Unlike some other sports who’s fixtures rotate around major tournaments, the bulk of international cricket is actually played in individual series featuring only two countries. This is because test cricket, the oldest and most prominent form of the game, runs for five days and running a tournament when games take that long just wouldn’t be practical.
There are international cricket tournaments but they only feature the shorter forms of the game. Twenty20 matches only take three hours and one day matches, as the name suggests, only last a single day making them a much better fit for multi-team international tournaments.
In this article we are going to be looking at the two major international one day tournaments tournaments which all the major cricketing nations attend. These are the ICC Trophy and the Cricket World Cup. While there are other regional and lower level tournaments, These two are the pinnacle of international cricket.
Important International Cricket Tournaments
ICC Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket . The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world's most viewed sporting events and is considered the "flagship event of the international cricket calendar" by the ICC.
ICC Champions Trophy
The ICC Champions Trophy was a One-Day International (ODI) cricket tournament organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), second in importance only to the Cricket World Cup.
It was inaugurated as the ICC KnockOut Tournament in 1998 and has been played approximately every four years since. Its name was changed to the Champions Trophy in 2002.
T20 World Cup
The ICC T20 World Cup (earlier known as ICC World Twenty20) is the international championship of Twenty20 International cricket. Organised by cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament currently consists of 16 teams, comprising the top ten teams from the rankings at the given deadline and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifier. All matches are played as Twenty20 Internationals.
The event has generally been held every two years. However, the next edition of the tournament is scheduled to take place in 2020 in Australia, four years after the conclusion of the 2016 edition.
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. The Ashes are regarded as being held by the team that most recently won the Test series. If the test series is drawn, the team that currently holds the Ashes retains the trophy. The term originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, immediately after Australia's 1882 victory at The Oval, its first Test win on English soil.
The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and "the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to "regain those ashes". The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes.
Champions League Twenty20
The Champions League Twenty20, also referred to as the CLT20, was an annual international Twenty20 Cricket competition played between the top domestic teams from major cricketing nations. The competition was launched in 2008 with the first edition held in October 2009. It was jointly owned by the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa, and was chaired by N. Srinivasan, who was also the chairman of the ICC. Sundar Raman was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the CLT20 as well as the IPL.
The tournament was held between September and October for a period of two to three weeks in either India or South Africa. It had a total prize pool of US$6 million, with the winning team receiving $2.5 million, the highest for a club cricket tournament in history. The format involved the best teams from the premier Twenty20 competitions of eight Test-playing nations, favouring the teams from India, Australia and South Africa.
Indian Premier League
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India contested during March or April and May of every year by eight teams representing eight different cities in India. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2008. IPL has an exclusive window in ICC Future Tours Programme.
The IPL is the most-attended cricket league in the world and in 2014 ranked sixth by average attendance among all sports leagues. In 2010, the IPL became the first sporting event in the world to be broadcast live on YouTube. The brand value of IPL in 2018 was US$6.3 billion, according to Duff & Phelps.There have been twelve seasons of the IPL tournament. The current IPL title holders are the Mumbai Indians, who won the 2019 season.
The NatWest Series is the name used for One Day International cricket tournaments held in England since 2000. The tournaments are sponsored by the National Westminster Bank.
The original format of the NatWest Series was a three-team triangular tournament, involving England and two visiting international sides. Each of the three teams would play the other two three times each, after which the two top teams would face each other in a final at Lord's in London. The ten matches would be played at the seven international grounds.
(Lord's, Edgbaston, Headingley, Old Trafford, The Oval, Trent Bridge and the Riverside Ground), as well as other county cricket grounds such as the St Lawrence Ground(Canterbury), Sophia Gardens (Cardiff), the Rose Bowl (Southampton) and at Bristol.
The first NatWest Series was held in 2000 a year after England hosted the World Cup. The West Indies and Zimbabwe were the two visiting teams, with England and Zimbabwe contesting the first final. England won by 6 wickets, with Darren Gough taking 3–20 and Alec Stewart scoring 97.
The Border–Gavaskar Trophy is a Test cricket series played between India and Australia. It is currently played via the International Cricket Council's future tours program, with varying lengths of time between matches. If the series is drawn, then the country holding the trophy previously retains it. The series is named after Australia's Allan Border and India's Sunil Gavaskar, the first 2 test cricketers to have scored over 10,000 Test runs in their respective careers, former captains of their respective teams, and were both world record holders for the most career runs scored in Test match cricket.
India currently holds the trophy after regaining the trophy from Australia in the 2017 series which they won 2–1, then retaining it in the 2018–19 series which they won by the same margin.
The ACC Asia Cup is a mens One Day International and Twenty20 International cricket tournament. It was established in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was founded as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. It was originally scheduled to be held every two years.
Commonwealth Bank series
The Australian Tri-Series refers to the one day international (ODI) cricket tournament held in Australia, and contested by Australia and two touring teams. The series is played during the height of the Australian cricket season, in the summer months of December, January and February. The series has been the primary format for international one-day cricket throughout most of the history of ODI cricket in Australia.
The tri-series was first held in 1979–80 and was contested every season until 2007–08. It has since been held twice, in the 2011–12 season, and again in the 2014–15 season, prior to the World Cup and then the format was switched to Twenty20 International (T20I) format for the first time in the 2017-18 season with Australia, New Zealand and England competing.
History of Cricket World Cup
The first world cup was held in 1975 just four years after the first one day international was played. Prior to 1970, cricket had been played almost exclusively in the longer form of the game with five day test matches being the norm for international cricket. While there had been some voices calling for a shorter version of the game to be officially recognised, It was only when Australian media mogul Kerry Packer started a rival competition with games that went for just one day that the ICC started to pay attention. A shorter version game was promptly introduced and the rival league was eventually given official status.
The first three world cups were held in England and were known as the Prudential Cups, named after the sponsors of the tournament. After the second event which was held in 1979 it was agreed that the tournament should take place every four years and that the hosting rights should rotate like they did for the Olympics. The first event held outside of England was in 1987 with India and Pakistan acting as joint hosts.
The 1992 World cup was held in Australia and saw some major changes to the way the game was played. For the first time fielding restrictions were introduced meaning only a restricted number of players were allowed outside a certain perimeter. This was introduced to encourage aggressive play. It was also the first time that day-night matches were played. While these games had the same number of overs, they started in the afternoon meaning the second innings was played under lights at night time.
The ICC Cricket World Cup technically has two distinct stages. The qualification stage and the tournament itself. All test playing nations receive automatic qualification into the tournament with the remaining spots going to the highest ranked teams from the ICC Cricket Leauge. This a competition for associate members of the ICC who have not yet achieved test match status.
The format of the tournament itself has changed greatly over the years. Initially the competition was limited to just eight nations which competed in two groups of four before the the top two from each group progressed to the semi-finals. As the number of cricketing nations grew however, it became clear that a new format was going to be needed to accommodate more competitors.
Since 1975 many formats have been trialed including only having one group where everyone plays everyone once and having two pools where the top teams from each pool progress to a final 'supergroup'. In the supergroup teams kept their points they won against the other teams who progressed from their pool and then play every team they had not yet played. The top four from the supergroup would then progress to the semi finals.
In 2011 and 2015 the rules were simplified with two pools of seven playing each other once before the top four teams from each group progressed to the quarter finals. For the 2019 World Cup it is likely that only 10 teams will compete in one group before the top four progress to the knockout stage. The proposed format is meant to ensure more competitive matches but it has received criticism from some ICC members for excluding smaller, developing cricketing nations.
Cricket World Cup Winners
Only four teams have ever won the ICC Cricket World Cup. The West Indies won the first two competitions but haven’t been successful since. Australia are the most successful nation having won the tournament on five separate occasions including three in a row in 1999, 2003 and 2007. They are also the current champions having won in 2015 on home soil. India have won twice while their cross border rivals Pakistan have only won once. England have made the final three times but have never been able to seal the deal.
Notable facts about the Cricket World Cup
The first world cup featured a team from East Africa. This is the only time a composite team, other than the West Indies has competed in the World Cup.
South Africa were forbidden from competing in international cricket until 1992 when the international sports boycott was lifted. This meant that the 1992 World cup was the first tournament they were allowed compete in.
The first World Cup saw teams competing in traditional cricket whites and using a red ball. It wasn’t until 1992 that coloured uniforms and the white ball became the standard for one day cricket.
It was only in 1999 that the ICC World Cup trophy was standardized. Up until this point, teams had competed for a different trophy at every tournament.