Once in every four years, all the cricketing teams will be on the same page and will fight against each other to claim the bragging rights as the World Champion of the sport until the next edition. In the past ten editions, five teams have got their hands on the coveted trophy with the mighty Australians leading the charts with 4 times including a Hat-Trick. None of the teams came close to them as West Indies and India with a combined total of 4 World Cup triumphs come behind the Aussies with 2 victories each. Pakistan and Sri Lanka complete the list with one victory each. Here is a look at the teams that had tasted the World Cup atleast once.
West Indies (1975 and 1983)
Clive Lloyd with his teammates after winning the 1979 World Cup
West Indies cricket team can be drawn to some comparisons with the Liverpool Football club for being an unbeatable side in the past and at present they hardly pose a threat to the opposition. Fans who followed the game in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s know how destructive the West Indian team was. Just to make sure that the future generation doesn’t about their dominance, they have left a rich haul of history that includes two consecutive World Cups in 1975 and 1979 before missing out on the hat-trick when they lost to India in 1983. Since then, the men from the Caribbean failed to make it to the last four in the editions that followed. Clive Lloyd led them in all the three editions.
India (1983 and 2011)
India’s 1983 and 2011 World Cup triumphs
It was in 1983 when the entire World was expecting the legendary West Indies team to complete a Hat-Tricks of World Cup victories. But to everyone’s surprise, Kapil Dev led India, who went into the tournament as dark horses, stunned everyone when they defeated West Indies in the finals to lift the trophy. It was when the cricket fraternity started to see India as a capable team. After waiting for 20 years, India’s quest for yet another triumph were crushed as the men in blue were demolished by Australia in the finals of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Eight more years later, MS Dhoni took India to their second World Cup triumph in their own backyard. It was the first time in the history, that a team has won the World Cup in its own backyard. Dhoni’s men will be hungry for more success when they go out to defend their World Champions crown in the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand.
Australia (1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007)
India’s 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cup triumphs
Australia are the undisputed kings of World Cricket for a long time and it is evident by the fact that they had won the World Cup for four times. Having won the World Cup for the first time under Allan Border, the Aussies completed a Hat-Trick of World Cup titles when they pocketed three consecutive titles in 1999, 2003 and 2007. Steve Waugh led the team in 1999 and it was Ricky Ponting, who added two more titles to the collection. After having lost a match to Pakistan at Leeds in the 1999 World Cup, the Aussies remained unbeaten in the 2003 World Cup and 2007 World Cup before their 34 match unbeaten streak in the World Cup was finally ended by Pakistan at Hambantotta in the 2011 edition. They were simply unstoppable in the past. Now in the 2015 edition, they will look to become the second team after India to win a World Cup in their own backyard.
Pakistan players celebrating their 1992 World Cup win
It was a time when the Pakistanis had a deadly bowling attack that comprised of Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed, Mushtaq Ahmed and skipper Imran Khan. It was the first World Cup where the matches took place at nights, with coloured clothes and white balls. Came into the World Cup as underdogs, Pakistan sneaked to the last four courtesy a rain affected game against England that earned them a point and put them ahead of the Aussies in the fourth spot. It was because of Inzamam ul Haq’s brilliance, Pakistan reached the finals where Wasim Akram starred with both bat and ball to steer his team home. It was the first and only time that Pakistan had won the tournament. They came close to winning in the 1999 edition but lost to Australia in the finals. They are the most unpredictable team in the history of the World Cups.
Sri Lanka (1996)
Arjuna Ranatunga collecting the 1996 World Cup from Benazir Bhutto and Ian Chappell
Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup and since then they tried to add one more trophy to the trophy cabinet and failed in doing so as they lost to Australia in 2007 and India in the 2011 edition. The Arjuna Ranatunga led side were better than the other teams in all the three departments and remained consistent throughout the tournament. It was when Sri Lanka announced their arrival among the top teams and looked competitive since then. They will look to go all the way in the 2015 edition and give their legendary cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara a fitting farewell like they did in the 2014 World T20.
With the 2015 World Cup fast approaching, will there be a sixth team to win the World Cup or will any of these teams end up in winning the tournament?