All you need to know about the World Cup trophy

The current trophy came into existence after the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to make a permanent World Cup trophy which would debut at the 1999 edition of the tournament.

The current World Cup trophy came into existence after the ICC decided to make a permanent trophy which would debut at the 1999 edition of the tournament.   -  Getty Images

A few hours after India lifted the World Cup in 2011, controversy broke out over the legitimacy of the trophy the champion lifted.

Reports emerged that it was fake and that the original ICC Cricket World Cup trophy was stuck with customs at the Mumbai airport over non-payment of duties.

The ‘original’ was indeed stranded at the airport as the ICC refused to pay a customs duty of a reported Rs 15 lakh. However, the trophy the Indian team lifted after beating Sri Lanka in the final was not ‘fake’ but rather a replica that the winning team takes home.

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Before we get into how they differ, here’s a little bit of history about the cricket world cup trophy.

When was it made?

The current trophy came into existence after the ICC decided to make a permanent World Cup trophy which would debut at the 1999 edition of the tournament. Between 1975 and 1996, four different trophies made appearances as the piece of silverware that represented the summit of ODI cricket.

 

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World Cup-winning captains: (Clockwise from top left) Arjuna Ranatunga (1996), Allan Border (1987), Imran Khan (1992) and Kapil Dev (1983).   -  Getty Images

 

 

The Prudential Cup was lifted by the 1975 (West Indies), 1979 (West Indies) and 1983 (India) winners followed by the Reliance Cup trophy in 1987 (Australia), Benson and Hedges trophy in 1992 (Pakistan) and Wills Cup Trophy in 1996 (Sri Lanka).

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The design


Australia, in 1999, was the first team to lift the current World Cup trophy, which was designed by Paul Marsden of Garrard & Co. in London. Weighing 11 kilograms and standing 65 centimetres tall, it’s one of the bigger ones among trophies awarded on the international stage for a world event. For comparison, the FIFA World Cup weighs six kilograms and is 37 cms tall.

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Made from silver and gold, it features a golden globe shaped like a cricket ball with a seam going around it. A slight slant of the seam representing the axial tilt of the earth further marries the concepts of ‘cricket’ and ‘world’. The globe is held up by three silver columns shaped as stumps and bails which is meant to represent the three fundamental aspects of cricket: batting, bowling and fielding. There’s a hardwood base upon which winners’ names are inscribed.

 

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Weighing 11 kilograms and standing 65 centimetres tall, the Cricket World Cup trophy is one of the bigger ones among trophies awarded on the international stage for a world event. For comparison, the FIFA World Cup weighs six kilograms and is 37 cms tall.   -  Getty Images

 

Where is it kept?

The winner of each edition takes home a replica of the trophy, while the perpetual trophy is taken back to the ICC headquarters in the UAE. The replicas have very minor differences.

The ICC logo is engraved on the inside of the columns on the original trophy and the replicas are supposed to carry the event logo on the inside of the columns. But it’s hardly been uniform throughout the years and that has led to some confusion.

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The Australian team that won the 1999 World Cup first lifted the perpetual trophy but took home the replica which had the event logo engraved and only a single inscription on its base. However, the trophy that Australia took home after its 2003 triumph looked exactly like the perpetual trophy and hence it's hard to say if Ricky Ponting lifted the original or the replica that year.

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Australia's Matthew Hayden poses with the 1999 and 2003 World Cup trophies during a team portrait session at The Hilton Hotel on February 27, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.   -  Getty Images

 

In 2007, however, he did lift the replica which had only a single inscription on the bottom but did not carry the event logo on the inside of the columns. The trophy that Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted in 2011 looked more different than the rest because of its blank base, raising suspicions that it was ‘fake’.

 

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni poses with the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy during a photo session at the Taj Palace Hotel on April 3, 2011 in Mumbai.   -  Getty Images

 

The perpetual trophy makes appearances on the Trophy Tour and other promotional events and that was the trophy which was claimed to be with customs at the Mumbai airport in 2011. Fans and former Indian cricketers were enraged that India wasn’t able to lift the original trophy as is the tradition. But it may not have been customary at all.

In 2015, Australia lifted a trophy which had a single inscription on the base and the event logo engraved.

The 2019 trophy also has the event logo engraved on the inside of the columns and a single inscription on the base.

 

Garrard also designed the English Premier League trophy and the Royal Ascot Gold Cup. 

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