Cricket World Cup Betting

Just as the FIFA World Cup is to international football, so is the ICC Cricket World Cup to cricket. Conducted just once every four years, it is the premier international championship for men’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. The International Cricket Council (ICC) serves as the sport’s governing body as well as the event’s organising authority.

The very first Cricket World Cup was contested in 1975, when one-day cricket was still in its infancy. Just eight teams were entered: Australia, East Africa, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. Two qualifying groups of four played each other once in 60-over matches, with the top two in each group progressing to the semi-finals. There were fifteen matches in all, held at six different grounds in England.

In those early days, players were just beginning to get used to the faster pace of play. England had hopes of prevailing on home ground, but those dreams were dashed in the semis by Australia. Meanwhile, the West Indians proved they were the quickest learners. In sort order they beat Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand en route the finals, where they faced Australia again and proved the early victory no fluke, holding on to win by 17 runs after the fifth run-out.

Today, the ICC comprises 91 Associate and Affiliate members who are able to qualify for the World Cup. Test-playing nations qualify automatically for the main event, while other teams must pass through a series of preliminary tournaments. For the 2011 Cricket World Cup, fourteen countries qualified for the main event, with seven of the original 1975 teams represented (the East Africa coalition disbanded) and seven other nations joining them: Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Sides knocked out in preliminaries included Afghanistan, Scotland, and the United States.

The current Cricket World Cup competition begins with two groups of seven teams playing in a round-robin format. The top four teams from each group move on to a knock-out stage, with quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals, all conducted between February and April.

To the ultimate winner foes the top prize: the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy, which was created for the 1999 championships as the first permanent prize in the tournament`s history. It is made from silver and gild, featuring a golden globe in the likeness of a cricket ball atop three silver columns that represent batting, bowling and fielding. The trophy stands 60 centimetres high and weighs about eleven kilograms. Engraved on the base of the trophy are the names of the previous winners.

A great many markets are available for ICC Cricket World Cup betting. The most popular ante post wagering is on the Outright Winner, with odds changing weekly right up to the final match. Other ante post opportunities include picking a team “To Reach Final” and the option to “Name the Finalists,” in which case both teams selected must make it to the championship match. Accumulators can be structured, too, to provide for even greater payout possibilities.

Once the Cup competition is in full swing, Match betting takes the fore. Wagering is also possible on Top Batsman, Top Bowler, Any Team Score 400+, Highest Individual Score, Six Sixes In An Over, Tournament Sixes, Any Double Century, and Highest Team Score. There is wagering available on Fantasy Cricket, too.

Tremendous competition exists among the various bookmakers, so it is to the punter’s advantage to compare odds and check back frequently for shifts in the numbers. Also, be on the look out for Free Bets offered to new customers, plus rebates, promo cash, and bonuses that accompany first-time wagers.

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