Canada, Sri Lanka
Two qualifying groups of four played each other once in 60-over matches; the top two in each group progressed to the semi-finals.
The minor teams emerged from a qualifying competition, the inaugural ICC Trophy, won by Sri Lanka. Australia handicapped themselves by selecting a largely unknown team (remember Graham Porter or Jeff Moss?), as their best players were still contracted to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. West Indies and Pakistan, fearing ructions at home if they fared badly, chose all their WSC players.
West Indies topped their group with two wins and a no-result against Sri Lanka, who upset India by 47 runs. New Zealand, with a strong hand of medium-pacers who could bat a bit, qualified with comfortable wins over Sri Lanka and India before running West Indies close (lost by 32 runs). England breezed past Australia and bowled out Canada for 45, before pipping Pakistan, the other qualifiers from that group, in a low-scoring match at Headingley. The only century in the group games was Gordon Greenidge's 106 not out for West Indies v India at Edgbaston.
Mike Brearley and Graham Gooch held England's innings together after early wickets against New Zealand at Old Trafford. Chasing 222, John Wright (69 from 137) did a similar job before he was run out. New Zealand had lots of allrounders - but still fell nine runs short. West Indies ran up 293 for 6 at The Oval, but were sweating as Majid Khan (81) and Zaheer Abbas (93) shared a sparkling stand of 166. But Pakistan subsided to 250; the middle-order destroyer was Viv Richards, with 3 for 52.
It took a lot to upstage a brilliant Richards century, but Collis King managed it. In his finest hour King blasted 86 for 66 balls, clouting 10 fours and three sixes. Richards ended the innings by walking across his stumps and flicking Mike Hendrick into the Mound Stand for six: 286 for 9. In reply England's openers put on 129 - but too slowly, using up more than half the available overs. With Wayne Larkins at No. 7, it was a strong batting side... but they had too much to do, as Joel Garner (5 for 38) zeroed in on the base of the stumps, and 183 for 2 turned into 194 all out.