The World Cup fever is reaching a nice crescendo and we will soon have 14 teams trying to outdo each other for the being called the World Champions. The coveted World Championship trophy is not really as old as the competition. As a matter for fact the World Cup was first held in 1975, while the first time the current trophy was presented to the winning team was in 1999, a good 24 years later!
The Prudential Cup
The first 3 editions of the World Cup were help in England in 1975, 1979 and 1983. The trophy and cup were sponsored by Prudential. The first two editions were won by the mighty West-Indies. The 3rd edition featured West-Indies again but India managed an upset and saw Kapil Dev lift up the Prudential Cup.
The Reliance Cup
The World Cup was moved out of England and into the sub-continent in 1987. The hosts were India and Pakistan while the new sponsors were Reliance.
Australia with a young, athletic and aggressive team ended up winning the cup and with that started one of the greatest era of Australian cricket.
Benson & Hedges World Cup
The World Cup in 1992, moved down-under in Australia and New Zealand. It was the first time all the matches were played with coloured clothing and with a white cricket ball. This tournament featured 9 teams and Pakistan won the cup with some inspiring captaincy by Imran Khan. The trophy was made of crystal and is the only trophy which does not have any type of metal on it.
Wills World Cup
The World Cup was again held in India, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka. The tournament had 12 teams for the first times and also quarter-finals. Arjuna Ranatunga led an unbeaten Sri Lankan side to become World Champions in 1996. This was the only time when a co-host team won the world cup.
ICC World Cup trophy
The World Cup trophy until 1996 was closely associated and named after sponsors. ICC decided to have a unique constant trophy which was not changed very 4 years.
This trophy will probably be used for a another 40 years. What are you views on the various trophies that were part of World Cup history? Which one is your favorite? Do drop in your comments.