Events and people that shaped the game

No. 26

The first World Cup

Four years after the birth of ODIs, the format was given validation by what was perhaps the boldest and most ambitious innovation since the legislation of overarm bowling

Rahul Bhattacharya

July 10, 2010

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A

The World Cup teams pose with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles outside the Buckingham Palace, London, June 6, 1975
The World Cup teams pose with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip and Prince Charles outside Buckingham Palace © Getty Images
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1975

There is no cricket like Test cricket, it is true; yet it was left to the packaged formulation of one-dayers to provide to the game its most anticipated event. The idea was first believed to be conceived by Ben Brocklehurst, chairman of the Cricketer, in 1969, and the MCC put together the first World Cup in 1975.

Tony Cozier wrote at the time that it was "perhaps the boldest and most ambitious innovation the game has known since the legislation of overarm bowling" - words he now considers hyperbole, but which nevertheless make a point. Limited-overs internationals were, after all, only 18 matches old, all of which had been played in bilateral series only.

The first Cup, held in England over two weeks between eight teams and eventually won by West Indies in a classic final against Australia, aroused vast interest. The profits, though small, were encouraging: essentially it was validation of the new paradigm, the one-day paradigm.

Even so, recalls historian David Frith, the tournament was by no means assured of perpetuation in the cricket calendar. That it did establish itself, with every Cup becoming much larger than the previous in virtually every respect, reflects the way the game itself has grown.

Rahul Bhattacharya is the author of the cricket tour book Pundits from Pakistan. This article was first published in Wisden Asia Cricket magazine in 2003

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Posted by   on (July 13, 2010, 1:08 GMT)

I can still remember when Sri Lankan team was batting well those Aussies sent bouncers aiming their bodies and heads and as a result, Duleep Mendis and few others ended up going to hospital instead pavilion.

Posted by ww113 on (July 11, 2010, 16:20 GMT)

I still remember that incredible match when West Indies snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan,courtesy Murray and Roberts.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (July 11, 2010, 0:29 GMT)

THE FIRST ODI WORLD CUP WAS THE BEST SERIES EVER. THE MATCH BETWEEN WEST INDIES AND AUSTRALIA BEFORE THE FINAL OF WHICH KALICHARRAN HIT LILEE 46 RUNS IN 10 BALLS. THEN IN THE FINAL THEY BROUGHT IN ROHAN KANHAI. HE DID NOT PLAY ANY OTHER MATCH BUT THE FINAL. I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT ROHAN KANHAI TECHNICALLY WON THAT FINAL. HE PLAYED A ROLE THAT HE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE. HE PLAYED THE " SHEET ANCHOR" HE HOLD ON TO MAKE 55 WHILE LLOYD WAS LASHING THE THE BALL ALL OVER THE GROUND. THEN ON THE FIELDING TIME. LOYD (CAPT.) AFTER EVERY OVER LEAVE HIS POSITION AND GOES TO SPEAK TO KANHAI IN THE SLIPS, WITH KALICHARRAN AND DERECK MURRAY. I WOULD SAY KANHAI WAS THE FACTOR IN THAT MATCH. ONE OF THE GREATEST OF BATSMEN. S.N.SINGH U S A

Posted by   on (July 10, 2010, 10:38 GMT)

1975 world cup saw Sri Lanka qualifying as the winners of ICC Associates Cup. Though it failed to win any matches, that was an important turning point in the history of Sri Lankan Cricket. The following world cup 1979 saw Sri Lanka beating India. It was the firts time that a nation that did not have test status beat a country with test status. That victory was instrumental in Sri Lanka finally gaining test status in 1982. We must not forget thefhelp we received from Australians to gain test status.1996 saw Sri Lanka winning the world Cup. If not for the 1975 world cup Sri lanka would not have come this far in Cricket as there was no platform for the emerging nations to showcase their talent. I hope cricket 50 over world cup will grow from strength to strength and be able to withstand threat of T-20's

Posted by MichaelHall on (July 10, 2010, 9:08 GMT)

A memorable tournament and when the West Indies first showed what true champions they were to be for 20 years. The 1975 final is still my favourite match of all time. Early wickets for Australia, Clive Lloyd's superb fight back, Viv Richards 3 run outs and Lillee and Thompson desperately trying to get home but failing.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (July 10, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

Those were the days of bell bottom pants and tight fit shirts and even the cricket clothes that we saw players wearing bore a great resemblance to the ones in fashion. So one saw the loping Lloyd, not as robust as he is now, Viv Richards, not yet quite the great he would become not too much later, Dennis Lillee and others all conforming to the sartorial preferences of the day. The Cup itself was memorable for me for the great onslaught that Alvin Kallicharan launched on the greatest fast bowler of those days, Dennis Lillee and the close shave that West Indies had both against Pakistan and Australia.West Indies the eventual winner showed everyone that it was team that would ride rough shod over everyone else in the years to come. Their era at the top was a demonstration of physique and power in every sense of the word. They were truly unmatched and went on to win in 1979 as well. By then Viv Richards had already reached greatness as his innings in the final against England showed.

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Rahul Bhattacharya Author of Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India, 2003-04

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