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Cricinfo - Cricket World Cup - History - 1983

The 1983 World Cup in England

India stun the world



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Almanack report

World Cup No. 3
Teams 8
Minnows Zimbabwe

Format Two groups of four, as in 1979; this time, though, each team played the others in its group twice, not once, to determine the four semi-finalists. As a ploy to reduce the chance of elimination by the weather, it was a good one, even if June wasn't wet and only three of the 27 games went into a reserve day anyway. For the first time, non-Test grounds were used.

Innovations Umpires were told to apply a stricter interpretation of wides and bouncers. The result? More than twice as many wides per match as in 1979 (9.59 to 4.64). A fielding circle (actually an oval) was introduced, 30 yards away from the stumps. Four fieldsmen needed to be inside it at all times.

Early running England dominated Group A, beating Pakistan and Sri Lanka twice each, and New Zealand once. They were followed into the semis by Pakistan, who squeezed through by scoring 0.08 more runs per over than the Kiwis. In Group B, West Indies and India disposed of a disappointing Australian side and newcomers Zimbabwe. The performance of the round came from Winston Davis of West Indies, who demolished the Aussies at Headingley with a Cup-record 7 for 51.

The semis India's dark horses had been creeping up on the rails all tournament, and now they cantered unfussily past a below-par England. Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil made light of a pitch which had undermined England's batsmen, and hit crashing fifties in a six-wicket win. West Indies strutted on, brushing aside Pakistan by eight wickets with more than 11 overs to go. They were helped by a display of Test-match patience from Pakistan's opener, Mohsin Khan, who scratched his way to an apologetic 70 off 176 balls. A lone boundary punctuated his 43 singles, and his team-mates succumbed to attempts to up the tempo at the other end.

The final In advance it looked like an anticlimax. It would surely be another big day for West Indies cricket, and no more than a big day out for the Indians. When India were strangled for 183, and Richards led West Indies to 50 for 1 in reply, Caribbean celebrations began. But then and - who finished their careers with a combined total of 103 wickets from 108 Tests - wobbled the ball around, and somehow took three wickets each to dismiss a disbelieving West Indies for 140. Upsets don't come much bigger.

Last hurrah It was an unhappy farewell for Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Rodney Marsh. Finalists in 1975, but also-rans in '83, they retired from international cricket a few months later. New Zealand's batting bedrock, Glenn Turner, played his last game for his country, and Bob Willis's creaking limbs didn't hold out much longer. It was Clive Lloyd's final World Cup too - there may never be a better chance to win three tournaments in a row.

First hurrah NZ's , aged 20, announced himself on the World Cup scene with 97 in the tournament opener against England. There was a limited-overs debut for Abdul Qadir, in which he bamboozled NZ to the tune of 4 for 21, only to improve with 5 for 44 against Sri Lanka. For once he received a pasting from England (0 for 104 in two games).

Not to be forgotten In their first-ever Cup game Zimbabwe beat Australia by 13 runs, but even this looked commonplace after some chaos in Kent. Coming in to bat for India against Zimbabwe at a disastrous 17 for 5, turned the tranquillity of Tunbridge Wells on its head by blasting an undefeated 175 out of 266 for 8, with 16 fours and six sixes. He put on a Cup-record 126 for the ninth wicket with Syed Kirmani, whose 24 not out was India's next-best score. Oh, and India won by 31 runs. Finally there was the mauling Martin Snedden took in New Zealand's opening match against England. With Allan Lamb in belligerent mood, his figures were an x-rated 12-1-105-2.

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack report
The third World Cup, the last to be sponsored by the Prudential Assurance Company, began with two fine surprises, when India beat West Indies and Zimbabwe beat Australia in the opening round of matches, and ended with the greatest surprise of all, when India beat West Indies again, this time in the final at Lordís. None of the eight sides had to make do without a victory.

The competition differed from its two predecessors in that in the preliminary groups the sides played each other not once but twice. This was partly to increase revenue but also to lessen the chances of a side being eliminated through having greater misfortune with the weather than its rivals. In the event, no sooner had the sides started to arrive in England for the 1983 World Cup than the rain, which had made the month of May one of the wettest on record, cleared away.

Of the 27 matches played, only three were not begun and finished in a day. Many were played in warm sunshine, and throughout the competition, from June 9Ė25, interest ran high. After losing their opening match, West Indies carried all before them until failing, for the first time, to win the final. Australia had a disappointing fortnight, and with Imran Khan unfit to bowl for them, Pakistan were a shadow of the side which had trounced India and Australia in the previous winter.

New Zealandís main batting provided them with insufficient runs for a consistent challenge, while Sri Lanka, though they won their return match against New Zealand, were too short of bowling to be a serious threat. Zimbabwe, playing for the first time, having qualified as winners of the ICC Trophy in 1982, made a welcome contribution. Their side included several players with first-class experience, acquired when, as Rhodesia, their country played in the Currie Cup. Apart from beating Australia they gave West Indies a run for their money at Worcester.

Indiaís unexpected success (they were quoted at 66 to 1 before the competition began) came under a young and relatively new captain (Kapil Dev) and owed much to the presence in their side of three all-rounders (Kapil Dev, Roger Binny and Mohinder Amarnath) who, at critical moments, found enough in the conditions to help form an effective attack. Who would ever have thought before a ball was bowled that the leading wicket-takers in the competition would be the Sri Lankan De Mel and Binny, with his gentle medium-pace?

Each side received 60 overs. No bowler was allowed more than twelve overs per innings and, to prevent negative bowling, the umpires applied a stricter interpretation than in first-class cricket in regard to wides and bumpers.

The total amount of the Prudential Assurance Companyís sponsorship was £500,000, and the gate receipts came to £1,195,712. The aggregate attendance was 232,081, compared with 160,000 in 1975 and 132,000 in 1979. The surplus, distributed to full and associate members of the International Cricket Conference, was in excess of £1,000,000, this being over and above the prior payments of £53,900 to each of the seven full members and one of £30,200 to Zimbabwe.

In addition to the Trophy and silver-gilt medals for each player, India received £20,000 for their victory. As runners-up West Indies won £8,000. The losing semi-finalists, England and Pakistan, each won £4,000. There were also awards of £1,000 to the group winners, plus Man of the Match awards (£200 for the group matches, £400 for the semi-finals and £600 for the final).

At their meeting which followed the World Cup, the ICC asked for tenders, to be submitted by the end of 1983, from countries wishing to stage the competition when next it is held.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack