The 1979 World Cup and the love affair that ensued

The match burst into life as soon as the legendary Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan put their foot on the pedal

Many cricket fanatics could also be blissfully unaware that the appearance of ODI cricket was an entire accident. In 1971, Australia and England have been scheduled to play a Check match on the Melbourne Cricket Floor, however the first three days of play have been deserted following heavy downpour. In a shocking transfer, the 2 sides performed the primary ever limited-overs match, with every innings lasting 40 overs and every over consisting of eight deliveries.

Australia ended up successful the match by 5 wickets, however little did they know that their try at making an attempt to salvage a number of hours of play would go on to shake the very foundations of the cricketing world.



4 years after this match, the Worldwide Cricket Council (ICC) determined to host the primary ever ODI World Cup. Though rising in reputation, on the time, ODI cricket was nonetheless in its infancy since solely 18 matches had been performed beneath the brand new format. However all that modified in 1975. The primary World Cup was successful, and 4 years later, the ICC determined to conduct the second, assured that this new format had nice viewing potential and would attract even larger crowds the second time round.

It did, and a type of entranced spectators was me.

World Cup Remaining Lord’s 1975 HRH Prince Philip with Clive Lloyd captain of the successful West Indian crew.

The Pakistan crew earlier than the Prudential World Cup match between Pakistan and West Indies at Edgbaston, Birmingham, June 11, 1975.

The second World Cup was my introduction to cricket and I’ve been a loyal follower of the sport ever since. Previous to the 1979 match, my solely reminiscence of the sport was India’s 1978 tour of Pakistan. Curiously, Pakistan received that specific ODI collection after India’s Bishan Bedi famously grew to become the primary captain to concede a cricket match.

Like the primary World Cup, the second incarnation of the match additionally occurred in England, spanning a complete of 15 days with eight groups vying for the trophy. The Pakistan crew was positioned in a gaggle alongside Australia, Canada and England, and was as soon as once more led by the all-rounder, Asif Iqbal. Identified for his flashy cowl drives and fast working between the wickets, readers can also be shocked to know that he’s a relative of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

The road-up on the Oval previous to the Worldwide Batsman of the 12 months Problem Cup, (L-R) Gordon Greenidge, Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Barry Richards, Ian Chappell, David Gower, Graham Gooch and Clive Lloyd. September 14, 1979.

Asif Iqbal, Kent.

Of their first two matches on the second World Cup, Pakistan defeated each Canada and Australia respectively. Of their third and final group match, they needed to face the host nation. Though each England and Pakistan had already progressed to the semi-final stage, their encounter would resolve whether or not they would face West Indies or New Zealand within the semi-final. Pakistan ended up dropping this significant match by 14 runs and located themselves having to battle towards the reigning world champions, West Indies, for a spot within the last.

The ultimate eight groups within the 1979 World Cup at Lord’s The captains: (entrance row, L-R) APB Tennekoon (Sri Lanka), Asif Iqbal (Pakistan), Clive Lloyd (West Indies), Mike Brearley (England), Kim Hughes (Australia), Mark Burgess (New Zealand), S Venkataraghavan (India), GE Brisbane (Canada).

My father had taken us to England in the summertime of 1979 for our summer season holidays and we have been dwelling at our paternal aunt’s home in Bristol. Our go to proved to be fairly serendipitous for the reason that semi-final was scheduled to happen on June 20th on the Oval, which is only a three-hour drive away from Bristol. Since we had already missed a earlier match attributable to our go to to the London zoo, my father made positive that we bought tickets for this all-important conflict.

As a six-year-old, I used to be thrilled to observe a cricket match within the stadium for the primary time in my life. In our pleasure, my brother and I insisted that our father purchase us new joggers. Naturally, we wished to look our greatest in entrance of Sir Vivian Richards and Majid Khan.

These days, a big contingent of Pakistani supporters will be seen cheering on their crew at venues throughout the globe, however that hasn’t at all times been the case. In these days, the Pakistani faction within the stands was pretty small, and I keep in mind feeling a bit intimidated by the big and vocal presence of the tall West Indies supporters.

England’s Viv Richards batting for the West Indies in the course of the World Cup last at Lord’s Cricket Floor in London, June 23, 1979.

We reached the stadium effectively earlier than the beginning of the match and noticed Iqbal win the toss and, in a shocking transfer, ask the opposition to bat first. The prolific West Indies aspect got here charging proper out the gate, courtesy a nearly impenetrable 132-run opening partnership between the legendary duo of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes. Captain Clive Lloyd and Collis King helped construct upon this basis and West Indies ultimately concluded their innings after posting a mammoth 293 runs on the scoreboard.

The Pakistan chase bought off to a disastrous begin after opener Sadiq Mohammad was dismissed early. Nonetheless, the match burst into life as soon as the legendary Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan put their foot on the pedal, decided to not go down with out a struggle. The 2 put collectively an astonishing 166-run partnership and instantly the rambunctious West Indies supporters fell silent.

Now we have been those singing and chanting within the crowd.

Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas (c) drives by the covers, watched by England wicket keeper Bob Taylor.

However the tide turned when Abbas tried to softly navigate a supply by Colin Croft, solely to finish up edging the supply into wicket-keeper Deryck Murray’s welcoming gloves. Khan quickly adopted Abbas again to the pavilion, and with their departure, Pakistan’s batting line crumbled. The whole crew was bundled out for 250, dropping the match by 43 runs.

The West Indies supporters, who have been dismayed some 45 minutes in the past, have been now dancing and singing whereas the small part of Pakistani followers dejectedly started to file out of the stadium. I keep in mind crying after Pakistan’s defeat that day and sadly our crew has made it a behavior of bringing tears to the eyes of its followers.



This was the second World Cup the place Pakistan’s journey was ended by West Indies. Within the 1975 World Cup, Pakistan misplaced to West Indies beneath essentially the most additional bizarre circumstances after the crew from the Caribbean scored 101 runs for his or her final two wickets, ultimately successful the match by one wicket.

Though I walked out of the bottom on a tragic word, the match helped foster my love for cricket. I turn out to be an ardent follower of the World Cup and henceforth at all times adopted the match on my radio and tv. After all, watching the match dwell, and that too on the Oval, was a really transformative expertise, particularly at such a younger age. Watching a match within the stadium requires you to be rather more attentive and brings you head to head with the celebrations and feelings of each different spectator.

LONDON – JUNE 23: Clive Lloyd with the Prudential World Cup, Cricket World Cup 1979, England v West Indies at Lord’s (Remaining).

After defeating Pakistan, the West Indies crew defeated England within the last of the match to efficiently defend their title and, within the course of, grew to become the primary crew to win two successive ICC World Cups.

(All photographs: Getty)

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