World Cup 1975 flashback: Gavaskar's 174-ball 36 was 'unforgettable', says Abid Ali

Right-arm medium seamer Syed Abid Ali, part of India's first World Cup campaign in 1975, recalls Tony Greig's dismissal, Gavaskar's 36 and more.

The aura of Lord’s is something which cannot be expressed but only felt, says Syed Abid Ali.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

From a personal perspective, it was a truly memorable first World Cup for me in 1975 and I am privileged to have bowled at Lord’s on June 7, 1975, and that makes it even more special.

I remember being told that only 18 ODIs were played before that edition by all teams!

The aura of Lord’s is something which cannot be expressed but only felt. Obviously, I never ever dreamt of playing in a World Cup for sure, though many South Zone players like me were familiar with the one-day format by then having played a lot back home.

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I remember the first ball I bowled was hit for a boundary by English opener Dennis Amiss, who went on to score a splendid century.

But what I remember the most are the two dismissals of Keith Fletcher, who tried to work the ball on the on side and missed the line to be bowled, and then Tony Greig, who also tried to play one from near the off stump to be caught leg before, as I finished with figures of 12-0-58-2.

But, apart from these moments, what stands out from that match was the ‘unforgettable’ unbeaten 36 by Sunil Gavaskar off 174 balls with just one boundary.

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I must say there was a lot of negativity and a lack of togetherness for reasons every critic should be aware of by now. A lot of things kept on happening. Not surprisingly, we lost that game badly, but personally I have the satisfaction of taking a couple of more wickets in the other games and leaving some sort of impact coming from Hyderabad and playing as an all-rounder for India.

And that happens to be the only edition I appeared in and I look back with mixed feelings for sure.

Syed Abid Ali played in the 1975 World Cup.

As told to V. V. Subrahmanyam.

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