IT was at Lord's that the World Cup was first held aloft by West Indies captain Clive Lloyd on June 21, 1975. And 24 years on, it is to Lord's that the action returns for the June 20, 1999 final. Could it be the grand finale that propels the resplendently resurgent Brian Lara to the pinnacle of greatness?
The '75 Prudential Trophy, lifted by Lloyd as the glistening symbol of Black supremacy, was 181/2 inches high and contained 891/2 ounces of sterling silver. The Cup has changed several times since but, as the TV screen repeatedly relives the magic of Lloyd lording it over the Aussies—50 off 52 balls, 100 off 82 balls, and finally dismissed for 102 off the 85th delivery he faced—one realises that the green grass at Lord's has lost none of its lustre. The 1975 Cup final drew a record crowd of 26,000 (predominantly Caribbean) and sections of it kept running on to the field as and when they felt like. Nobody complained—they had after all contributed substantially to the then world-record gate earning for a one-dayer—£66,400.