ArticlesWorld Cup

Cricket World Cup 1975: A Trip Down the Memory Lane

The 1975 Cricket World Cup (formally known as the Prudential Cup ’75) was the inaugural men’s Cricket World Cup and the first major competition in One Day International (ODI) cricket history. It was held in England between June 7 and 21, 1975, and was organised by the International Cricket Conference (ICC).

The 1975 Cricket World Cup was a riveting event that captivated the imagination of cricket fans worldwide, from its humble beginnings to the grand final at Lord’s.

The Build-up


The eight teams were divided into two groups of four for the 1975 Cricket World Cup, with each team playing the others in their group once. These matches were held from June 7 to June 14.

The top two teams from each group went to the semi-finals on June 18, with the winners advancing to the final at Lord’s on June 21. If any of the matches experienced rain throughout the day, the teams could use one of the two reserve days allotted to each match.


The announcement of the locations began on July 26, 1973, when the ICC announced that the event would be contested, with Lord’s chosen as the final venue. The remaining locations were released on November 5, 1974, along with the tournament schedule, which was announced alongside the five county tournaments for the 1975 season.

Seven locations in England were used for the first World Cup. The semi-finals were held in Leeds, Headingley, and at the Oval in London. The remaining venues were Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester, and Trent Bridge in Nottingham.


The World Cup included eight teams from around the world. Six of those countries were full members of the ICC, with the other two — Sri Lanka and East Africa — asked to fill the remaining two places. South Africa was supposed to be one of the teams in the tournament, but due to the country’s apartheid regulations, the squad was forced to withdraw until the 1992 edition.

Teams that participated in the inaugural World Cup:

  1. England
  2. India
  3. Australia
  4. Pakistan  
  5. West Indies
  6. New Zealand
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. East Africa


Most of the teams played warm-up matches against English county sides before the event to get acquainted with the English conditions, with the majority of the national teams winning. 

Only East Africa, Sri Lanka, and India lost at least one pre-tournament warm-up match. Only Australia did not play any warm-up matches in England; on their way to England, they lost to Eastern Canada and drew with Toronto.

1975 World Cup Group Matches

The first round of matches began on June 7th, with four matches contested. 

Match 1: June 7, 1975 | England vs India

England scored 334 runs in the 60-over contest at Lord’s, the highest score by a team in a 60-over match. Keith Fletcher and Chris Old both scored half-centuries to help Dennis Amiss, who led the English with 137 from 147 balls. In response, Sunil Gavaskar batted the entire inning for only 36 runs, which Gulabrai Ramchand mistook for batting practice.

Also Read | Top 10: Highest Team Scores in ODI World Cup History

Match 2: June 7, 1975 | New Zealand vs East Africa

Glenn Turner batted throughout New Zealand’s innings and top-scored with 171 as New Zealand defeated East Africa by 181 runs.

Match 3: June 7, 1975 | Australia vs Pakistan

Australia began their campaign with a 73-run victory over Pakistan at Headingley. This was owing to Dennis Lillee’s five-wicket haul, which effectively ended Pakistan’s chances of victory as they slumped from 181 for four to be all out for 205. Earlier, Ross Edwards top-scored for Australia with 80* runs as he helped Australia get 94 runs from the last 13 overs to bring Australia to 278 for 7 from 60 overs. 

Match 4: June 7, 1975 | West Indies vs Sri Lanka

The West Indies defeated Sri Lanka by nine wickets, becoming the first team to score less than 100 runs in a One-Day International.

Also Read | Top 10: Lowest Team Scores in ODI World Cup History

Match 5: June 11, 1975 | England vs New Zealand

Keith Fletcher scored 131 helping the hosts reach 266 runs in 60 overs. In response, New Zealand was skittled out on 186 and England beat New Zealand by 80 runs.

Match 6: June 11, 1975 | India vs East Africa

India bowled out East Africa for a mere 120 runs, with Madan Lal picking up 3 wickets. Then was an easy chase for India as they beat East Africa by 10 wickets. 

Match 7: June 11, 1975 | Australia vs Sri Lanka

Australia won for the second time, but it was not without controversy, with Australian captain Ian Chappell remarking in an interview that the English media was attempting to unsettle Australia’s plans due to the Jeff Thomson no-ball problem. On the pitch, Alan Turner made a century as Australia finished with 328, with Sri Lanka falling 52 runs short.

Match 8: June 11, 1975 | West Indies vs Pakistan 

Pakistan reached 266 for seven from 60 overs, with stand-in skipper Majid Khan leading the way with 60. In response, the West Indies were reeling on 166/8, as Bernard Julien, Clive Lloyd, and Keith Boyce all lost their wickets. The West Indies won by a wicket off the final over thanks to the last-wicket partnership of Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts.

Match 9: June 14, 1975 | England vs East Africa

In the other Group A game, England defeated East Africa by 196 runs. Dennis Amiss and Barry Wood’s 158-run opening partnership helped England score 290/5 from 60 overs before a bowling attack under the direction of John Snow completely destroyed the East Africans, bowling them out for 94 in 52.3 overs. Only Ramesh Sethi provided significant opposition, lasting 32 overs and scoring 30.

Match 10: June 14, 1975 | India vs New Zealand

In Group A, New Zealand advanced to the semi-finals with a four-wicket win over India, thanks to a century from Glenn Turner, who smashed 12 fours on his way to an unbeaten 114.

Match 11: June 14, 1975 | Australia vs West Indies

With the ball swinging in the air, Rod Marsh and Ross Edwards steered Australia to 192 with a 99-run sixth-wicket stand after Australia had fallen to 61/5. In response, the West Indies won by seven wickets, with Alvin Kallicharran top scoring with 78, including 31 runs off nine Dennis Lillee deliveries, as the West Indies finished first in Group B.

Match 12: June 14, 1975 | Pakitan vs Sri Lanka

Pakistan finished the tournament with a 192-run win over Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge, with half-centuries from Zaheer Abbas, Majid Khan, and Sadiq Mohammad.

Knockout Stage

The 1975 Cricket World Cup’s knockout stage had two single-elimination rounds that culminated in a championship game. There were two backup days available in case the game was postponed due to rain.

1st Semi-Final: June 18, 1975 | England vs Australia

England and Australia squared off in the first semifinal at Headingley. In order to secure Australia’s place in the final, their one change — the substitution of Gary Gilmour for Ashley Mallett — proved to be crucial.

The grassy field was to blame for this, and both captains would be critical of it after the game. Gilmour grabbed 6 wickets for 14 runs after Australia decided to field first, leaving England at 37 for 7 after his 12 overs.

While trying to save England, Mike Denness would lose his wicket as England was bundled out for 93. Australia was reduced to 39 for 6 in the run-chase when Gilmour teamed up with Doug Walters to chase down the remaining runs, securing Australia a spot in the final.

Also Read | Top 10: Best Bowling Figures in ODI World Cup History

2nd Semi-Final: June 18, 1975 | New Zealand vs West Indies

The West Indies faced New Zealand in the second semi-final at the Oval. New Zealand batted first and reached 92 for 1 loss at the lunch break. After lunch, though, they were reduced to 158, with Geoff Howarth leading the way with 51 runs and Bernard Julien taking 4 wickets.

In the run chase, a 125-run second wicket partnership between Alvin Kallicharran (top scorer with 72 runs) and Gordon Greenidge (55 runs) laid the groundwork for a 5-wicket victory, with Richard Collinge the only bowler to cause trouble for the West Indies, with figures of 3 for 28 runs from his 12 overs.

Final: June 21, 1975 | West Indies vs Australia

The final match on June 21st was sold out three days in advance. With the West Indies as favourites for the match, Ian Chappell asked them to bat first, and they went on to score 291 for 8 wickets in 60 overs.

Clive Lloyd went on to top score for the West Indies with 102 after being handed a second chance from a Ross Edwards dropped chance at mid-wicket. With 5 wickets for 48 runs, Gary Gilmour was the best of the Australian bowlers.

In response, Ian Chappell hit a half-century to lay the groundwork for Australia, but three run-outs from Viv Richards put the pressure on as Australia fell to 233 for 9. Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson’s final-wicket partnership of 41 pulled Australia within 18 runs of victory. However, a fifth run-out in the innings resulted in Australia being bowled out for 274 and the West Indies winning by 17 runs, claiming the first men’s Cricket World Cup.

Special Moments in the Cricket World Cup of 1975

1. Sunil Gavaskar’s strange performance 

In the first match, the second innings saw the most odd knock ever played in the format’s history, when famed Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar batted the full 60 overs, scoring merely 36* (174) with one boundary.

2. The enthralling match between the West Indies and Pakistan

During Match 8, the Windies played in one of the tournament’s most memorable contests, versus Pakistan. The last wicket pair cobbled together a 64-run stand to help their team win by one wicket.

3. Short-ball tactics in Australia create headlines

During Match 7 between Australia and Sri Lanka, the event also had its share of controversy. During the game, Australian fast bowlers used short ball tactics that sent two Sri Lankan hitters to the hospital, which was criticized by the media.

4. Ian Chappell’s brilliant move in bringing in Gary Gilmour

In the first semifinal game, Australia and England clashed, with captain Ian Chappell substituting Gary Gilmour for Ashley Mallett. The strategy paid off well for Australia, as Gilmour produced a spectacular spell of 6/14 in 12 overs. 

5. The captain’s knock by Clive Llyod in the final 

After being given the opportunity to bat first, West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd led his team from the front, scoring a captain’s knock of 102 off 85 balls in the major final. The West Indies scored a respectable total of 291/8 thanks to his innings.

6. Glenn Turner and Gary Gilmour leading the charts

Glenn Turner of New Zealand finished the competition with 333 runs from four innings at an average of 166.50 with two hundreds to his name. Despite playing only two matches in the competition, Australia’s Gary Gilmour led the wickets list. He took 11 wickets in two innings at an average of 5.63 and an economy of 2.58, including two five-wicket hauls.

Final Thoughts

The 1975 Cricket World Cup was a momentous tournament that laid the groundwork for One-Day International cricket’s future. This event always has a special place in the hearts of cricket fans, thanks to its unusual format, great performances, and grand final at Lord’s. It was a fitting start to a tradition that has since developed into one of the world’s most famous cricket events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *