Evolution of ODI World Cup trophy from 1975 to now

The 50-over championship trophy has undergone many changes over the years

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The ODI World Cup is less than a month away but given the distinct lack of publicity and celebration around it, you would be hard-pressed to spot the signs of a major cricket tournament happening in India.

What should have been a mega build-up to arguably the most difficult trophy to win in cricket – the 50-over ODI World Cup – has been reduced to a reluctant murmur as the Indian cricket board grapples with venue changes, ticketing fiasco and stadium upgradation.

Ten teams will fight for the right to be crowned world champions when the tournament commences in Ahmedabad on October 5.

The tournament comes around every four years, unlike the 20-over version, so there is that much more prestige attached to the competition.

On November 19 we will know which team has won and who will lift the ODI trophy, which has an interesting story of its own.

Was the World Cup trophy always the same?

The 50-over World Cup tournament started in 1975 with the first three editions all held in England. Then, it was called the Prudential Cup, named after the insurance company that were the main sponsors.

The tournament moved out of the UK in 1987 and had a new sponsor and tournament trophy for each subsequent edition. It was only in 1999 that the International Cricket Council finalised their own trophy that would be handed out to every winner.

1975, 1979, 1983: Prudential World Cup

A jubilant India team lift the 1983 World Cup after beating West Indies in the final.

The original World Cup trophy had a simple design, closely resembling the Wimbledon men’s championship trophy. The first three winners of the World Cup – held in the UK – lifted the Prudential Cup, named after the sponsors of the tournament, Prudential Insurance. The trophy now sits at the Lord’s cricket museum.

1987: Reliance World Cup

CALCUTTA, INDIA - NOVEMBER 08: Australia captain Allan Border holds the trophy as Dean Jones (l) looks on after Australia had beaten England by 7 runs to win the 1987 Cricket World Cup Final in Calcutta, India.  (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)

The tournament moved out of England for the first time and it arrived at the beating heart of the game – the subcontinent. The World Cup was sponsored by the Reliance industries, which has today become one of the biggest conglomerates on the planet.

According to India Today, winners Australia were presented with a gold-plated trophy that was studded with diamonds. The trophy was said to have cost around 600,000 Indian rupees at the time, which in today’s price would be around 8 million rupees ($100,000).

1992: Benson & Hedges World Cup

Arguably the most beautiful World Cup trophy ever designed. The Waterford crystal trophy had an exquisite globe on a wooden base with the emblems of all nine teams at its base. The trophy was said to have cost around £8,000. It currently is placed at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore.

1996: Wills World Cup

Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha with the Cricket World Cup trophy after Sri Lanka beat Australia in the final, Lahore, 17th March 1996. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The tournament returned to the subcontinent and was hosted by three nations – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan blazed their way to the final in Lahore, where they defeated Australia to lift the trophy, which was the most ornate among all World Cup prizes.

1999-present: ICC World Cup

England captain Eoin Morgan with the 2019 World Cup trophy after defeating New Zealand in the final at Lord's. AFP

Finally, the world governing body decided to stick to one trophy for all future winners. The new design features a golden globe held up by three silver columns, signifying a ball and three stumps. The names of previous winners are engraved on the base of the trophy.

The original trophy created in 1999, and won by Australia, is kept by the ICC. A replica is awarded to the winning team.

The trophy is made of silver and gold and is 60cm high, weighing around 11kg. According to various estimates, the precious metals in the trophy are worth around $30,000.

Updated: September 12, 2023, 6:58 AM