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Last updated: Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 13:48 GMT

1979 and all that
Cheryl Ladd (centre) and Canada were pleasant surprises
Ladd (centre) and Canada were pleasant surprises
The 1970s: Glam rock and T-Rex, the Conservatives and Margaret Thatcher, Tudor Crisps and Quosh cordial, cricket and Canada.

Most remembered with fondness, some with fear and the latter pairing, well, probably not at all.

The decade that fashion forgot was also a time when Canadian cricket enjoyed unprecedented success, although it was something, both now and then, that would have slipped the mind of many.

It all began in 1975, when a provincial side beat a strong Australia touring party.

Four years later, Canada took another giant leap forward by qualifying for the World Cup at the first time of asking.

Played 3 - W:0 L:3 NR:0
1979: Group stage
For a country more renowned for its ice hockey excellence, making the World Cup could have been compared to Cheryl Ladd joining 70s TV heroines Charlie's Angels - a surprise, but welcomed in many circles.

Imran Khan of Pakistan
Khan: Thinking of Canada
But unlike Ms Ladd, Canada's entry into the big-time began with more of a whimper than a bang.

Canada, mostly made up of players who had emigrated from the West Indies, were drawn against England, Pakistan and Australia in the group stages.

First up were Pakistan, a team they played their best cricket against.

Canada donned the pads against the third favourites, who had the likes of Imran Khan, Safraz Nawaz and Majid Khan in attack.

The Canadians were intent on making themselves hard to beat.

Openers Chris Chappell and Glenroy Sealy made a 54 partnership, before Chappell (no relation to the famous Australian brothers) fell for 14.

It was a dream start for the minnows.

Up stepped Franklyn Dennis to the crease, a man with a perm only rivalled by captain Brian Mauricette and England's speed merchant Bob Willis.

Bob Willis of England
Willis: Big hair
Sealy managed to make 45 before he was caught and bowled by Asif Iqbal with the scores at 85-2.

Dennis went on to make 25, falling just as Canada reached their ton.

Unfortunately, things turned pear-shaped soon after with the North Americans losing the next six wickets for 36 runs before the end of the innings.

It did not take long for the West Indies to reach 140, and they did so with the loss of just two wickets.

Next up were home side England. With Ian Botham, Chris Old and Willis spearheading the attack, the visitors knew they were in for a rough time.

But they probably never envisaged being dismissed for just 45.

Dennis managed to score 21 runs of that meagre total - the only player to make double figures.

Australia's Kim Hughes
Hughes: Pensive
In total, Canada scored 284 runs from their three matches, at an average of just over 90 runs. To say they were outclassed, was an understatement.

Finally, came the might of Australia.

With the Canadians effectively out of the World Cup, pride was the only thing left to salvage.

They did that to some extent by making more than a century against the tough opposition.

However, the Australians lost just three wickets before Kim Hughes and Graham Yallop guided the side past the 105-run mark set for victory.

So by the end of Canada's campaign, the statistics read: Played 3, Won 0, Lost 3.

They might not have won a game, but at least the world found out that North Americans did know something about cricket.

Links to more Canada stories



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