The Sri Lanka national cricket team began with the formation of the Colombo Cricket Club in 1832. By the 1880s a national team, the Ceylon national cricket team, was formed which began playing first-class cricket by the 1920s. The Ceylon national cricket team achieved Associate Member status of the International Cricket Council in 1965. Renamed Sri Lanka in 1972, the national team first competed in top level international cricket in 1975, when they were defeated by nine wickets by the West Indies during the 1975 Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford, England.
Two years later, on 15 March 1995, Sri Lanka won their first overseas Test match under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga against New Zealand, when they beat them by 241 runs at Napier. This win also resulted in their first overseas Test series victory, 1-0. Their next series too was an overseas series, against Pakistan, and that one too resulted in Sri Lankan victory.
Sri Lanka's national cricket team achieved considerable success beginning in the 1990s, rising from underdog status to winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996. Since then, the team has continued to be a force in international cricket. The Sri Lankan cricket team reached the finals of the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups consecutively. They ended up being runners up on both occasions.