West Indies win the first Men's World Cup

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From the first One-Day International to the first men’s Cricket World Cup was but a short step.

Domestic limited overs cricket had begun with the Gillette Cup in England in 1963, but the first ODI took place eight years later in Melbourne; a last-minute replacement for a washed-out Test Match between Australia and England. From 1972, ODIs would form a regular part of the English summer, the Prudential Trophy forming a prelude to each Test series. That same year the International Cricket Conference agreed that a tournament should be held in 1975, comprising eight participants and played over 60 overs to the familiar Gillette Cup rules. Prudential were again the sponsors.

The first tournament, originally known as an ‘International Competition’ consisted of eight teams split into two groups of four: England, Australia, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and East Africa (making their only appearance). Initial omens were not good. Less than a week before the tournament opened, a county match in Derbyshire was interrupted by snow. Just in time, the weather changed. A sparkling summer of cricket ensued.

The final was one of only two matches hosted by Lord’s during the tournament. It was contested between the two favourites, Australia and the West Indies. Despite losing the toss, West Indies made a total of 291 in 60 overs, their captain Clive Lloyd scoring 102 off just 85 balls. Gary Gilmour ended with figures of 5 for 48 for Australia. Chasing West Indies’ total, Australia had five men run out and Keith Boyce took four wickets as West Indies won the inaugural Prudential World Cup by 17 runs. When the MCC Secretary asked Prince Philip – MCC President that year - if he would like to make a speech before handing over the Cup to Clive Lloyd, he received the reply “this is not an occasion for words”. The Prudential World Cup can be seen on display in the MCC Museum.