History of Cricket World Cups – 1975-1992
Brief history of cricket World Cup finals between 1975-1992 ahead of the 2015 edition which starts on February 14.
Fine weather blessed the first global one-day tournament culminating in an unforgettable final between West Indies and Australia at Lord’s.
Striking the ball with relaxed brutality, West Indies’ captain Clive Lloyd tamed an attack headed by the pace and fury of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson to score 102 from 85 balls.
He was ably assisted by the 39-year-old Rohan Kanhai, a late replacement for his injured contemporary Garfield Sobers. Kanhai contributed 55 to West Indies’ 291 for eight from their 60 overs.
Australia captain Ian Chappell led a spirited reply with 62 before he fell victim to one of three runouts effected by the electric reflexes of Viv Richards. Lillee and Thomson added 41 for the final wicket before Australia were finally dismissed for 274 at twilight on the longest day of the year.
Peace was brokered with Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer, whose rebel World Series had split world cricket, shortly before the second World Cup.
Australia still chose not to select any of the players who had signed for Packer but West Indies did and a team who were to rule world cricket throughout the next decade demolished England in the final.
Richards, then the world’s number one batsman, stroked an imperious 138 and Collis King struck a whirlwind 86. Although England captain Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott put on 129 for the first wicket, they took up 38 of the 60 overs.
After their dismissals, the giant Joel Garner ran through the middle order with a series of unplayable yorkers to take five wickets in 11 balls and give his team victory by 92 runs.
Richards seemed intent on winning the final against underdogs India on his own after West Indies had been set a modest 184 to win.
He struck seven boundaries in his 33 from 28 balls before top-edging a hook which India captain Kapil Dev, running away from the pitch towards the boundary at mid-wicket, coolly collected.
West Indies imploded thereafter, with India recording a famous 43-run victory which was to have profound implications at home where one-day cricket quickly superseded the test game as the most popular form of the sport.
1987, India and Pakistan
England appeared to be cruising to victory in the final against Australia at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens when Mike Gatting tried a reverse sweep off opposing captain Allan Border’s first delivery and lobbed a simple catch.
A well-drilled and disciplined Australia side went on to win by seven runs with the core of the team who later thrashed England in the 1989 Ashes series and eventually succeeded West Indies as unofficial world test champions.
Because of the shorter daylight hours on the sub-continent all matches were played over 50 overs, now the standard length, instead of 60.
1992, Australia and New Zealand
Famously urged by their captain Imran Khan to “fight like cornered tigers,” Pakistan rebounded from imminent elimination in the opening round to defeat England in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Imran, the greatest player to emerge from Pakistan, scored 72 batting at number three in his final match for his country. He also took the final wicket after his protege Wasim Akram had blown away Ian Botham, Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis.
Coloured clothing, floodlights and a white ball, all pioneered in World Series cricket, were finally introduced into the tournament.