have not yet achieved test match status.
The format of the tournament itself has changed greatly over the years. Initially the competition was limited to just eight nations which competed in two groups of four before the the top two from each group progressed to the semi-finals. As the number of cricketing nations grew however, it became clear that a new format was going to be needed to accommodate more competitors.
Since 1975 many formats have been trialed including only having one group where everyone plays everyone once and having two pools where the top teams from each pool progress to a final ‘supergroup’. In the supergroup teams kept their points they won against the other teams who progressed from their pool and then play every team they had not yet played. The top four from the supergroup would then progress to the semi finals.
In 2011 and 2015 the rules were simplified with two pools of seven playing each other once before the top four teams from each group progressed to the quarter finals. For the 2019 World Cup it is likely that only 10 teams will compete in one group before the top four progress to the knockout stage. The proposed format is meant to ensure more competitive matches but it has received criticism from some ICC members for excluding smaller, developing cricketing nations.
Cricket World Cup Winners
Only four teams have ever won the ICC Cricket World Cup. The West Indies won the first two competitions but haven’t been successful since. Australia are the most successful nation having won the tournament on five separate occasions including three in a row in 1999, 2003 and 2007. They are also the current champions having won in 2015 on home soil. India have won twice while their cross border rivals Pakistan have only won once. England have made the final three times but have never been able to seal the deal.
Notable facts about the Cricket World Cup
The first world cup featured a team from East Africa. This is the only time a composite team, other than the West Indies has competed in the World Cup.
South Africa were forbidden from competing in international cricket until 1992 when the international sports boycott was lifted. This meant that the 1992 World cup was the first tournament they were allowed compete in.
The first World Cup saw teams competing in traditional cricket whites and using a red ball. It wasn’t until 1992 that coloured uniforms and the white ball became the standard for one day cricket.
It was only in 1999 that the ICC World Cup trophy was standardized. Up until this point, teams had competed for a different trophy at every tournament.
When and Where is the next Cricket World Cup?
The next cricket world cup will be played on May 30, 2019 to July 15, 2019. The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by England and Wales after being awarded in 2006. You can already bet on the futures for the 2019 cricket world cup at many of the top India cricket betting sites.