The cricket World Cup is the pinnacle of the one day international format of the game. The competition is run by the ICC (International Cricket Council) and includes the top 10 test ranking teams in the world. Often this is then made up of 4 additional teams which have to go through a number of qualifying events in order to reach the tournament proper.
The 14 teams that make up the competition are then divided into two groups. These two groups will play a round robin tournament before the top four teams qualify for the next round, known as the Super 8. This again plays out as another round robin before the top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals, then the finals, accordingly.
History of the Cricket World Cup
1975 saw the first World Cup but the format was very different than that you see today. The teams actually played 60 overs per side, unlike the 50 overs currently, and also wore their original whites with a red ball. England was the host venue for the first World Cup as initially, they were the only country with the facilities to hold such a tournament of this magnitude.
England actually went on to host the following two competitions in 1979 and 1983 as well, for similar reasons. The first Word Cup outside of England was a joint effort between India and Pakistan, which went down as one of the most watched sporting events in their respected countries.
Due to the magnitude of such an event and the fact that many countries didn’t have the facilities to host so many countries and matches, several joint bids from Australia and New Zealand, and India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were launched, before England once again hosted in 1999.
South Africa in 2003 was the first country to single handily host a tournament before West Indies did so in 2007. Bangladesh co-hosted for the first time in 2011 with India and Sri Lanka, before Australia and New Zealand took charge of the 2015 World Cup.
Australia has pretty much dominated the event over the last 15 years with 4 wins under their belts. They have also gone on to set countless team and individual performances of which we will discuss in the next section. Other teams to have won are India (twice), West Indies (twice), Pakistan (once) and Sri Lanka (once). Interestingly, England have been in three finals and lost each time.
Cricket World Cup Records
It will probably surprise very few to hear that SachinTendulkar holds the record for the most cumulative number of runs through World Cup history with 2,278 over a 9 years span. ‘The little master’ also holds the record for most runs in a tournament of 673 in 2003, over 200 more than any other batsmen in the format.
The highest batting average goes to Sir Viv Richards who managed a staggering average of 63.31 between 1975 and 1987. Gary Kirsten holds the record for the highest single innings of 188 not out versus the UAE in 1996.
Glenn McGrath of Australia pretty much tore up and re-wrote the record book when it comes to bowling in the World Cup. He not only has the most wickets in the completion at 71, but also has the lowest average of 19.21, best bowling figures of 7-15 versus Namibia and most wickets in a tournament of 26 in 2007.
A couple of notable team performances include a winning percentage for Australia of 74%, most consecutive wins by the same country of 26, a highest score of 413/5 for India and a lowest score of 36 all out for Canada.
Where to bet and markets to look out for
We’ve mentioned this a few other times in similar articles already about where to bet, but to be honest with the bigger competitions the world is your oyster really. If a betting company isn’t covering the World Cup, then they aren’t a betting company you want to stick around with. There are just so many options which lead us nicely into what to look out for when it comes to picking bookmakers and markets.
The ideal scenario for a bettor is to have rival bookmakers going head to head over one market. It’s even better when pretty much every bookmaker does so. At the end of the day, the bookmaker wants needs your custom and they will do all they can to get this. The most common way to get you through the door is to drive their margins down.
If you only take one tip from this article about betting on the World Cup, be it to shop around for the best prices. As cricket bettors we aren’t always treated with multiple bookmakers offering a range of markets to bet on. Most of the time a handful do, but they can set the price they want. The more competition the more value in odds we are going to get. We really can’t stress enough how important it is to take advantage of this fact throughout the World Cup.