Hyderabad: England found cricketing bliss by dint of divine intervention and Ben Stokes' brilliance, cracking a code that proved indecipherable for 44 years as history sliced through New Zealand's grasp in a World Cup final that will be remembered for ages.
England's golden generation of cricketers won the sport's most prized silverware, their maiden, on boundary count after the epic final, and saw the 'Cup' finally coming to its spiritual home, a remarkable metamorphosis four years after being knocked out of the group stage.
Here’s the list of the winners of the previous editions of the most coveted in the title in the field of cricket.
1975: West Indies
Led by Clive Lloyd, the team beat Australia in the finals to become the first-ever winners of the competition. West Indies scored 291 in their allotted 60 overs, with Clive Lloyd scoring 102. Clive was declared the man of the match.
1979: West Indies
West Indies won the title for the second time in 1979. In the batting unit, the team had Gordon Greenidge, Desmon Haynes and Alvin Kalicharan besides skipper Lloyd.
What the breathtaking shot was about Vivian Richards’s unbeaten 138 as the England bowlers took a beating. Richard was declared the man of the match.
The bowling team had Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner.
Under the captaincy of Kapil Dev at the iconic Lord's cricket stadium, India was placed at the international arena of the sport. India had defeated two-time champions West Indies by 43 runs.
What still remains etched in the memory of fans is the catch from Kapil Dev, who ran 20 yards to make the catch that dismissed Viv Richards off Madan Lal’s bowling.
Mohinder Amarnath was declared the man of the match.
For the first time, Australia held the trophy under the captaincy of Allan Border. What's inspiring is they held on to the trophy for the four more editions. And out of the four, three wins were back to back from 1999 to 2007.
The match was played in Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens and Australia faced England. England gave Australia a scare in the chase as they reached 246 after the English middle-order ( Gatting 41, Lamb 45, Bill Athey 58) flourished. This was the first time the World Cup was brought down to 50 overs per side.
The man of the match was David Boon.
Enigmatic Imran Khan and now the Prime Minister of Pakistan led the Pakistan team to victory in 1992. Interestingly, this was the first time that coloured jerseys were introduced in the sport.
However, that was the only time that Pakistan had won the coveted title. Imran’s all-round potential was on view throughout the tournament as he scored runs and took wickets at will.
Pakistan had scored a competitive 249 in their 50 overs. Wasim Akram with his pace was declared the man of the match.
1996: Sri Lanka
Under Arjuna Ranatunga Sri Lanka won for the first time. Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitarana brought in the culture of pinch-hitting in the first 15 overs.
Australia who was in the finals for the third time and faced the team. The match played in Lahore's Gaddafi stadium was owned by Aravinda de Silva whose unbeaten 107 helped Sri Lanka chase down a target of 242.
He was declared the man of the match.
1997-2007 : Australia
In 1997, Australia had faced Pakistan in the final. Pakistan was bowled out for 132, which the Australians chased down inside 20 overs to win their second World Cup. Shane Warne was the man of the match.
In 2003, India faced Australia. Under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, India was in the World Cup finals for the first time after 1983. Australia scored a mammoth 359/2, while India was bowled out for 234 in 39.2 overs. Ricky Poting was the man of the match.
In 2007, The Aussies took the title for the third time in a row. This became their fourth World Cup title. Australia scored 281/4 on the back of Adam Gilchrist’s 149. Adam Gilchrist was the man of the match.
Under the leadership of the calm Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India beat Sri Lanka in the final to lift their second WOrkd Cup trophy after 1983. It was an emotional World cup as it bade farewell to the 'God of Cricket' Sachin Tendulkar and the win coming at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai became the perfect setting.
MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 91 and Gautam Gambhir’s 97 helped India chase down 275 needed for victory.
Yuvraj Singh was awarded the Player of the Tournament award for his all-round performance, while the man of the match was MS Dhoni.
The Australia cricket team won the World Cup again for the fifth time under the captaincy of Michael Clarke. He also announced his international retirement after leading Australia to a memorable win against New Zealand.
The man of the match was James Faulkner.
England led by Eoin Morgan lifted their maiden ICC World Cup trophy, beating a battle-hardened New Zealand led by Kane Williamson in a nerve-wracking final that was decided via a dramatic Super Over at the historic Lord's in London on July 14.
While England’s Ben Stokes was the man of the match, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson with 578 runs was adjudged man of the tournament.