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Friday, October 27, 2006

All about ICC World Cup 2007 West Indies

ICC Cricket World Cup, the largest and most prestigious competition in the cricket world, will be held in West Indies in March 2007. This will be the ninth tournament of this championship which was started in 1975 in England. This world cup is organized by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

West Indies has a long tradition of cricket. Their cricket has gone through a lot of glory and success in cricket. West Indies Cricket Board is a sporting federation of some Caribbean countries. In 1890, the first team representing this board played their first match against visiting England. It got Test Status in 1928 but the side has seen its glorious days from 1960s to 1980s especially in the 1970s while West Indies won cricket’s first two world cup tournament and they became the most powerful cricket team in the world. West Indies had the best bowling attack among the contemporary cricket teams. Particularly some influential fast bowlers were seen very dangerous in that period.

The grounds of this region are renowned for its natural beauty. Some stadiums stand by the sea coast which is really very lucrative. So it is expected that cricket fans will enjoy an additional taste during the world cup.

Previous World Cup Tournaments:

One Day International cricket does not have a long history as Test cricket has. The first ODI was played between England and Australia in 1971. Then considering the evergrowing popularity of this form of cricket, ICC started organizing an international tournament called ICC World Cup cricket in 1975. Here, one thing should be included that the first three world cups were known as Prudential World Cups as that Prudential plc, a financial service company, was the big sponsor of the world cups.

I am giving a short description of each of the last eight world cups below:

Prudential Cup 1975:

The first world cup cricket was held in England in 1975. In that tournament 8 teams were participated in which 6 were tests playing countries. Two groups made of 4 teams participated in the group phase and to top teams of each group played semi-final and then final. In the final, West Indies won the first world cup defeating Australia by 17 runs. All the matches of that tournament were 120 over match in which each team could play 60 overs.

Prudential Cup 1979:

Prudential Cup was again organized after 4 years of its first tournament and again in England. This tournament is best known for some of the new things introduced in this tournament which are still followed. For the first time non-test playing nations were elected though a world cup qualifying tournament named ICC Trophy which is still followed. The number of teams participated was remain unchanged where with 6 test playing countries another two got ticket of that tournament through ICC Trophy. The formation remained same and the matches were 120 over match were 60 overs were allocated for each teams. West Indies again showed their feat in the world cricket defeating the host country England by 92 runs in the final of that tournament.

Prudential Cup 1983:

It was the first time world experienced some unexpected results which are still considered great incidents in the history of world cup history. For example, Zimbabwe, the only non-playing side of that tournament, defeated West Indies and Australia in the group phase creating two mostly known upsets in the cricket world. This tournament was also hosted by England and this time the number of the test teams was increased to 7 through the inclusion of Sri Lanka in the elite panel of Test Cricket. The eight was divided into two groups of 4 and from each group two teams were eligible for the semi-final matches. Here, the only change was made in the formation that was each team played twice with the other members of a group. The other upset was created by India while they defeated the then most powerful cricket power West Indies in the final by 43 runs.

ICC World Cup 1987:

This fourth tournament of world cup had gone through some changes which still exist in the ODI cricket. For example, 50 overs was allocated for each team to bat and for the first time tournament was hosted outside England. India and Pakistan jointly hosted that tournament. However, it was not India, Pakistan or West Indies rather for the first time Australia won the tournament. Australia defeated England by 7 runs which is still the lowest margin victory in a world cup final.

ICC World Cup 1992:

This tournament can be termed as the pioneer of today’s modern world cup. Colored dress and white ball was launched for the first time and South Africa played that world cup for the first time as an African team. Day/Night match was also started in ODI cricket in this world cup and with 8 test playing countries Zimbabwe participated as the only non-test playing nation in this world cup. The formation was also changed. There was no group rather all the teams played each other once and thus number of matches was increased considerably compared to the previous tournaments. Top four teams played in the semi-final round and the winners played in the final. New Zealand came up with two new ideas to the world. Martin Crowe, the then captain of New Zealand, started bowling with a spinner, Dipak Patel, to make batsmen puzzled and he sent pinch-heater batsmen to open batting to make some extra runs earlier in the innings. Here is it noteworthy that field restriction system was also introduced in this tournament. The trophy of this world cup was handed to Pakistan captain Imran Khan after Pakistan defeated England by 22 runs in the final.

ICC World Cup 1996:

For the first time, world cup cricket was hosted by three countries. India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka organized this world cup. Australia and West Indies did not play in Sri Lanka in their group matches due to the confusion over the safety following a terrorist bomb blast in the Central Bank which led Sri Lanka to the next round easily as the points of those matches were rewarded to Sri Lanka. In this tournament 12 teams participated in which 9 were test playing countries and three were elected through ICC Trophy. The new teams were Kenya, United Arab Emirates and Netherlands. Sri Lanka defeated Australia in the final to win their first world cup and became the third winner of world cup from Sub-continent. Sanath Jayasuria and Romesh Kaluwitharana became the best opening pair of that time who could easily crashed any bowling attack using their power play strategy to take the advantage of fielding restriction in the first 15 overs.

ICC World Cup 1999:

World cup again backed to England after 16 years. Some matches of this last tournament of the century were held in Ireland, Scotland and also in Netherlands. With 9 test playing counties, 3 non-test playing countries appeared through the ICC Trophy and among the three Bangladesh and Scotland were new in the world cup. The 12 teams were divided into two groups of six teams and from each group top 3 teams were elected for the Super Six round which was first introduced in this world cup. In super six round teams from group A played with the teams of group B and all the teams could carry their group stage points they earned paling against the Super Six teams. From this six teams top four played in the semi-final round. Australia won their second title beating Pakistan by 8 wickets in the final.

ICC World Cup 2003:

This was the first world cup tournament of this century. South Africa along with Kenya and Zimbabwe hosted this tournament and Australia could continue their triumph in the world cricket winning their third and second consecutive world cup. As a non-test playing country Kenya for the first time reached in the semi-final. Highest number of teams participated in this tournament. Among the 14 teams 10 were test playing nation and other four non-test playing nations were Netherlands, Namibia, Canada and Kenya. The format of the tournament remained unchanged. In the final Australia defeated India by 125 runs which is the biggest margin by run in a world cup final.

Participating teams of the ICC World Cup 2007:

The highest number of teams will participate in the next ICC World Cup in West Indies. Among the 16 teams 11 teams were qualified automatically and among this 11, ten are test playing countries and Kenya has qualified by its ODI status. The other five teams are Bermuda, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands and Canada who have qualified through ICC Champions Trophy. The 16 teams are given below:

Australia, Bangladesh, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bermuda, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands and Canada

Venues:

ICC World Cup 2007 will be held in different countries of Caribbean region which are under the West Indies cricket board. The stadiums and their country names are given below:

Stadium Country

Kensington Oval Barbados

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium Antigua & Barbuda

Queen's Park Grenada

Providence Stadium Guyana

Warner Park Stadium St Kitts & Nevis

Queen's Park Oval Trinidad & Tobago

Beausejour Stadium St Lucia

Sabina Park Jamaica

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