World Championship of Cricket
|Dates||17 February 1985–10 March 1985|
|Administrator(s)||Australian Cricket Board|
|Cricket format||One Day International|
|Tournament format(s)||Group stage and Knockout|
|Player of the series||Ravi Shastri|
|Most runs||Krishnamachari Srikkanth (238)|
|Most wickets||Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (10)|
The tournament was part of the celebrations commemorating the 150th anniversary of European settlement in Victoria. All of the then Test match playing teams participated with matches played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. The tournament saw the first matches played under lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Each team was required to name a 15-player squad for the tournament. Matches were played with coloured clothing, white balls, fielding restrictions and innings limited to 50 overs.
The seven teams were split into two qualifying groups. Each played a round-robin with two points awarded for a win and one point for a draw or tie. Teams on equal points were separated by run rate.
Cross-over semi finals were then played with the winner from each group playing the runner-up from the other group. The losers played in the Plate Winners Final while the winners contested the Final.
Allan Border (captain), Terry Alderman, Peter Faulkner, Rodney Hogg, Kim Hughes, Dean Jones, Robbie Kerr, Geoff Lawson, Rod McCurdy, Craig McDermott, Simon O'Donnell, Wayne B. Phillips, Kepler Wessels, Graeme Wood.
David Gower (captain), Jonathan Agnew, Norman Cowans, Chris Cowdrey, Paul Downton, Phil Edmonds, Richard Ellison, Neil Foster, Graeme Fowler, Mike Gatting, Allan Lamb, Vic Marks, Martyn Moxon, Tim Robinson.
Sunil Gavaskar (captain), Mohinder Amarnath, Mohammad Azharuddin, Roger Binny, Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Chetan Sharma, Ravi Shastri, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sadanand Viswanath, Manoj Prabhakar, Ashok Malhotra.
Clive Lloyd (captain), Winston Davis, Jeff Dujon, Joel Garner, Larry Gomes, Roger Harper, Desmond Haynes, Michael Holding, Gus Logie, Malcolm Marshall, Thelston Payne, Viv Richards, Richie Richardson.
The tournament began with Australia and England playing the first ever match under lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, in front of a crowd of 82,494. Australia won the match by seven wickets, however neither of them would make the semi finals.
India quickly showed that it was on track to repeat its World Cup success with comfortable wins in each of its group matches, while Pakistan found a new hero in 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler Wasim Akram who took 5 for 21 against Australia.
- Australia v England in Melbourne (day/night) – Sunday 17 February 1985
- India v Pakistan in Melbourne (day/night) – Wednesday 20 February 1985
- Australia v Pakistan in Melbourne (day) – Sunday 24 February 1985
- England v India in Sydney (day/night) – Tuesday 26 February 1985
- England v Pakistan in Melbourne (day/night) – Saturday 2 March 1985
- Australia v India in Melbourne (day) – Sunday 3 March 1985
The match between West Indies and New Zealand was rained off which meant that whoever was more successful in beating up on Sri Lanka would top the group. While West Indies easily accounted for Sri Lanka on the scoreboard, fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake forced both Richie Richardson and Larry Gomes to retire with searing bouncers.
- New Zealand v West Indies in Sydney (day/night) – Tuesday 19, Thursday 21 February 1985
- New Zealand 2–57 (18.4 ov)
- No result (no play possible on 19 Feb, only 18.4 overs possible on reserve day)
- New Zealand 2–57 (18.4 ov)
- New Zealand v Sri Lanka in Melbourne (day/night) – Saturday 23 February 1985
- Sri Lanka v West Indies in Melbourne (day/night) – Wednesday 27 February 1985
After the group stages, the expected outcome was that 1983 World Cup finalists India and West Indies would meet again in the final of the World Championship. India held up their end of the bargain by beating New Zealand in the first semi final, however Pakistan produced the one major upset of the tournament to beat West Indies.
- India v New Zealand in Sydney (day/night) – Tuesday 5 March 1985
- West Indies v Pakistan in Melbourne (day/night) – Wednesday 6 March 1985
Plate Winners Final
The third place play-off in this tournament was known as the Plate Winners Final and West Indies were indeed awarded a plate for winning the match. Geoff Howarth was nearing the end of his time as New Zealand captain and New Zealand's upcoming test and ODI tour to West Indies, which commenced later that month, would be his last series for the country. Richard Hadlee began with a spell of 2 for 8 in 6 overs. Viv Richards then hit 51 off 61 deliveries.
- New Zealand v West Indies in Sydney (day) – Saturday 9 March 1985
India got on top early in the final with Kapil Dev reducing Pakistan to 4 for 33 before Javed Miandad and Imran Khan began a rescue act after both Imran Khan and Javed Miandad were controversially given not out after edging two balls to the wicketkeeper. 19-year-old leg spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan had been a revelation during the tournament and produced another superb spell in the final. Pakistan's eventual total of 9 for 176 constituted a good recovery. It was the first time, in the tournament, that India had failed to bowl out the opposition. India bagged 49 out of a maximum possible 50 wickets in the tournament.
Indian openers Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth each had wonderful tournaments and their century opening stand did most of the work for their strong batting line-up. Each were rewarded at the end of the match with Srikkanth winning the Player of the Match award and Shastri being named the player of the tournament, or as it was known, the Champion of Champions. He was awarded his prize of an Audi 100 motor car, valued at A$35,000 and immediately drove it around the MCG with his entire team sitting either in or on the car. The attendance of 35,296 in the match was the highest in Australia at a match in which the home side was not involved.
176/9 (50 overs)
177/2 (47.1 overs)
- Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat.
- Wisden 1986, p. 978.
- "Benson & Hedges Final, Melbourne, March 10, 1985 India vs Pakistan". Outlook India. Retrieved 21 October 2013.