The ICC Cricket World Cup returns to Australia and New Zealand after twenty three years for the eleventh edition in 2015. Especially, Australia with its weather, cricket culture, infra-structure and great cricket venues is probably the best country in the world to stage a World Cup.
The 1992 Cricket World Cup was the first time that the tournament was played in coloured clothing, with a white ball and under floodlights. The event was a massive success with regards crowd support and extensive media coverage. It changed world cricket and elevated the game to a new level.
Twenty three years later many things have changed in the world and there is a concern if the 2015 World Cup will be a success. In some quarters it is believed that this World Cup will be a watershed for the future of the fifty over game. There are three major changes since 1992.
The novelty of limited cricket being played in coloured clothing under floodlights has worn off. It is no longer new as most stadiums have floodlights with international and domestic cricket being played in coloured clothing. Stadium theatre no longer exists.
The product of cricket is over exposed in world terms by the amount of international and T20 cricket. The paid channel has played a major role in this as one can sit in the comfort of your lounge and watch virtually all international and T20 cricket around the world. The supply and demand principle has for a long time been a problem not only for cricket but all sport. The cricket public has become fatigued and the game has lost its gloss.
The format of the 1992 World Cup was the nine Test nations with the teams playing a round robin of eight matches. This was not only a fair competition but also strength versus strength. All matches were competitive and even Zimbabwe who was considered the weakest caused an upset by beating England.
In 2015 there will be fourteen teams competing with various stages of the competition. The teams will not all play each other and there will be soft matches that will lack interest and support.
On a positive note, the tournament will be very competitive as there is no clear cut favourite to win it. Being played in Australia one would feel that the home team or South Africa will start as favourites. However, a sub-continent team could easily win, like Pakistan did in 1992. Also, the rule changes and the attitude of the modern day player will enhance the quality and excitement of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.