The ICC One Day Cricket World Cup 1996 edition was the sixth edition, also known as Wills World Cup. It was held in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from February 14 to March 17, 1996 and featured 12 teams from around the world.
The 1996 Cricket World Cup was the first to be held in the Indian subcontinent, and the first to feature 12 teams instead of the traditional 14 teams.
The teams were distributed into 2 different groups, Group A and Group B with 6 teams each. The top 4 teams of each group had a chance to qualify for the quarter final, followed by the Semi Final and Final games.
The teams that participated in the 1996 Cricket World Cup were:
- India (hosts)
- Pakistan (hosts)
- Sri Lanka (hosts)
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- West Indies
The group stage of the tournament saw some exciting matches and close finishes, with several teams in contention for the top four spots in each group. In the end, Sri Lanka, Australia, India, and the West Indies qualified from Group A, while South Africa, Pakistan, England, and New Zealand qualified from Group B.
In the quarterfinals of the 1996 Cricket World Cup, India defeated Pakistan by 39 runs, Sri Lanka defeated England by 5 wickets, Australia defeated New Zealand by 6 wickets, and West Indies defeated South Africa by 19 runs to advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinals, Sri Lanka defeated India by default and Australia defeated West Indies by 5 runs to advance to the final.
The final was held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan between Sri Lanka and Australia. Sri Lanka emerged victorious, winning the match and the tournament by 7 wickets.
Arjuna Ranatunga was the captain of the Sri Lankan team that won the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Aravinda De Silva was all over the ground who batted superbly for brilliant 107 (124) not out innings, bowled 3 for 42 and took 2 catches.
Sanath Jayasuria finished the tournament with 221 runs and also took 7 wickets, and was named the player of the tournament.
This was Sri Lanka’s first-ever World Cup win and a historic moment for Sri Lankan cricket.