Significant moments in history are rarely stand-alone events. More often they are the memorable landmarks that signify the great effort that has gone before. For World Series Cricket, its significant moment in history took place on a warm evening in November 1978 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
By the 28th of November, WSC had already brought a great deal of change upon the game of cricket. Aside from an unprecedented level of marketing and television coverage, helmets, night cricket and white balls had become the norm. And yet, with the best players in the world and a broadening appeal, World Series Cricket had not yet broken through with the largest potential audiences.
Once banished from traditional grounds, WSC ultimately gained access to the Sydney Cricket Ground, complete with light towers. It was almost a symbolic meeting of decades of history and the modern game and its new-found technology. As if the marriage had been finally recognised by the greater public they queued outside the gates in unprecedented numbers until Mr. Packer threw those same gates open. That night the 50,000 strong crowd filled the historic ground with choruses of “C’mon Aussie C’mon” as the Australians and the West Indies clashed before them.
The atmosphere was electric and World Series Cricket had finally arrived.
A packed house at the SCG watches a day/night game. (Image: Viv Jenkins Collection)