1979 Cricket World Cup

Prudential Cup '79
Prudential Cup 79 logo.svg
Dates 9 June – 23 June
Administrator(s) International Cricket Council
Cricket format One Day International
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and Knockout
Host(s) England England
Champions  West Indies (2nd title)
Runners-up  England
Participants 8
Matches 15
Attendance 132,000 (8,800 per match)
Most runs West Indies Cricket Board Gordon Greenidge (253)
Most wickets England Mike Hendrick (10)

The 1979 Cricket World Cup (officially called the Prudential Cup '79) was the second edition of the Cricket World Cup. Organised by the International Cricket Conference, it was held in England from 9 to 23 June 1979.

The tournament was once against sponsored by the Prudential Assurance Company and had eight teams participating in the tournament with the only change being Canada who qualified with Sri Lanka in the qualifier for the tournament. The format remained the same with two teams qualifying from each group with the final once again being at Lord's.

England joined first-time semi-finalists Pakistan as the qualifiers from Group A, while the West Indies finished top of Group B ahead of New Zealand. After the West Indies and England both won their semi-finals over Pakistan and New Zealand respectively, they met in the final at Lord's with the West Indies defending their title from four years earlier with a 92 run victory. West Indian batsman, Gordon Greenidge ended the tournament as the leading run scorer with 253 runs from four matches with English player Mike Hendrick ending up as the leading wicket taker with ten wickets.


The eight teams at the tournament were split into two groups of four teams, with each team playing the others in their group in a single round-robin format. The top two teams from each group then advance to the semi-finals to play in a single-elimination tournament.


Highlighted are the countries to participate in the 1979 Cricket World Cup.
  Qualified as full member of ICC
  Qualified via 1979 ICC Trophy
  Failed to qualify

The 1979 tournament saw the first qualifiers to a World Cup with the 1979 ICC Trophy being held throughout late May to early June at various grounds in the English midlands with the two finalists qualifying through to the tournament where they joined the six test nations who automatically qualified through to the World Cup.[1] Sri Lanka and Canada was the teams that qualified through to the World Cup after defeating Denmark and Bermuda respectively in their semi-finals.[2]

Team Method of qualification Finals appearances Last appearance Previous best performance Group
 England Hosts 2nd 1975 Semi-finals (1975) A
 India Full member 2nd 1975 Group stage (1975) B
 Australia 2nd 1975 Runners-up (1975) A
 Pakistan 2nd 1975 Group stage (1975) A
 West Indies 2nd 1975 Champions (1975) B
 New Zealand 2nd 1975 Semi-finals (1975) B
 Sri Lanka 1979 ICC Trophy winner 2nd 1975 Group stage (1975) B
 Canada 1979 ICC Trophy runner-up 1st Debut A


London London
Lord's Cricket Ground The Oval
Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 23,500
Lord's Pavilion.jpg The Oval Pavilion.jpg
Birmingham Manchester
Edgbaston Cricket Ground Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Capacity: 21,000 Capacity: 19,000
Edgbaston Cricket Ground Pavillion.jpg Old Trafford Pavilion.JPG
Nottingham Leeds
Trent Bridge Headingley Stadium
Capacity: 15,350 Capacity: 14,000
Trent Bridge Pavilion End.jpg Headingley Cricket Stadium.jpg


Group stage


The opening round of matches took place on 9 June with four matches being played. England took on Australia at Lord's and after the home team elected to field first, restricted the Australians to 97 for one with fine fielding and bowling. After Andrew Hilditch dragged his second ball after lunch into the stumps, the Australians would be restricted for 159 which included four run-outs. The run-chase saw Mike Brearley and Graham Gooch controlled the innings and led England to a six wicket victory.[3]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W L T NR Pts RR
1  England 3 3 0 0 0 12 3.066
2  Pakistan 3 2 1 0 0 8 3.602
3  Australia 3 1 2 0 0 4 3.164
4  Canada 3 0 3 0 0 0 1.606

Group B

Pos Team Pld W L T NR Pts RR
1  West Indies 3 2 0 0 1 10 3.928
2  New Zealand 3 2 1 0 0 8 3.553
3  Sri Lanka 3 1 1 0 1 6 3.558
4  India 3 0 3 0 0 0 3.128

Knockout stage

Semi-finals Final
20 June – Old Trafford, Manchester
 England 221/8
23 June – Lord's, London
 New Zealand 212/9
 England 194
20 June – The Oval, London
 West Indies 286/9
 West Indies 293/6
 Pakistan 250


In a very close semi-final match, England prevailed. New Zealand won the toss and fielded. England began badly, falling to 38/2, before Mike Brearley (53 from 115 balls, 3 fours) and Graham Gooch (71 from 84 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) resurrected the innings. Derek Randall (42 from 50 balls, 1 four, 1 six) played well in the second half of the innings, as England recovered from 98/4 to post 221 (8 wickets, 60 overs). In the response, John Wright (69 from 137 balls) attacked well in the beginning. However, the loss of wickets bogged New Zealand down, and despite several late flourishes in the batting order, New Zealand started to drop behind. When New Zealand could not achieve the remaining 14 runs from the last over of the match, England went into the final.

Gordon Greenidge (73 from 107 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Desmond Haynes (65 from 115 balls, 4 fours) set a first wicket partnership of 132 runs in a match dominated by batting. Vivian Richards and Clive Lloyd also contributed solidly, as West Indies ran up 293 (6 wickets, 60 overs) against Pakistan. Majid Khan (81 from 124 balls, 7 fours) and Zaheer Abbas (93 from 122 balls) shared a second-wicket partnership of 166 runs in 36 overs in the response. However, none of the other Pakistani batsmen flourished, with Javed Miandad being bowled for a duck first ball, and Pakistan lost 9/74, beginning with the dismissal of Abbas. Pakistan was bowled out for 250 in 56.2 overs in the high-scoring semi-final, sending the West Indies to the final.


England won the toss and chose to field first. The West Indies got off to a bad start, falling to 99/4 with the loss of Greenidge, Haynes, Kallicharan, and captain Clive Lloyd. However, Vivian Richards (138 from 157 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) and Collis King (86 from 66 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes) consolidated the innings. King especially ripped through the English bowling, with a strike rate of 130.3. The West Indies were already at 238/5 when the 139 run partnership ended with the loss of Collis King. Vivian Richards and the tail then took the West Indies to a very imposing total of 286 (9 wickets, 60 overs).

The English batsmen got off to a good start. But the openers, Mike Brearley (64 from 130 balls, 7 fours) and Geoff Boycott (57 from 105 balls, 3 fours) scored very slowly. They put together a very methodical opening partnership of 129 runs in 38 overs, playing as if the match were a five-day Test. By the time both batsmen were out, the required run rate had risen too high. Graham Gooch played some hefty strokes in scoring his 32, taking England to 183/2. However, the loss of Gooch triggered the most devastating collapse in World Cup history, as England lost 8/11. They were eventually all out for 194 in 51 overs. Vivian Richards was declared Man of the Match.


Gordon Greenidge ended the tournament as the leading run scorer with 253 runs coming from his four games. Second was fellow West Indian player, Viv Richards who finished with 217 runs from four games which included the highest individual score of the tournament of 138 in the final. Graham Gooch from England rounded out the top three.[4] Mike Hendrick from England was the leading wicket taker for the tournament with ten wickets from five matches with a three-way tie for second place with Brian McKechnie (New Zealand), Asif Iqbal (Pakistan) and Chris Old each taking nine wickets for the tournament.[5]

Most runs

Player Team Mat Inns Runs Ave SR HS 100 50 4s 6s
Gordon Greenidge  West Indies 4 4 253 84.33 62.31 106* 1 2 17 3
Viv Richards  West Indies 4 4 217 108.50 74.06 138* 1 0 13+ 4+
Graham Gooch  England 5 5 210 52.50 63.82 71 0 2 18 4
Glenn Turner  New Zealand 4 4 176 88.00 56.05 83* 0 1 12+ 0+
John Wright  New Zealand 4 4 166 41.50 50.00 69 0 1 16+ 0+

Most wickets

Player Team Mat Inns Wkts Ave Econ BBI SR
Mike Hendrick  England 5 5 10 14.90 2.66 4/15 33.6
Brian McKechnie  New Zealand 4 4 9 15.66 3.07 3/24 30.5
Asif Iqbal  Pakistan 4 4 9 17.44 3.34 4/56 31.3
Chris Old  England 5 5 9 17.44 2.70 4/8 38.6
Michael Holding  West Indies 4 4 8 13.25 2.58 4/33 30.7


The total attendance at the tournament was 132,000,[6] including 25,000 at the final.[7]


  1. ^ "ICC Trophy 1979 - background". espncricinfo.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Canada fight back to earn Cup place". The Daily Telegraph. 7 June 1979. p. 33.
  3. ^ Melford, Michael (11 June 1979). "England triumph in fine show of all-round skills". The Guardian. p. 30.
  4. ^ "Cricket World Cup: Highest Run Scorers". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Cricket World Cup: Most Wickets". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  6. ^ "The Prudential World Cup 1979". Wisden Almanack. 1 January 1980.
  7. ^ "The Richards Cup". ESPNcricinfo. 3 November 2014.

External links