Cricket is always being fiddled about with. Purists love the five-day, test version of the game, which Americans can’t get their heads around (“Five days? One game that lasts five days?” They cry in confusion). But other versions have been attempted to get more people interested including 20/20, the IPL and World Series Cricket. Hard to imagine now, but limited overs cricket used to be a total novelty. The one-day game took a huge leap forward in 1975 when the first Cricket World Cup started at Lord’s.
Though it had the worst possible start. The first game, between England and India, involved a bizarre innings from Sunil Gavaskar who, for reasons lost to all, didn’t quite grasp the rules and played incredibly slowly, eventually reaching 36 not out. So weird was his performance that frustrated Indian fans actually ran onto the pitch and tried and get him to play faster. They failed. India lost that match by over 200 runs. Thankfully the rest of the tournament perked up with the West Indies winning the tournament in a thrilling final game.