West Indies’ ascendancy in world cricket during the 70s and 80s was peerless. So much so that after conquering the opening edition of the World Cup, they visited England and gave the hosts an outright 3-0 drubbing. They were beating teams home and away, and at one point of time, seemed invisible.

The team comprising of Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Sir Vivian Richards and Co. had the world at its feet, but you know what they say; change is the only constant. After dancing with the feat of Caribbean cricket for almost two decades though, it was a time for a change at the helm.

The West Indies team were arguably the frontrunners during the tenure, but other nations had started arriving at the province, thus threatening the Caribbean’s charisma of being undisputed. And the 1983 World Cup was the beginning of this renaissance.

Heading into the World Cup, the West Indies with their fiery batting order and the deadly pace bowling were arguably the favourites. And as for India, this World Cup was a mere step over. In fact, the players were braced for an early exit hence a few friendlies in the USA were already scheduled.

“Our ticket was Bombay to New York via a stopover in London to play," K Srikkanth once said while recalling the incident. But the Indian captain, Kapil Dev had something entirely different in store. Despite enduring a losing streak during the build-up to the tournament, India defeated West Indies in the tournament opener, and this instilled a leap of faith in the Indian camp.

Suddenly Srikkanth’s words during a team-mate at the time, “Beat the West Indies? With their batsmen and four fast bowlers whose names we don’t want to remember?” now seemed like something well within their grasp. And the dream was duly attained. Following their victory over England in the semi-final, India faced West Indies in the ultimate showdown.

India winning the 1983 World Cup was all about their captain, Kapil Dev’s belief which not only ended the Caribbean dominance but also paved a way for Asian dominance, especially during the 90s. Following Australia’s victory over England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, in the 1987 World Cup, the likes of Pakistan and Sri Lanka rose into fame.

Pakistan, who faced a semifinal exit four years earlier, rose from absolutely nowhere to be crowned as the new champions of the world in 1992. If fact, it is a tenure for the savers. The 1992 World Cup, which introduced the round-robin format, was all about Pakistan being bits and part. For a place in the semifinal, Pakistan had finished last on the log.

For the final prize, a mighty England awaited Pakistan in what many termed as another dissection of the Men in Green. Having already locked horns earlier in the tournament, England had bowled out Pakistan for mere 74. The game started in a similar circumstance with Derek Pringle dismissing both Pakistani openers for 24. Little did England know what was to follow.

The likes of Javed Miandad and Imran Khan played an unassailable 139-run partnership for the third wicket on the back of which the team posted a respectable 249/6 on the board. The Pakistani bowlers had a huge task at their disposal and they duly delivered what was promised. Mushtaq Ahmed’s googlies proved out to be the clincher as Imran Khan and his men lifted the trophy for the first time in their history.

The subsequent World Cup saw the Islanders, Sri Lanka defying the odds under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga. Since West Indies’ World Cup triumph in 1979, the world – until 1996 – witnessed four new champions. In the midst, a certain Bangladesh was taking steady strides into the world of cricket.

Having made their ODI debut in 1986, the tiny nation had to wait 12 years for their first World Cup victory. If not the powerhouse, they were a team well and truly capable of denting a giant’s aspiration of the title, and the fact that they defeated Pakistan in their maiden World Cup tenure is an ideal specimen of it.

Since the turn of the century, the World Cup has again been a one-sided affair with Australia winning four of the five titles. But who knows what the upcoming sporting festival in England has in store for the viewers.