Which Country has Won the Most 50-Over World Cups?

Australia have won the World Cup five times. West Indies and India have won twice each. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England have once each.

Which Country has Won the Most 50-Over World Cups?
Dillip Mohanty

Written by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2023-09-15

The 13th edition of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is scheduled to take place in India from October 5, 2023. Played in the one-day international format, ten teams are set to take part in the event with the final set to take place on November 19 in Ahmedabad. Current champions England will look to retain the trophy in a replay of the previous edition’s final against New Zealand to set off the new edition.

The men’s Cricket World Cup started in 1975 with a new edition to be played every four years. The first 3 editions were played in the 60-over ODI format but the 1987 World Cup saw the tournament adapt the 50-over format which still continues to be the tradition.

Australia have won the World Cup five times (in 1987, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015) the most among all participating teams. West Indies, winner of the inaugural World Cup have won it twice in 1975 and 1979 along with India who won the World Cup in 1983 and 2011. Pakistan in 1992, Sri Lanka in 1996 and England in 2019 are the other winners of the Cricket World Cup.

Let’s have a look at the list of cricket World Cup winners since 1975.

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1975: Host - England

Played in England between 8 teams, the attacking West Indies side won the first men’s cricket World Cup under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd. The teams were divided in 2 groups of 4 each. West Indies topped the group winning all their 3 games. They started the campaign with a nine-wicket win against Sri Lanka, followed it by an interesting 1-wicket win against Pakistan and squared of the group stage with a thumping 7-wicket victory against Australia to find New Zealand in the semifinals. Dismissing the Kiwis for 158, West Indies lost 5 wickets in chasing the target in the 41st over.

The Caribbean giants pipped Australia in the finals yet again scoring 291/8 and then dismissing the Aussies for 274 to become the inaugural World champions. New Zealand’s Glenn Turner scored 333 runs to finish as the leading scorer in the tournament, Australia’s Gary Gilmour picked up 11 wickets, topping the charts. For the champions, Bernard Julien and Keith Boyce picked up 10 wickets apiece. Alvin Kallicharran scored 197 runs for West Indies. Lloyd scored 102 in the final and was the player of the match.

Winner: West Indies, Player of the final match: Clive Lloyd

1979: Host – England

England hosted the event yet again with a similar format of 8 teams, 2 groups and 15 matches. Defending champions West Indies were successful to take the trophy back. West Indies started their campaign with a nine-wicket win versus India, got their 2nd game against Sri Lanka abandoned due to rain but defeated New Zealand by 32 runs to top the group with 10 points.

With Pakistan as their opponents in the semi-final, West Indies batted first to score 293/6 and then bundled Pakistan out for 250 booking their seats for another final where they had hosts England posing a challenge. West Indies scored 286/9 batting first and then dismissed the hosts for just 194 winning their second World cup in a row under the leadership of Clive Lloyd. Gordon Greenidge (253) and Viv Richards (217) topped the run scoring charts respectively with Michael Holding taking 8 wickets in 4 innings. Viv Richards hit an unbeaten 138 in the finals and received the player of the match award.

Winner: West Indies, Player of the final match: Viv Richards

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1983: Host – England

England and Wales welcomed the eight teams for third consecutive time with 27 matches to be played on this occasion. Two-time champions West Indies did well to get to their 3rd World Cup final, but it was India who scripted a dream run winning their first World Cup trophy. Starting the tournament as underdogs, India surprised everyone with a 34-run win against West Indies in the group stage. They followed it with a 5-wicket victory versus Zimbabwe, lost to Australia by 162 runs, then to West Indies by 66 runs. In a must-win match against Zimbabwe on June 18, the chips were down for India batting first but skipper Kapil Dev unleashed his wrath scoring a mammoth 175 not out in 138 balls to save his team wrapping a 31-run win.

It was a big boost in confidence for the team as they then defeated Australia by 118 runs to reach the semifinals. Playing against hosts England, the bowlers did well restricting England for 213 and then chased the target with 32 balls remaining winning by 6 wickets. West Indies defeated Pakistan to make their 3rd final in a row. India were dismissed for a low score of 183 in the final but a spirited and inspired performance from the bowlers, did the unthinkable and dismissed the mighty West Indies side for just 140, winning by 43 runs. Mohinder Amarnath was the player of the final for 3 wickets and 26 runs. Captain Kapil Dev scored most runs for the team (303), Roger Binny finished as the leading wicket taker in the tournament (18 wickets).

Winner: India, Player of the final match: Mohinder Amarnath

1987: Host – India & Pakistan

The World cup moved out of England for the first time and was hosted jointly by India and Pakistan. 8 teams participated and 27 matches were held. The Australian team won their first World Cup trophy under the leadership of Allan Border. They defeated champions India by a run in the opening encounter and lost only to the Indian side in the return fixture defeating New Zealand and Zimbabwe twice to move to the semifinal where they had Pakistan for company. Scoring 267/8 in 50 overs, Australia then restricted Pakistan to 249 to reach the finals where they had their arch rivals England waiting. Scoring 253/5 batting first, Australia then restricted England at 246/8 winning an exciting final by 7 runs. David Boon scored 447 runs with Craig McDermott’s 18 wickets being the most by any bowler in the tournament.

Winner: Australia, Player of the final match: David Boon
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1992: Host - Australia & New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand played the hosts in the 1992 cricket World Cup - the first World Cup to be played under lights in colored clothing, white ball and black sightscreens. Pakistan led by Imran Khan put up a spirited performance to win their only title. Nine teams took part and every team had to play each other once in the round robin stage. Pakistan started their campaign with a 10-wicket defeat against West Indies, defeated Zimbabwe by 53 runs and survived a scare due to rain against England when they were dismissed for a paltry 74. Archrivals India then beat Pakistan by 43 runs followed by a 20-run defeat against South Africa.

Pakistan made a solid comeback smashing defending champions Australia by 48 runs, Sri Lanka by 4 wickets and then New Zealand by 7 wickets to reach the semifinals. Playing against New Zealand again, Pakistan chased their biggest target of the series to win by 4 wickets and then defeated England by 22 runs winning the cup. Javed Miandad was the 2nd highest run scorer behind player of the tournament Martin Crowe (456). Wasim Akram finished as the leading wicket taker with 18 scalps.

Winner: Pakistan, Player of the final match: Wasim Akram
 

1996: Host – India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosted the tournament jointly with 12 teams divided in 2 groups. Co-hosts Sri Lanka won the trophy under the captaincy of Arjuna Ranatunga. Sri Lanka got a walkover in the opening encounter as Australia didn’t travel Sri Lanka due to safety concerns. Victory against Zimbabwe was followed by another walkover against West Indies. Sri Lanka then beat India by 6 wickets and Kenya by 144 runs to get to the quarter finals where they pipped England by 5 wickets and won by default in the semifinal against India. The match could not be completed due to a riot from the Kolkata crowd. Playing against a strong Australia side, Sri Lanka won the final by 7 wickets to win their only World Cup so far. Aravinda de Silva (448) was the 3rd highest run scorer with Sanath Jayasuriya winning the player of the tournament award.

Winner: Sri Lanka, Player of the final match: Aravinda de Silva

1999: Host – England

England hosted the 12-team and 42 match long tournament in 1999 with Australia winning the trophy for the 2nd time. Steve Waugh was the skipper on this occasion. Playing 5 matches in the group stage, Australia defeated Scotland, Bangladesh and West Indies but went down against Pakistan and New Zealand. Australia managed to win 3 matches in the super six stage defeating India, Zimbabwe and South Africa to reach the semifinals against South Africa.

Shaun Pollock’s 5-wicket haul restricted Australia to 213 in the 1st innings but Shane Warne led the fightback with 4/29 to dismiss the Proteas at the same score in the final over to tie the game. More wins in the super six stage meant Australia advanced to the final playing against Pakistan. Warne picked 4 wickets again to stop Pakistan at 132, a quickfire 54 in 36 balls from Adam Gilchrist saw Australia chase the total down inside 21 overs to win the cup for the 2nd time. Captain Waugh led from the front scoring 398 runs, Warne picked up 20 wickets with Glenn McGrath taking 18. South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener was the player of the tournament.

Winner: Australia, Player of the final match: Shane Warne

2003: Host – South Africa, Zimbabwe & Kenya

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya hosted the 2003 World Cup with Australia winning their second title in a row. Ricky Ponting was the captain of Australia in the 2023 World Cup. Australia won all 6 games in their pool defeating Pakistan, India, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Namibia and England. The dominant run continued in super six as well as the Aussies put Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Kenya down and defeated Sri Lanka again in the semifinal to play India for the 2nd time in the tournament. In the final, scoring a mammoth 359/2 batting first, the Aussie bowlers put together a combined effort to dismiss India for just 234. Sachin Tendulkar with 673 runs was the player of the tournament. Ponting (415) and Gilchrist (408) were the 2 top scorers for Australia with Brett Lee and McGrath taking 22 and 21 wickets respectively.

Winner: Australia, Player of the final match: Ricky Ponting

2007: Host – West Indies

The World Cup travelled to the Caribbean for the first time with Australia taking a hattrick of championship titles winning yet again under Ponting’s leadership. Australia defeated Scotland, Netherlands and South Africa to top the group with 3 wins and won all their games in the super 8 stage defeating West Indies, Bangladesh, England, Ireland, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. South Africa saw themselves lose another semifinal against Australia. In the final, a special knock from Gilchrist (149 off 104) saw Australia defeat Sri Lanka by 53 runs. McGrath took 26 wickets in the tournament and was the player of the series. Matthew Hayden finished with most runs with a tally of 659.

Winner: Australia, Player of the final match: Adam Gilchrist

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2011: Host – India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

The 2011 cricket World Cup was hosted by three Indian subcontinent nations, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India won the 2011 World Cup after 28 years under MS Dhoni’s leadership. India were second in their group with 4 wins, 1 loss and a tied game. The men in blue beat Bangladesh, tied to England, defeated Ireland, Netherlands before losing to South Africa. The group stage finished with another win against West Indies. India then defeated 4-time champions Australia in the quarter finals and their arch rivals Pakistan in the semis before sealing a famous victory against Sri Lanka in Mumbai. Tendulkar scored 482 runs with Zaheer Khan taking 21 wickets. Yuvraj Singh was the player of the tournament for his all-round performances.

Winner: India, Player of the final match: MS Dhoni

2015: Host – Australia & New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand were back as hosts of the 11th edition of the World Cup with Australia taking home their 5th title. Michael Clarke was the captain of Australia in the 2015 World Cup. The group stage saw Australia winning 4 games, losing 1 with a game against Bangladesh washed out. They defeated England, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland but lost to New Zealand by 1 wicket. Pakistan were put down in the quarter-finals with India bailing out in the semi-final against Australia. In the finals, New Zealand were dismissed for 183 with Australia winning the game by 7 wickets. Mitchell Starc was the star with 22 wickets and was adjudged the player of the tournament.

Winner: Australia, Player of the final match: James Faulkner

2019: Host – England

The latest edition of the World cup was hosted by England with the hosts winning their first ever trophy under the leadership of Eoin Morgan. 10 teams played each other once in the round-robin stage. England were third in the table with 12 points. They defeated South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, Afghanistan, India and New Zealand but lost against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia. England managed to hit back in the semifinals defeating Australia by 8 wickets.

In the dramatic final, scores were tied after New Zealand batted first, scored 241/8 and dismissed England for the same score on the last ball of the innings. The super over followed and was tied as well with England winning on boundary count hitting 26 of them with New Zealand managing only 17. Joe Root scored 556 runs and Jofra Archer picked up 20 wickets. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was the player of the tournament.

Winner: England, Player of the final match: Ben Stokes

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Dillip Mohanty

Dillip Mohanty

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.

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