ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979 | History, Teams, Winner

After the successful inaugural World Cup tournament, the cricketing world was all set to witness another mega event and it comes exactly 4 years later in shape of ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979.

Like the previous one, title of this global cricket event was also the same i.e. Prudential World Cup because of a couple of similarities which we are going to reveal in this article.

This time around, everyone around who loved the game was even more excited than the previous edition. West Indies appeared as the defending champs and the other cricketing nations were just aiming to lift the cup.

History of ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979

Lets talk about a few of really interesting things to know about the event:

Venues / Stadiums

The second edition of ODI World Cup was played in 1979. It was England that once again hosted the competition at the same six venues which had hosted the inaugural edition.

Cricket Teams and Format

The competing sides in the second edition were defending champions West Indies, hosts England, Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan & the two associates Sri Lanka & Canada, the North American side playing in a World Cup for the first time.

Just like 1975, eight teams participated in the competition with the same format of two groups followed by semi-finals and final.

Hot favorites and the defending champions West Indies were in the group with India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Hosts England also a pre-tournament favorites had in their group Ashes rivals Australia, Canada and Pakistan.

Highlights of ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979 Matches

Group Stage

As expected, West Indies topped their group comfortably with wins against India and New Zealand and the game against Sri Lanka getting washed out.

Sri Lanka caused a major upset by beating India, eventually both the Asian sides failed to qualify for the semis as both lost to New Zealand.

In the other group, the runner-up of first edition Australia had a disappointing campaign as they had gone into the tournament without the services of Packer signatories. Canada lost all their three games, Australia lost to both England and Pakistan.

The England-Pakistan game at Headingley turned out to be a low-scoring thriller which resulted in a win for for the hosts. Gordon Greenidge scored the only hundred of group stage which came against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Semi Finals

The cricketing fans witnessed two semi-finals full of drama. The Oval in London hosted the semi-final between Pakistan and West Indies. West Indies batted first and posted 293. Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas threatened the Windies with a classical 2nd-wicket partnership of 166 but once the partnership was broken, the Pakistani batting lineup collapsed and West Indies won by 43 runs.

The second semi-final was hosted by Old Trafford in Manchester between England and New Zealand. The hosts batted first and scored 221, New Zealand remained in the run-chase for most of the time but ultimately fell short by nine runs.


So, on 23rd of June 1979, the home of cricket Lord’s hosted the second world cup final between hosts and defending champions.

Mike Brearley decided to bowl after winning the toss and English bowlers vindicated this decision by taking 4 wickets before the score reached 100.

The fielding hero of 1975 World Cup Viv Richards chose this stage to play a stunning knock under pressure.

Collis King released the pressure initially by scoring a quick 86, Richards scored an unbeaten 138 and West Indies gave a target of 287.

The opening pair of skipper Mike Brearley and experienced Geoffrey Boycott gave a solid start to English innings with a partnership over 100 but this partnership took too many overs.

England had wickets in hand but the required rate had gone up, so, the middle and lower order of England failed to orchestrate the run-chase.

Joel Garner picked up five wickets, West Indies comfortably won by 92 runs and successfully defended their title. Gordon Greenidge of West Indies was the leading run-scorer of the event and Mike Hendrick of England picked up most wickets.

The highlights of the 1979 World Cup were the upset defeat of India at the hands of Sri Lankans, closely contested England-Pakistan match, classical batting display in the Pakistan-West Indies semi, England’s narrow win the semi-final and the brutal hitting by Viv Richards and Collis King in the final.

One Day Cricket World Cup 1979 | Final Match Highlights | England v West Indies

Records / Statistics of Top Performers | ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979

We have compiled the records / statistics of prominent teams & players who were on top of everyone in the World Cup ‘’79:

Team Records

  • West Indies scored 293 for 6 in 60 overs against Pakistan at Lords Cricket Stadium recorded was the highest team total, most by a team in all the world cup matches.
  • Victory by Runs: West Indies against their opposition side England by 92 runs at Lords.
  • Victory by Wickets: West Indies against India by 9 wickets at Birmingham.
  • Victory by Balls Remaining: England against Canada at Manchester chased the lowest total of event i.e. 46 with 277 balls left.

Batting Records

In an Innings:

  • Individual Innings: IVA Richards (WI) scored an unbeaten knock of 138 (157) against England at Lord’s.
  • Highest Strike Rate in an Innings: CL King (WI) scored 86 runs in just 66 balls at a strike rate of 130 against England (min. 35 runs).
  • Most 6s in an innings: IVA Richards (WI), CL King (WI), LRD Mendis (SL), and GA Gooch (ENG) structed 3 sixes each in their respective innings.
  • Partnership: The 2nd wicket partnership of 166 runs between Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas from Pakistan against West Indies at The Oval.

In the tournament:

  • Most Runs: CG Greenidge (WI) scored 253 runs in 4 matches with 1 Hundred & 2 Fifties.
  • Best Average: IVA Richards (WI) scored 217 runs in 4 matches (2 not out innings) with an average of 108.5
  • Highest Strike Rate: The Strike Rate of West Indian batsman CL King (WI) i.e. 121.1, was on the higher side in ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979.
  • Most Tons: CG Greenidge (WI) and IVA Richards (WI) scored 1 hundred each, the only centurions of the tournament.
  • Most Fifty Plus Scores: Asif Iqbal (PAK), Majid Khan (PAK), JM Brearley (ENG), GA Gooch (ENG) and CG Greenidge (WI) scored 2 fifties each.
  • Most Sixes & Fours: GA Gooch (ENG) achieved this record for both Sixes & Fours, he smashed 4 Sixes and 18 Fours in 5 matches.

Bowling Records

In an Innings:

  • AG Hurst (AUS) 5 for 21 proved out to be the best bowling performance in an innings.
  • J Garner (WI) and AG Hurst (AUS) took 5-wicket haul once, most among the others.

In the Tournament:

  • M Hendrick (ENG) took 10 wickets in 5 games at a strike rate of just 33.6, the best among others.
  • M Hendrick (ENG) also bowled 14 Maidens, the most by any bowler in the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979.
  • GD Porter (AUS) averages 11.0 with economy rate of just 1.83, turned out to be the best average and economical too among all the bowlers.

FAQs related to One Day CWC 1979

Who won ODI World Cup 1979?

West Indies became the World Champions again by winning the Second World Cup Cricket in a row.

Which Batsmen were the most run scorers in 1979 World Cup?

CG Greenidge (WI) scored 253 runs, IVA Richards (WI) with 217 runs and GA Gooch (ENG) with 210 runs were among the top runs scorers.

Which Bowlers were the most wicket takers in ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 1979?

M Hendrick (ENG) took 10 wickets whereas BJ McKechnie (NZ), Asif Iqbal (PAK), CM Old (ENG) and MA Holding (WI) took 9 wickets each.