ICC World Cup 2015 – Are you ready for the Ultimate Cricketing action?

Captains of all teams pose with the World Cup Trophy

Captains of all teams pose with the World Cup Trophy

If you are a true cricket fan, then make sure you are in Australia or New Zealand from two years from now. Yes that’s true, with preparations are already going in full swing for the Cricket ICC World Cup 2015 and the trans-Tasman stage is set for the ultimate entertainment in the field of cricket. Australia and New Zealand will host the 11th edition of ICC Cricket World Cup.

First held in the year 1975 and organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), The World Cup is the most important tournament in Cricket, which happens to be the second most popular game in the world. The importance of World Cup can be highlighted from the fact that only 5 out of 19 teams that have participated so far have been able to claim the title. The tournament in itself is very exquisite since it happens only once in 4 years time. With the ICC terming the World Cup as a pinnacle of achievement in the sport, teams from all over the world push hard to get their hands on one of the most coveted trophies in the world. Some cricket players even announce their retirement after playing World Cup, ending the career on a legendary note. The ICC Cricket World Cup is immensely popular across all continents. No doubt it’s the fourth-largest and fourth most-viewed sporting event in the entire world. Australia has an astonishing record of winning the World Cup 4 times and they scripted ‘hat-trick’ by winning it for three consecutive times in 1999, 2003 and 2007. However the current World Champions are India, who became the only nation to win the World Cup on its home soil in the 2011. While West Indies and India have won it twice, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have also won it once.

ICC Members:

While ICC has 105 member countries that play cricket, but surprisingly only 10 of them have the Test status, which makes them an automatic qualification for the World Cup. All other teams have to go through a series of preliminary qualifying tournaments like the World Cricket League Championship. Once selected, all teams are divided into groups and the group toppers compete among each other for a place in semi finals. The winners of semi finals feature in the finals of the tournament.

World Cup Records:

Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has most number of runs scored in World Cup games with 2278 runs under his belt while Australian bowler Glenn McGrath has most number of wickets In World Cup at 71 wickets. Garry Kirsten’s unbeaten 188 vs UAE in 1996 is the highest score in a World Cup match. Ricky Ponting is the only the only Captain to win two titles. The finals of 2003 and 2007 World Cup were disrupted for a short period due to rain. Sri Lanka has now appeared in two back to back finals in 2007 and 2011, sadly they lost on both the occasions.

The World Cup Trophy in 1975

The World Cup Trophy in 1975

The World Cup Trophy in 201

The World Cup Trophy in 2011

The World Cup Trophy:

The coveted World Cup Trophy is unarguably one of the prized possessions of a lifetime. A secret fact is that the winning team gets to lay their hands only on the replica model of the trophy. Just like the original recipe of Coca Cola, which is kept inside a vault in Atlanta, the original World Cup Trophy too is safely kept at ICC’s headquarters in Dubai. The current trophy is 60cm high and is made from silver and gold. It features a golden globe held by three columns which represent three fundamental aspects of cricket; batting, bowling and fielding. The giant globe in the middle characterizes a ball. Its platonic dimensions make it easily recognizing from any angle. It weighs approximately 11 kilograms and has names of all 10 previous winners inscribed on it. However there is still space for another 10 winners.

The ICC World Cup 2015

Australia and New Zealand bagged the rights for the 2015 World Cup from ICC. The two trans-Tasman countries had originally bid for the 2011 World Cup but they were given to Asian countries. Games will be split 50:50 to both Australia and New Zealand venues. Australia and New Zealand had once before co-hosted the same event in 1992 and it was a mega success. 14 teams will participate in the 2105 edition. Although the Dates and venues are yet to be announced, but it is clear that the tournament will take place during February and March. The finals could be held in Melbourne, Sydney or even Auckland. According to the 2015 ICC World Cup LogoICC, logo for the 2015 World Cup which was unveiled in Mumbai on 2nd April 2011 contributes to the building story of the game. Maori Tohora symbolizes toughness, pride and tribal culture while Aboriginal journey tracks symbolizes the spirit of the land. The ICC has sold the broadcasting rights to ESPN Star Sports and Star Cricket for a record US $2 billion. The event has a potential viewing audience of 953 million people.

Tournament Format:

The same format as in 2011 will be followed. 14 teams will be divided in two groups of 7 each. The 7 teams will play each other once after which the top 4 teams from each group qualifies for the quarter-finals. They main advantage of this format is that each team gets to play a minimum of six matches even if they exit in the group stage. This particular format will avoid what happened in the controversial 2007 edition of the tournament where top teams like India and Pakistan exited after having lost two of their three games in the group stage.