David Gower : 1979
Lord’s: West Indies vs England | West Indies Won by 92 runs
Viv Richards (138) and Collis King (86) help West Indies rebuild 99-4. Geoff Boycott and Mike Brearley made 129 for the first wicket, but too slow and Joel Garner’s 5-38 leads a router.
“As a 22-year-old, and having played international cricket for a year, I did not see anything unique like a World Cup final as they do not show up as often as we’ve noticed.” At this age, it was a very special day. You do not think, “This could be my only one,” you think, “That’s great,” because there’s a certain naivety about this youth, and the truth is that in the West Indies, everyone knew it was very important to have special power, if we want to hold the world championship in our hands.
“I learned early on to have great respect for the tempo attack in the West Indies, and now, more than 40 years later, I still have. I still think they were as good on their day as any attack in history. The pitch of this lord was good – flat, quiet, it was not scary – but when you get to the point where, by today’s standards, you have to accelerate quickly and Joel Garner sticks to you thinking, ‘That’s not fair , “That was difficult.
“It was a 60-over game but for the time being 280-odd was a lot and the game was played very differently. The mantra of the wickets in the hand was a big one at that time. There have been conflicting reports about what was said or not said during this chase, but the simple truth is that we had a steady but slow start.
“This year is England’s best chance, we have a brilliant team, and they have been improving in the last three games, so let’s hope that the trend continues and we have a very, very nice day Lord. “
Mike Gatting : 1987
Eden Gardens, Kolkata : Australia vs England | Australia won by 7 runs
Eden Gardens, Kolkata: Australia, 253-5, defeated England, 246-8, with seven runs. With England 135 for two in the 32nd run of their pursuit, Allan Border gets to roll his part-time slow-left arm. Mike Gatting’s decision to sweep Border’s first ball back is crucial.
“It was probably the best atmosphere I played in, the noise of the crowd was absolutely phenomenal, but after defeating India in the semi-finals, most of them supported Australia, and I and Bill Athey took us somewhere nearby and then I played a setting that people talk about until today, I had played it a lot during my career, and with the field Allan Border had set, there was only one place he would throw the ball, and that I was just aiming to play, whatever his first ball would be, because I was there, playing well and just trying to stay positive.
“If I had left it, it would certainly have been a leg long. But I saw the ball well, felt good and it was a shot that I was quite happy to play with. Unfortunately, it just cut my shoulder and threw itself on the wicketkeeper. Had it missed my shoulder, it would have been three or four runs, we would have driven and perhaps won it.
“It’s a batsman playing all the time these days, but I suppose it was unusual then – but not for me, I’ve played it all the time – certainly all the way through our semi-final against India and all the way but my chairperson of the selection (Peter May) did not like it and told me not to play it, but it was a shot that got me going and that I continued to play, that’s what I mean They do not care about being positive and playing in their own way, but do not underestimate New Zealand, but I see the chances for England very positive. “
Alec Stewart: 1992
Melbourne Cricket Ground: Pakistan vs England | Pakistan Won By 22 Runs
Javed Miandad survives two pounds of appeals from Derek Pringle, as England Pakistan outpaces two wickets early on, but Graham Gooch’s team is unable to chase a substantial sum.
“There was no internet before, so you did not know what was happening at home. We saw one or two English newspapers and the English journals were out there, but you did not know if the whole country was behind you or something, because firstly you are in Australia and secondly the communication is not as it is now , It felt great to us – it was one of the biggest disappointments of my career not to have won this final.
“It was the best team I played in one day but we ran out of gas and Pakistan got stronger and unfortunately they beat us in the final together with Steve Bucknor, who withheld Pring [Derek Pringle] a couple of pounds is still going on.
“It was the first days of the Barmy Army, it was a good atmosphere in the MCG, maybe 80,000, but the majority were Australians because they thought they would get there, but they did not even reach the knockout stage, which was good ,
“It was a tremendous occasion, but when you’re out there, you block the crowd to do your job, there are a few lasting memories – the Pring lbws and then the two balls, Wasim Akram to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis has delivered.
“This English team has to stay true to themselves and just keep playing as they played. It is difficult to delete the final from the equation and consider it as another game because it is bigger. But I would say, try to control these nerves and do not look too far forward. Go out and talk, always choose the positive option, do not go in your shells and really welcome what a World Cup Final is all about. “