Straight and easy – the early years (1975 to 1987)
Format: Two teams, high two from every progress to semi-finals, winners play the ultimate
Size: 15 matches in 1975 and 1979, 27 matches in 1983 and 1987
The early years had been uncomplicated, by way of the format. The primary 4 editions all featured eight groups, divided in two teams. Within the first two editions, every workforce performed the others in its group as soon as, after which two from every certified for the semi-finals, with the winners going through off within the last. That modified in 1983 (and stayed for 1987), however with none added complexities: the groups performed one another twice within the group levels, that is all.
A standard thread throughout the primary three editions was that every one the groups had been normally in motion on the identical day, with some variations due to reserve days. The primary three editions had been accomplished in two weeks or simply over, however the 1987 version was stretched to a month, with the identical variety of matches because the 1983 version however with extra match days. It was additionally the primary World Cup to be (a) held outdoors England, (b) performed in two international locations – India and Pakistan, and (c) have 50-over video games, versus 60.
The league experiment (1992, 2019)
Groups: 9 in 1992, 10 in 2019 (proposed for 2023)
Format: Every workforce performs the others, high 4 progress to semi-finals
Size: 39 matches in 1992, 48 matches in 2019
South Africa’s readmission elevated the variety of groups to 9 in 1992, and lengthened the event by eight matches. The group system was discarded and every workforce performed the others as soon as like in a league earlier than the semi-finals. The 1992 version started the normalisation of a World Cup lasting greater than a month, because it has ever since.
The newest World Cup returned to this format, and the upcoming version in 2023 is slated for a similar earlier than the brand new system comes into impact for 2027 and 2031.
The knockout years (1996, 2011, 2015)
Groups: 12 in 1996, 14 in 2011 and 2015
Format: Two teams, high 4 from every progress to quarter-finals
Size: 37 matches in 1996, 49 matches in 2011 and 2015
The 1996 World Cup concerned the primary main enlargement and included 12 groups, versus 9 in 1992. Extra affiliate groups got here into the fold because the groups had been break up in two teams, however the brand new format introduced the event down from 39 to 37 matches.
The highest 4 groups from the 2 teams certified for the quarter-finals, with fixtures determined by means of a easy seeding system. Then semi-finals, after which the ultimate.
The format got here again in 2011 after criticism of the size in 2007, with the thought to shorten the event by per week or so.
The Tremendous Sixes (1999, 2003)
Groups: 12 in 1999, 14 in 2003 (proposed for 2027 and 2031)
Format: Two teams, high three from every progress to Tremendous Sixes (factors from group stage carried ahead), high 4 progress to semi-finals
Size: 42 matches in 1999, 54 in 2003
The format for the 2027 and 2031 World Cups shall be sketched primarily based on the Tremendous Sixes that had been beforehand used. The highest three groups from the 2 teams go right into a Tremendous Sixes stage, the place they play in opposition to the three groups from the opposite group. Factors from these three video games are added to the factors carried ahead from the group levels and the factors desk then provides you the semi-finalists.
The distinction within the 1999 and 2003 editions was solely within the calculation of the factors carried ahead. In 1999, solely factors in opposition to the opposite two qualifying groups from the group had been carried ahead. In 2003, factors in opposition to non-qualifying groups had been additionally thought of, however with a decrease weightage: one level for a win in opposition to a non-qualifying workforce and 0.5 for a tie or no-result, versus 4 for a win and two for a tie or no-result in opposition to a qualifying workforce.
For example, Zimbabwe certified in 2003 and hadn’t overwhelmed Australia or India – the opposite qualifiers from their group. In 1999, they’d have carried ahead zero factors, however that they had 3.5 factors going into the Tremendous Sixes in 2003.
The Tremendous Eights (2007)
Format: 4 teams of 4, high two from every progress to Tremendous Eights (factors in opposition to qualifying groups carried ahead), high 4 from Tremendous Eights progress to semi-finals
Size: 51 matches
The format itself was not nicely obtained. 4 teams of 4 with the involvement of six affiliate groups meant some groups had extra Take a look at-playing nations of their teams than others. In idea, that elevated the possibility of upsets because the group stage was compressed to a few video games for a workforce. That’s precisely how issues performed out, with Eire and Bangladesh going by means of to the Tremendous Eights on the expense of Pakistan and India, respectively.
The Tremendous Eights stage then dragged on, and wasn’t easy both. The highest two groups from a bunch performed six video games within the Tremendous Eights, versus the traditional seven in a round-robin format. Factors for the seventh recreation had been carried ahead from the end result in opposition to the opposite qualifying workforce from every group.
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo