Players from the champion sides relive their World Cup journeys

'It helped that we had played one-day cricket in England before'

1975, part one: Clive Lloyd looks back at the 1975 tournament: West Indies' slight advantage, finding a replacement for Sobers, and being in a tough group (00:00)

January 25, 2011


1975 with Clive Lloyd

'It helped that we had played one-day cricket in England before'

January 25, 2011

In 1975, the inaugural World Cup was staged in England. With one-day cricket still in its infancy, West Indies came into the tournament as one of the strong contenders.

Clive Lloyd: Well, we were not the favourites, Australia were the favourite team. We were probably second-favourite, but there were some very good sides: New Zealand, England, Pakistan, India were still finding their way. There were about four teams who were good enough to win the tournament. We went in thinking, if we play well enough we can do well. In 1974 we had won the series in England and we had quite a few allrounders. Garry Sobers was included but he had a groin strain and couldn't play, so he was replaced. We had a very formidable side and knew that once we gelled together we could give a good account of ourselves.

It was an allrounder for an allrounder and I thought Collis King was a tremendous cricketer and would be the perfect person. It is very difficult to say taking Sir Garfield Sobers' place, but he was the best choice and I am glad we had him. Rohan Kanhai came in for Lance Gibbs. He was an old hand, he had played county cricket and knew the conditions, so what a great replacement. It was wonderful to have him. The experience was important and towards the end we made the right choice.

West Indies were in Group B, along with Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka. They had the advantage of having players who had played one-day cricket in England.

CL: Yes, a lot of people had not played 60-overs cricket either. We played a bit of it in county cricket and that gave us a bit of a helping hand. We had bowlers who were accustomed to the conditions. If there was anything that we had over the others, it was that we were more or less established in that sort of competition [one-day cricket], and playing it in England wasn't alien to us.

We had a tough group, actually: we had Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, who were probably the minnows at that time because they were getting into the international scene. But the others were quite difficult, as we found out when we played them in the first set of games. They played quite hard and we had one or two hairy moments. That is one-day cricket for you. We had a young side and as the games went on they played extremely well.

They started their campaign against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford - a match that they were expected to win.

CL: Sri Lanka were now coming into top-class [competition] so it was a very difficult step for them but again one they had to take part in if they were to make that leap in the international scene. It was a fairly easy game for us; we had more professionals and guys who had a lot more experience. But I'm sure that it would have done a lot for Sri Lanka too. It wasn't a difficult game at all and we won quite easily. We were expected to do so anyway, and that set us on the role.

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