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Friday, 3 January, 2003, 09:58 GMT

Clive Lloyd - 1975

Clive Lloyd Clive Lloyd led from the front with a spectacular century in the final as West Indies defeated Australia by 17 runs to take the inaugural World Cup.

Now an ICC match referee, Lloyd looks back on the start of a period of world dominance by the Caribbean side.

Of the two World Cups that you won, which is your favourite?

The 1975 win would be the better of the two. It was the first World Cup for a start and to do well when I batted made it a particularly special moment.

How different was the one-day game in 1975 to the way it is played now?

You had 60 overs rather than 50, which made it more of a challenge to bat throughout, and there was no fielding circle so you could restrict batsmen by setting certain fields.

Bowlers' lines have got to be better now, especially in the first 15 overs of the innings, because you are required to have four men in the circle.

West Indies suffered a single hiccup on their way to the final when it took a last-wicket between Derryk Murray and Andy Roberts to get you home. Have you ever seen that pair bat better?

Funnily enough they always batted well together. That was probably the game when we realised that we couldn't lose the World Cup.

Watching the last pair get 64 runs in 14 overs sealed the West Indies team together as a unit.

Did your belief waver when Roy Fredricks was out in the first over of the final, clipping his wicket as he hooked Dennis Lillee for six?

I just thought: Oh my God, is this how it is going to be for the rest of the day? We really aren't going to be lucky.

But I was because I was dropped on 10 by Ross Edwards and from then on everything just hit the middle. Rohan Kanai and I steered the team out of troubled waters.

Did you have an inkling when you walked out to bat at 50 for three that you would come back with a century?

Not really, but after a couple of balls you realise that you're hitting it in the middle and things just went well.

It was a very memorable day for me and a memorable innings.

How do you rate the team's performance on that day with their many other achievements over the next two decades.

It stands out for me because it was such an important day for our cricket. Before then we had been in the doldrums for a long time.

We realised the possibilities. It gave me a chance to say, "Hey we really can be good".

We had a tough tour to Australia straight after the World Cup but it all came right during that period.

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