Today marks 43 years since World Series Cricket officially commenced play, some 7 months after Kerry Packer’s plans were revealed to the public by Peter McFarline and Alan Shiel.
It was Day One of the First Supertest between the ‘Australia XI’ and the ‘West Indies XI’ at the old VFL/Waverley Park in Melbourne, with barely a couple of hundred spectators in attendance at the ground, although approximately 13,000 people showed up over the 3 days, in which the West Indians won by 3 wickets, although most of the attention was on the 1st Test between Australia and India at The Gabba, featuring Bob Simpson’s comeback after 10 years.
13,000 people over 3 days also made it the shortest wait to get out of the Waverley carpark in history.
In some historic firsts, the Supertest was the first cricket match broadcast by Channel Nine, with that familiar theme of New Horizon by Brian Bennett, and marked the debut of drop-in pitches in the world cricket, which have become the norm for dual-purpose venues in Australia & New Zealand.
Funnily enough, December 2nd is also the day the Bodyline Ashes series of 1932-33 began.