Winner: India

The Prudential World Cup 1983

The third World Cup, the last to be sponsored by the Prudential Assurance Company, began with two fine surprises, when India beat West Indies and Zimbabwe beat Australia in the opening round of matches, and ended with the greatest surprise of all, when India beat West Indies again, this time in the final at Lord's. None of the eight sides had to make do without a victory.

The competition differed from its two predecessors in that in the preliminary groups the sides played each other not once but twice. This was partly to increase revenue but also to lessen the chances of a side being eliminated through having greater misfortune with the weather than its rivals. In the event, no sooner had the sides started to arrive in England for the 1983 World Cup than the rain, which had made the month of May one of the wettest on record, cleared away.

Of the 27 matches played, only three were not begun and finished in a day. Many were played in warm sunshine, and throughout the competition, from June 9-25, interest ran high. After losing their opening match, West Indies carried all before them until failing, for the first time, to win the final. Australia had a disappointing fortnight, and with Imran Khan unfit to bowl for them, Pakistan were a shadow of the side which had trounced India and Australia in the previous winter.

New Zealand's main batting provided them with insufficient runs for a consistent challenge, while Sri Lanka, though they won their return match against New Zealand, were too short of bowling to be a serious threat. Zimbabwe, playing for the first time, having qualified as winners of the ICC Trophy in 1982, made a welcome contribution. Their side included several players with first-class experience, acquired when, as Rhodesia, their country played in the Currie Cup. Apart from beating Australia they gave West Indies a run for their money at Worcester.

India's unexpected success (they were quoted at 66 to 1 before the competition began) came under a young and relatively new captain (Kapil Dev) and owed much to the presence in their side of three all-rounders (Kapil Dev, Roger Binny and Mohinder Amarnath) who, at critical moments, found enough in the conditions to help form an effective attack. Who would ever have thought before a ball was bowled that the leading wicket-takers in the competition would be the Sri Lankan De Mel and Binny, with his gentle medium-pace?

Each side received 60 overs. No bowler was allowed more than twelve overs per innings and, to prevent negative bowling, the umpires applied a stricter interpretation than in first-class cricket in regard to wides and bumpers.

The total amount of the Prudential Assurance Company's sponsorship was £500,000, and the gate receipts came to £1,195,712. The aggregate attendance was 232,081, compared with 160,000 in 1975 and 132,000 in 1979. The surplus, distributed to full and associate members of the International Cricket Conference, was in excess of £1,000,000, this being over and above the prior payments of £53,900 to each of the seven full members and one of £30,200 to Zimbabwe.

In addition to the Trophy and silver-gilt medals for each player, India received £20,000 for their victory. As runners-up West Indies won £8,000. The losing semi-finalists, England and Pakistan, each won £4,000. There were also awards of £1,000 to the group winners, plus Man of the Match awards (£200 for the group matches, £400 for the semi-finals and £600 for the final).

At their meeting which followed the World Cup, the ICC asked for tenders, to be submitted by the end of 1983, from countries wishing to stage the competition when next it is held.

Match reports for

1st Match: England v New Zealand at The Oval, Jun 9, 1983
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2nd Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Swansea, Jun 9, 1983
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3rd Match: Australia v Zimbabwe at Nottingham, Jun 9, 1983
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4th Match: India v West Indies at Manchester, Jun 9-10, 1983
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5th Match: England v Sri Lanka at Taunton, Jun 11, 1983
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6th Match: New Zealand v Pakistan at Birmingham, Jun 11-12, 1983
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7th Match: Australia v West Indies at Leeds, Jun 11-12, 1983
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8th Match: India v Zimbabwe at Leicester, Jun 11, 1983
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9th Match: England v Pakistan at Lord's, Jun 13, 1983
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10th Match: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Bristol, Jun 13, 1983
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11th Match: Australia v India at Nottingham, Jun 13, 1983
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12th Match: West Indies v Zimbabwe at Worcester, Jun 13, 1983
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13th Match: England v New Zealand at Birmingham, Jun 15, 1983
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14th Match: India v West Indies at The Oval, Jun 15, 1983
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15th Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Leeds, Jun 16, 1983
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16th Match: Australia v Zimbabwe at Southampton, Jun 16, 1983
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17th Match: England v Pakistan at Manchester, Jun 18, 1983
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18th Match: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Derby, Jun 18, 1983
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19th Match: Australia v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 18, 1983
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20th Match: India v Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells, Jun 18, 1983
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21st Match: England v Sri Lanka at Leeds, Jun 20, 1983
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22nd Match: New Zealand v Pakistan at Nottingham, Jun 20, 1983
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23rd Match: Australia v India at Chelmsford, Jun 20, 1983
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24th Match: West Indies v Zimbabwe at Birmingham, Jun 20, 1983
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1st SF: England v India at Manchester, Jun 22, 1983
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2nd SF: Pakistan v West Indies at The Oval, Jun 22, 1983
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Final: India v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 25, 1983
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© John Wisden & Co