Cricket as a sport has very long roots, and recorded international cricket matches have taken place at least since the 19th century. The first official match took place between Canada and the United States in 1844, and the first match between England and Australia took place in 1877, in practice setting the stage for the famous international tournament the Ashes.
The popularity of cricket increased exponentially during the 20th century, and its rules were amended to make it easier to adopt internationally. Consequently, more international games were played, and new tournaments and leagues emerged, such as the Sunday League and the Gillette Cup.
The Precursor of the ICC World Cup
Nowadays, the International Cricket Committee ICC World Cup is the most prestigious global cricket tournament. Its precursor is the 1975 Inaugural Cricket World Cup organized in England. It was England that hosted the first three World Cups – 1975, 1979, and 1983. These games were called the Prudential Cup due to its principal sponsor, Prudential.
The Cup Goes International
The 1987 cup was organized by India and Pakistan in Kolkata, marking the first time the ICC World Cup was played outside England. Since then, the World Cup has gone international, the game having been organised in Melbourne, Lahore, Johannesburg, Bridgetown, and Mumbai since.
The period from the 1980s to the 1990s saw the emergence of many game elements and rules changes that are still relevant for the game today. For instance, the 1992 cup in Australia saw the introduction of white balls, colourful team uniforms, and field restriction rules.
Modern World Cup
The cup has continued to evolve up until the modern-day. While the basic game elements were set in the 1980s and the 1990s, rules have continued to evolve. The qualification process, the number of teams participating, and tournament structure, among other things, have been continually modified between cups.