By Neto Baptiste
The 1975 West Indies squad that captured the region’s first ICC Cricket World Cup title has not received just recognition for having achieved the feat in One Day International (ODI) cricket.
This is the belief of former fast bowler and one of two Antiguans in the team at the time, Sir Andy Roberts, who said the squad not only dominated that world cup, but went on to enjoy unparalleled success at the time.
“I don’t think anybody has given any recognition to the West Indies team for the first three World Cups. We may have lost the third one, but up to 1983 we had never lost a game in the World Cup and it was only one team that beat the West Indies in the World Cup up to then, and that was India; they beat us twice in 1983,” he said.
West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs in the finals of the 1975 tournament contested on 21 June at Lord’s in England.
Sir Andy had no wickets for 45 runs in the match.
Batsman Sir Viv Richards, who had failed with the bat, left his mark on the match with three crucial run-outs.
The Antiguan, who made only five runs, said that although some players were honoured by their respective countries following the historic feat, the group had not been collectively recognised.
“Maybe because most of the individuals were spread around the region that the islands of their respective births did something for them personally when they got back, but nothing on a wholesale basis as such but the first is always something and especially with the passion we have for the game in the region and especially with the players that we would have given to world cricket in itself as well to that being the first world cup, the first in anything should always be remembered,” he said.
Sir Viv had a hand to play in the run out of Australian opener Alan Turner, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell in the match. Clive Lloyd, who made 102 in 85 deliveries was the Man of the Match.
West Indies qualified for the knockouts with a first-place finish in Group B. The team won all three of their matches against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. West Indies XI: Roy Fredericks, Gordon Greenidge, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Keith Boyce, Bernard Julien, Deryck Murray, Vanburn Holder and Andy Roberts.