The Centenary Test of 1977 may have celebrated one hundred years of Test cricket, but a new era was already dawning. For many of those players who had thrilled the massive crowds at the MCG had already committed to an undertaking that would change the very face of cricket.
Mr Kerry Packer was a prominent Australian businessman, better known for his dominance in the media world than any particular connection with cricket. And yet, in cricket, he saw a tremendous product that could be marketed in the ever-growing world of commercial television. Mr Packer sought to obtain the TV rights and grow the game far beyond its current bounds. However, despite a very generous bid, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) declined Mr. Packer’s offer, favouring traditional coverage by the ABC.
As a consequence, “World Series Cricket” was born as a breakaway “exhibition” series by Mr. Packer. It came at a time when many of the players were also becoming frustrated by the cricketing administration and the meagre rewards on offer. They now signed on for WSC and the future of cricket had arrived.
Blog by Owen Zupp. Published author and lover of the great game of cricket