Sunday, February 23, 2014

Prudential Cricket World Cup 1979 : Excerpt from ‘The Big Book of World Cup Cricket 1975-2011’ by Indra Vikram Singh

There was little change in 1979, with the same venue, the same sponsor doling out two-and-a-half times the amount given previously, and the same winner. The one difference was that a tournament for the associate members was conducted earlier, and the winners Sri Lanka and runners-up Canada, earned the right to participate in the World Cup alongside the six Test-playing countries.

The second Prudential World Cup was played in the shadow of the crisis precipitated by the rebel World Series Cricket of Australian tycoon, Kerry Packer. He had contracted a number of top players of the world. The Australians and English did not include these players in the World Cup squads, though the West Indies and Pakistani Boards were not so harsh.

With the sponsorship amount at £250,000 ($405,000), the prize money was hiked to £25,900. The winners received £10,000, and the runners-up £4,000. The losing semi-finalists got £2,000 each. Inclement weather, which also led to the abandonment of a match, limited the crowds to 132,768 people, though the gate money nearly doubled to £359,717.

Group A now comprised Australia, Canada, England and Pakistan. In Group B were India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. In the semi-finals, the West Indies defeated Pakistan, while England beat New Zealand.

The final:
Lord’s, London, 23 June 1979
West Indies won by 92 runs
West Indies: 286 for 9 wickets in 60 overs (Vivian Richards 138 not out, Collis King 86)
England: 194 all out in 51 overs (Mike Brearley 64, Geoff Boycott 57, Graham Gooch 32, Colin Croft 3 for 42, Joel Garner 5 for 38)
Man of the Match: Vivian Richards

(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email

The Big Book of World Cup Cricket 1975-2011
ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3

Distributed in India by Variety Book Depot, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Phones + 91 11 23417175, 23412567

Available in leading bookshops, and online on several websites.

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