Cricket World Cup: Quirky facts and favourites to win

The 13th edition of the men's tournament kicks off on October 5 with a repeat of the 2019 final between England and New Zealand

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - APRIL 28:  The Australian team celebrate victory after the ICC Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kensington Oval on April 28, 2007 in Bridgetown, Barbados.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Powered by automated translation

The 13th edition of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and just the third one, after 1975 and 1979 (both in England), to be entirely held in one country will be played from October 5 to November 19 in the 10 cities of India.

The 48-match tournament will feature 10 teams with the final taking place in Ahmedabad’s 132,000-seat Narendra Modi Stadium, the largest cricket venue in the world.

We take a look at some historic numbers and quirky facts of the tournament.

The most dominant team

Australia are the most successful team in tournament history, lifting the trophy on five occasions, the most recent being at home in 2015. The Aussies won an unprecedented hat-trick of titles from 1999 to 2007 and have won four of the last six Cricket World Cups. Their first title came in India in 1987.

Irrespective of the format, Australia have always been a team to beat in ICC tournaments. Just two years ago they also won the T20 World Cup in the UAE. In June they were crowned ICC Test Champions after beating India in the final in London.

The favourite team

Australia may have dominated the tournament historically but 2023 hosts India appear to be the strongest team at present

Only a month ago, India won the Asia Cup after defeating Sri Lanka in a one-sided final in Colombo. They are also the No 1 team in the ODI Rankings.

With the last three World Cup finals won by the host nations, India will be looking to make it four in a row in 2023.

The combined ODI experience in their squad is 1,449 matches, the most for any team. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, the only two players in the tournament who have more than 10,000 ODI runs, are also in the Indian camp. It’s that experience which could make all the difference.

In the last three World Cups, India have lost just four of 26 matches.

The surprise package

New Zealand will be eager to finish off on a successful note this time. They have been runners-up in the last two World Cups, losing the 2019 final to England on boundary count after the match and the super over were tied.

They know a thing or two about performing in big tournaments. In 2021, they won the ICC Test Championship against India and were runners-up in the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

New Zealand arrive at the World Cup as the winners of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-23), which was a 13-team pathway cycle for the World Cup in India.

The first World Cup without West Indies

For the first time in the tournament’s 48-year history, West Indies, winners in 1975 and 1979, have not qualified. After failing to make it to the tournament from the Super League, they got another opportunity in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe this year but failed to finish in the top two.

Ireland and Zimbabwe are two more Test playing nations who failed to qualify for the World Cup.

The seven year wait

Pakistan are touring India for the first time since 2016.

No one in their 15-man squad has played an international match on Indian soil. Indeed only two have been to India previously. Mohammad Nawaz was part of the T20 World Cup in 2016 but didn’t get a game whereas Salman Ali Agha toured in 2014 with Lahore Lions, a domestic team from Pakistan that played in the now-defunct Champions League T20.

The lack of experience could go against them. They are also the only team in the tournament who don’t have any player with an experience of 10 years in international cricket.

Updated: October 04, 2023, 10:07 AM