The 12th edition of Cricket World Cup 2019 has begun with 10 countries vying to take home the highest honor of the sport.
The Cricket World Cup 2019 commenced Thursday with England and South Africa playing the first match of the international event.
The 12th edition of the World Cup is being held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14 with 10 national teams.
All the 10 teams will play each other in the first round and only four teams with the highest scoring average will proceed to the semi-finals.
Even though there are 105 countries which are the members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the managing body of international cricket, only 10 are playing this year.
The host country England and seven other top teams according to the international rankings were automatically qualified to take part in the World Cup.
The remaining two spots were won by two other teams winning the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. Each team has a 15 member squad.
The sport is mainly played by former British colonies as it has been started by the colonial power in the 17th-century U.K.
The game was developed during Saxon or Norman times by children living in South England. The first reference of cricket as an adult sport was found in 1611 in the same country.
In the mid-17th century, village cricket was developed and soon English “county teams” were formed.
The first known inter-county game was played in 1709. Gradually, in the first half of the 18th century, cricket started spreading in London and other parts of England.
The first known women cricket was played in 1745 in Surrey.
The British introduced cricket in North America in the 17th century and in the 18th century, they spread it to the other parts of the world, mainly its vast colonial empire. The popularity of cricket rose as the English army encouraged colonized locals to play the game.
In 1844, the first international game was played between the United States and Canada in New York. The first overseas tour was played in 1859 when the English team visited the North American countries.
The popularity of the game soared after the International Cricket Council was formed in 1909. It was initially known as the Imperial Cricket Conference and England, Australia, and South Africa were the first member countries.
During the 20th century, more countries became a part of the ICC. The ICC changed its name from Imperial Cricket Conference to International Cricket Conference in 1965 and took its current name in 1989.
The first international women’s cricket was played in 1934 between England and Australia and the International Women’s Cricket Council was founded in 1958 (it was merged with ICC in 2005) to develop the women’s game.
The first Men’s Cricket World Cup was organized in 1975 in England. Since then it is being held every four years.
The first time the world cup was held outside of England was in 1987 jointly in India and Pakistan.
Australia won the World Cup more than the other countries. It won the cup five times (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015) followed by West Indies (1975, 1979) and India (1983, 2011) each won the cup twice, and Pakistan (1992) and Sri Lanka (1996) won once.