With the 500-day countdown now on to next summer’s tournament, preparations are underway for England and Wales to host a World Cup for the fourth time.
The World Cup in 1999 saw venues across England host the majority of matches, with games also taking place in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands as 12 teams battled it out over 42 games.
To celebrate today’s landmark, we roll back the years and look at the key moments and star performers from the 1999 Cricket World Cup…
Australia’s World Cup squad in 1999 was littered with talent in all departments, with the likes of captain Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath – amongst others – wearing their famous green and gold at the tournament.
They didn’t stroll to success though, having to work hard to qualify from both the group and the Super Six stage of the tournament. Wins against Scotland, Bangladesh and West Indies saw them finish second in Group B, and they confirmed their spot in the Semi-Finals by beating India, Zimbabwe and South Africa in the Super Six stage.
Then came that famous Semi-Final against South Africa at Edgbaston, with Lance Klusener and Allan Donald’s last-over mix-up seeing the two sides tie the game, with Australia qualifying only because of their higher finish in the Super Six.
They met Pakistan in the Final, and many were expecting a classic, given Pakistan’s fine performances throughout the tournament. However, it was a one-sided affair at Lord’s, as Australia skittled through Pakistan’s batting line-up, bowling them out for 132.
They wasted no time in knocking the runs off, with Adam Gilchrist’s 36-ball 54 helping them to finish the chase in just 20.1 overs and Steve Waugh became the second Australian captain to lift the World Cup.
Player of the Tournament: Lance Klusener
While he may have been part of the infamous run-out that cost his side a place in the World Cup Final in 1999, South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener had been in exceptional form throughout the tournament.
He ended the World Cup with 281 runs at an astonishing average of 140.5, 17 wickets – the most by a South African – and four Man of the Match awards.
He was dismissed just twice throughout the tournament, racking up vital scores of 52* vs Sri Lanka, 48* vs England, 52* vs Zimbabwe and 46* vs Pakistan. His 31* in the Semi-Final was also so close to proving a match-winning innings.
With the ball, his best figures came against Kenya in Amstelveen in the Netherlands, as he picked up 5/21. He also picked up three wickets against both India and Sri Lanka.
Leading run-scorer: Rahul Dravid
Two centuries, three half-centuries and 461 runs – Rahul Dravid showed his class at the CWC in 1999 as he comfortably finished top run-scorer.
Despite only playing in eight games – two less than finalists Australia and Pakistan – Dravid finished 63 runs ahead of his nearest rival, Steve Waugh.
In his debut World Cup campaign, Dravid kicked off with 54 against South Africa in Hove. His first century of the tournament came against Kenya in Bristol, as he scored an unbeaten 104*, before hitting 145 against Sri Lanka in his very next game.
He followed his back-to-back centuries with a score of 53 against India at Edgbaston, with his final half-century of the tournament – 61 runs from 89 balls – coming as India saw off Pakistan in the Super Six stage of the tournament.
Leading wicket-takers: Geoff Allott and Shane Warne
New Zealand left-armer Geoff Allott and Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne finished level on 20 at the top of the wicket-takers list at the CWC in 1999.
Allott’s wickets helped the Black Caps reach the Semi-Final, where they fell to Pakistan. He opened the tournament with 3/30 against Bangladesh and followed it up with a crucial four-for against Australia in Cardiff. He recorded another four-wicket haul against Pakistan, and grabbed three wickets against both Scotland and Zimbabwe.
While Allott started with a bang, Warne saved his best until last, with four-wicket hauls in both the Semi-Final and Final. His 4/29 from 10 overs against South Africa in the Semi-Final and 4/33 against Pakistan in the Final saw him named Man of the Match in both, playing a vital role in Australia’s second World Cup success.
Top score: Sourav Ganguly (183)
Sourav Ganguly hit 17 fours and seven sixes in an astonishing knock of 183 against Sri Lanka in Taunton.
His innings of 183 off just 158 balls, scored at a strike-rate of 115.82, was the highest score hit at the 1999 CWC.
The second-highest was Rahul Dravid’s 145 in the same fixture, as he and Ganguly put on a then-record World Cup partnership of 318.
Best bowling figures: Glenn McGrath (5/14)
Australian legend Glenn McGrath finished the World Cup with 18 wickets – trailing only Allott and Warne – and took the best figures of the tournament with his 5/14 against West Indies at Old Trafford.
Helping Australia skittle West Indies for just 110, McGrath took the wickets of Sherwin Campbell, Jimmy Adams, Brian Lara, Mervyn Dillon and Courtney Walsh to claim his first World Cup five-for.
Be amongst the first to get your hands on ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 tickets
How well do you remember the World Cup in 1999?
Test your knowledge in the ‘500 days to go’ competition and be in with a chance of winning one of 11 pairs of tickets to ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 matches.
Click here to take the quiz.