The 1987 Cricket World Cup (officially the Reliance Cup 1987) was the fourth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament. It was held from 8 October to 8 November 1987 in India and Pakistan – the first such tournament to be held outside England. The one-day format was unchanged from the eight-team 1983 event except for a reduction in the number of overs a team played from 60 to 50, the current standard for all ODIs being played outside England.
The competition was won, for the first time, by Australia who defeated their arch-rivals England by seven runs in the most closely fought World Cup final to date in Kolkata's Eden Gardens stadium. The two host nations, India and Pakistan failed to reach the final, after both being eliminated in the semi-finals. The West Indies failed to live up to expectations and did not advance from the group stage.
The format of the competition was two groups of four teams each team playing each other twice in fifty-over matches. The top two teams from each group would advance to the semi-finals where the two winners would then advance to the final. All matches were played during daytime and – for a final time in the event's history – saw the teams appear in traditional white clothing and use traditional red balls.
The ICC decreed that all seven (eligible) countries holding Test status would automatically qualify for the tournament; One additional entry place would be awarded to the winners of the 1986 ICC Trophy; and for the second time this turned out to be Zimbabwe, who defeated the Netherlands to earn the berth.
The following eight teams participated in the final tournament: