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World Cup Finals Part 1: The Prudential Cup Era

Posted: 21 June 2019

With the 2019 Cricket World Cup final at Lord's fast approaching, MCC Archivist Rob Curphey looks back at previous World Cups finals.


The first World Cup final was held at Lord’s on 21 June 1975, the climax of a tournament which took place in England over two weeks in June 1975.

The two teams who qualified for the final, Australia and West Indies, had met one week earlier at The Oval in a group stage game; with both teams having already qualified for the semi-finals, West Indies triumphed by seven wickets to win the group where they would then go on to defeat New Zealand at the same venue.

Australia meanwhile defeated hosts England at Headingley, with Gary Gilmour obtaining figures of 6-14 to help Australia win by 4 wickets.

In the final, Australia won the toss and decided to field. Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge opened the batting for the West Indies, and Fredericks became the first man to be dismissed in a World Cup Final, but in a rather unusual fashion – he stumbled from hitting a ball bowled by Dennis Lillee into the crowd, and fell on his stumps, causing him to be out hit wicket.

Further dismissals of Greenidge and Alvin Karricharan meant that when captain Clive Lloyd joined Rohan Kanhai at the crease, the West Indies team were 50 for 3. The two managed to swing the game West Indies’ way, by putting on 149 for the fourth wicket.

Keith Boyce in the 1975 World Cup Final

Lloyd scored a century from 82 balls, while Kanhai – in his last international match before retirement – made 55. The West Indies finished on 291 for 8, with Gary Gilmour taking 5 for 48.

Then with Australia on 80 for 1, a young Viv Richards – who had made his one-day international debut in this tournament – managed to run out Alan Turner, Greg Chappell and captain Ian Chappell in quick session, who top scored for his side with 62 (the only time that both captains had passed 50 in a final).

Australia’s eagerness to stay with West Indies’ target meant that they suffered five run outs, the last coming when Jeff Thomson was run out by Deryck Murray, meaning that West Indies won the inaugural World Cup by 17 runs. At just before 9pm, the Prudential Cup was presented to the victorious captain Lloyd by the MCC President, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.


Four years after their first triumph, West Indies made it back to the final, and they faced the hosts England at Lord’s, with five survivors from their triumph four years previously.

Lloyd again lost the toss, as England decided to field.

The hosts got off to a good start – Chris Old spectacularly caught and bowled Lloyd leaving West Indies on 99 for 4. Viv Richards, at the other end when Lloyd was dismissed, then went on to play one of the great one-day innings, scoring 138 not out, and with Collis King (86) put on 139 for the fifth wicket, which ultimately turned the game in West Indies’ favour.

Viv Richards scores a 100 in the World Cup Final

Although the last four batsman failed to score a single run between them, West Indies made a total score of 286 for 9. England’s most successful bowler was Phil Edmonds, who although he was one of four bowlers to take 2 wickets, had a better economy rate than Ian Botham, Chris Old and Mike Hendrick.

In reply, England captain Mike Brearley opened the batting with Geoffrey Boycott, and put on a stand of 129 for the first wicket. By the time Brearley was dismissed, however, England had used 38 of their 60 overs, meaning that runs would have to be scored quickly if England were to win their first title on home soil.

As a consequence, England went from 183 to 2 to 194 all out, with Joel Garner taking five wickets and Michael Holding taking 2/16 off 8 overs, leaving Lloyd to be presented with the Prudential Cup for the second time on the balcony at Lord’s.

Michael Holding with the Prudential Cup 2019


The Prudential Cup was again held in England, and the final once more was held at Lord’s.

Despite a tweak to the format where in the group stages each team would play each other twice, meaning more matches, the familiar name of West Indies made it to the final once more. This time they would come up against India, who at the start of the tournament had been viewed as rank outsiders, with odds of them winning ranging from 33-1 to 66-1.

They did however defeat West Indies in their first match of the tournament at Old Trafford by 34 runs; West Indies got revenge later in the group stage at The Oval and both teams qualified out of Group B before triumphing in their semi-finals.

In the final, Clive Lloyd was third time lucky with the coin toss in a World Cup Final; he put India into bat.

The Indian team were all out for 183 in 54.4 overs; Kris Srikkanth was top scorer with 38, and he put on 57 for the second wicket with Mohinder Amarnath – India’s longest partnership. Andy Roberts was West Indies’ best bowler taking 3 for 32, and the stage was set for West Indies to reach the modest total of 183 in 60 overs and claim their third title in front of 24,609 spectators at Lord’s.

What happened next arguably changed the perception of the tournament and the one-day game, and most definitely became the greatest moment in Indian cricket history – to be immortalised in an upcoming film.

Kapil Dev with the 1983 Prudential Trophy

In one of the greatest upsets in all of sport, India sensationally managed to bowl the West Indies out for 140 in 52 overs. Viv Richards top scored for West Indies for the second consecutive final – but his score of 33, being caught by Kapil Dev from the bowling of Madan Lal, was the turning point of the match.

Mohinder Amarnath took 3 wickets for India, which gave him the Man of the Match award. The final was the only one to date in which no-one made an innings of 50 or more, and was the last time West Indies reached the final of the World Cup.

As the tournament marked the end of Prudential’s sponsorship with cricket, the trophy was donated to the MCC Museum, while the tournament marked the last time England would host the competition until 1999.

Kapil Dev, in 2019, with the original 1983 Prudential Trophy

The Finals

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