World Cup (cricket): 1975
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The first Men's Cricket World Cup (Prudential Cup): venue England
Number of overs per team: 60
Colour of balls: red.
Hours of play: daytime.
Participating teams: 6 test playing teams (Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand the West Indies) plus 2 (Sri Lanka, East Africa) = 8 in all
Winners: West Indies, who defeated Australia in the finals.
1975 WORLD CUP FINAL || West Indies v Australia || LORDS
Henry Blofeld recalls (The Times of India):
Only eight teams took part in those days in a tournament of just two weeks.
It was something of an experiment that paved the way for one-day cricket as we know it today . I was working for the BBC at this first-ever final and witnessed one of the great one-day innings from Clive Lloyd. I can still see him pulling a Doug Walters long hop into the back of the mount stand for six. A wonderful man, and a wonderful ambassador for West Indies cricket.It was the shot that John Arlott famously said was like “a man hitting the top off a thistle with a walking stick“.
Fascinating facts about World Cups
1975: Sri Lankan Tamils protest against political oppression During Sri Lanka's clash against the Aussies at the Oval in the 1975 World Cup, a group of Sri Lankan tamils invaded the field and lay down on the pitch, holding banners protesting against political oppression, before being cleared off the ground.
1975: A livid spectator pleaded with Indian batsmen The inaugural World Cup was held in 1975. The first match in that competition was one of the most controversial one-day innings of all time. Frustrated by India's slow approach in their mammoth chase of 335, a spectator rushed onto the field and pleaded with the Indian batsmen to show some aggression. Sunil Gavaskar, who scored an unbeaten 36 (off 174-balls), later claimed that he thought the target was unachievable and decided to take some match practice.
In its very first game in the first edition, the World Cup got its worst possible advertisement. Chasing England's monster score of 334 for four in 60 overs, opener Sunil Gavaskar crawled to an unbeaten 36 in 60 overs.He faced 174 balls and hit one four. Fans booed, rattled beer cans, and one even rushed to the pitch to admonish him. But the Little Master continued in the same sadistic vein. Watching paint dry would have been more fun. Cricketer magazine wrote, “It was a perverse moment of selfinflicted shame.“ India's manager G S Ramchand told the Daily Express, “It was the most disgraceful and selfish performance I have ever seen.“ India finished 132 for three. Incredibly, Gavaskar wasn't even censured by the team management. In his autobiography, Sunny Days, the Little Master offered his version of the story, “It was by far the worst innings I have ever played. There were occasions when I felt like moving away from my stumps, so that I would be bowled. This was the only way to get rid of the mental agony from which I was suffering. I was dropped thrice, off fairly easy chanc es too. I was in a curious position. I couldn't force the pace and I couldn't get out, even when I tried to. Towards the end, I played mechanically . I can understand the crowd's reaction and I am genuinely sorry for spoiling their day .“ Despite the apology, future generations of cricket lovers will still wonder at the slow score.
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