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Friday, June 13, 2014

1975 Prudential World Cup .... Gary Gilmour is no more

1975 was indeed a historic year for cricket; a great innovation it saw the  first ever (Men’s) World Championship tournament in the game's history.   This post is about a popular player who played in that – a left-arm swing bowler and free swinging batsman, who contributed in a big way in the Semis as also in the finals.   In the Finals, Aussies bowling attack was in the hands of : Dennis Lillee; Gary Gilmour; Jeoff Thomson, Max Walker, Greg Chappel and KD Walters; WI had B Julien, Andy Roberts, Keith Boyce, Vanburn Holder and Clive Lloyd himself – yet 291 + 274 runs were scored. 

The 1975 Cricket World Cup was famously known as ‘Prudential World Cup’ after its sponsors  Prudential Assurance Co.  Prudential plc is a British multinational life insurance and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in London in May 1848 as The Prudential Mutual Assurance Investment and Loan Association to provide loans to professional and working people. The Prudential cup was the first edition of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket World Cup. It was held from 7th  to 21st  June 1975 in England. The tournament was sponsored by Prudential Assurance Company and had 8 participating countries. These were the 6 Test playing teams of that time (Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan & West Indies) and Sri Lanka & East Africa. The preliminary matches were played in 2 groups of 4 each. India, England played the first match, East Africa and New Zealand were the other teams in that group. The top two teams from each group then played the knock-out rounds of semi-finals and final.

The matches were played as 60 overs per team in traditional white clothing and with red balls. They were all played during the day and, hence, started early. One of the most bizarre batting efforts in one-day history was made by Sunil Gavaskar. England scored 334 (4 wickets, 60 overs) with Dennis Amiss (137 from 147 balls, 18 fours) scoring the first ever World Cup century.  Clive Lloyd’s team won the Cup.  The teams that played in the finals played 5 matches, England and Kiwis – 4 matches; all others played 3 matches.

India was captained by Srinivasan Venkatraghavan.  We lost to England; beat East Africa and lost again to New Zealand.  Glenn Turner made 171 (n.o) against East Africa and 114 against India; DL Amiss made 137 against India; keith Fetcher made 131 against New Zealand; Clive Lloyd made 102 in the finals and Alan Turner made a century against Sri Lanka.   There were 9 occasions of bowlers taking 4 or more wickets.  It was Gary Gilmour (2); B Julien (2); Dk Lillee; John Snow; Sarfraz Nawaz; Tony Greig; & Keith Boyce

Perhaps the best bowling performance was by Gary Gilmour, the left armer whose swing bowling decimated England in the Semis – bowling out for  93 (36.2 overs), after having fallen to 37/7. Gilmour had figures of 6 for 14. Australia initially suffered a collapse just as dramatic, falling to 39/6, before Gilmour (28 from 28 balls, 5 fours) brought them home in a fantastic all-round performance. In the finals, he took 5 for 48 though Lloyd’s innings with Viv Richard’s fielding took WI home. 

Alan Knott trapped  by Gilmour

Even in those days of no TV and very limited information, we followed the matches in paper – detailed score cards would get printed only a day after the match.  The news is that WC 1975 hero Gary Gilmour is no more … close to 4 decades after that tourney, Gilmour passed away in Australia aged 62.  The all-rounder - who had been ill for some time - played 15 Tests for the Baggy Green. He took 54 Test wickets as the 267th man to represent Australia.

Read that he is the third of those who played in that 1975 WC finals to have passed away …. First it was Keith Boyce who passed away in 1996 on his 53rd birthday. The attacking Roy Fredericks, four years later, two months short of his 58th. With Gilmour’s death now in June 2014 (16 days short of his 63rd birthday), the match has lost its third player.

With regards – S. Sampahtkumar.
13th June 2014.


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