Cricket may have been seen as a game played by very few countries, but over the last decade or two, the game has spread far and wide, thanks to the shorter format being introduced. Newer teams have also been known to cause a few upsets.

Here are countries that have also played the ICC World Cup- names which may be a surprise. Some of them have also defeated bigger teams when no one expected them to win.

Sri Lanka was not a full member of the ICC when it was invited to play in the 1975 ICC World Cup. East Africa, which represented Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, also took part in the inaugural World Cup as an invitee. The two teams played in different groups and there was little impact they could make on world cricket.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1975: West Indies Vs. Australia

Test playing countries: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies

Associate member nations: East Africa and Sri Lanka

Tournament: Two-week long

Surprise: None

Winner: West Indies

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The second ICC World Cup also lasted two weeks and saw another team, Canada, in the fray. East Africa could not qualify leaving the World Cup without African representation. Canada could not make its mark as it lost all the three matches it played. But Sri Lanka beat India during the match and won its only match.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1979: England Vs. Australia

Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies

Associate member nations: Canada and Sri Lanka

Tournament: Two-week long

Surprise: Sri Lanka beating India

Winner: West Indies

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The World Cup in 1983 perhaps, changed the sport forever. Zimbabwe announced their arrival in style during this tournament, beating Australia in their opening match. Unfancied India too beat West Indies in the opening match- the first time the Caribbean team had lost a match in the World Cup.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1983: India Vs. West Indies

Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies

Associate member nation: Zimbabwe

Tournament: Two-week long

Surprise: Zimbabwe beating Australia, India beating West Indies (twice)

Winner: India

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After its stellar performance during its World Cup debut, Zimbabwe returned for the 1987 edition with a team that wanted to build on its reputation. It was the first time that the ICC World Cup was being held outside England. The month-long tournament was now reduced to 50 overs a side against the earlier norm of 60. It was a huge success and helped build a new audience hungry for more cricket.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1987

Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies

Associate member nation: Zimbabwe

Tournament: Four-week long

Surprise: None

Winner: Australia

+++++++++++++++++++++

Australia and New Zealand hosted the 1992 World Cup. South Africa was back playing international cricket. ICC associated member Zimbabwe, who continued to impress with their commitment, were one of the nine teams playing in the tournament. For the first time, World Cup matches were being played in coloured clothing, using white balls and a black sight screen on the ground.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1992: Pakistan Vs. England

Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies

Associate member nations: Zimbabwe

Tournament: Five-week long

Surprise: Zimbabwe beat England

Winner: Pakistan

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The World Cup became a tri-nation affair with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosting the 1996 edition. Zimbabwe had graduated to becoming a full ICC test playing country and the three new entrants in the tournament were Kenya, UAE and Netherlands. Kenya sprang the biggest surprise in the five-week long tournament when they beat West Indies, bowling them out for 93.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1996: Australia Vs. Sri Lanka

Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Kenya, UAE and Netherlands

Tournament: Five-week long

Surprise: Kenya beat West Indies

Winner: Sri Lanka

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When the seventh edition of World Cup returned to England in 1999, Scotland, Bangladesh and Kenya got an opportunity to play for the biggest trophy in cricket. Five weeks of cricketing action with 12 teams was getting bigger with every edition. Bangladesh made their outing in the debut tournament memorable when they beat Pakistan by 62 runs. Fans celebrated the success of Khaled Mahmud who took three wickets in the match.

ICC Cricket World Cup 1999: Australia Vs. South Africa


Test playing nations: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Scotland, Bangladesh and Kenya

Tournament: Five-week long

Surprise: Bangladesh beat Pakistan

Winner: Australia

+++++++++++++++++++++

The eighth edition of the ICC World Cup in 2003 was again a three-nation affair, being co-hosted by South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The tournament was now six weeks long and had 10 test playing teams and four associate members of ICC – Kenya, Canada, Namibia and Netherlands – competing for the honours.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2003

Test playing nations: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Kenya, Canada, Namibia and Netherlands

Tournament: Six-week long

Surprise: Kenya reached semi-finals, beating expectations

Winner: Australia

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The Caribbean nations hosted the 2007 World Cup. 16 countries, including six associate member nations of the ICC, were now part of one of the biggest cricket tournaments. They were divided into four groups. Bermuda and Ireland earned a place to play the tournament, along with Canada, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland. Television stations in nearly 200 countries were beaming the matches live around the world.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

Test playing nations: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Bermuda, Ireland, Kenya, Canada, Netherlands, Scotland

Tournament: Six-week long

Surprise: Bangladesh beat India, Ireland beat Pakistan

Winner: Australia

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Three nations – Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka – again hosted the World Cup in 2011. With four associate nations, there were 14 teams competing for the trophy. There were two groups of seven teams each for the round robin matches. Ireland spoilt it for England when they made 329/7 to beat their neighbours by three wickets. They also chased 306 to beat Netherlands by six wickets.

Test playing nations: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Canada, Ireland, Kenya and Netherlands

Tournament: Six-week long

Surprise: Ireland beat England

Winner: India

+++++++++++++++++++++

The 11th ICC World Cup was jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Fourteen teams played 49 matches across 14 locations before Australia won the tournament for the fifth time. Afghanistan joined the list of ICC associate members for a place in the competition. Scotland, UAE and Ireland were the other ICC associate member nations taking part in the tournament.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia Vs. New Zealand

Test playing nations: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and, West Indies and Zimbabwe

Associate member nations: Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, UAE

Tournament: Six-week long

Surprise: Ireland won three of its six group matches

Winner: Australia