Who was the first batsman to score a century at the Cricket World Cup?

The Cricket World Cup, which represents the pinnacle of competition in One Day International (ODI) cricket, was inaugurated, as the Prudential World Cup, in 1975. In the opening match, between England and India at Lord’s, London on June 7, 1975, England won the toss and elected to bat first. John Jamieson and Dennis Amiss opened the batting and it was Amiss who became the first batsman to score a century at the Cricket World Cup.

Jamieson was caught by Indian captain Srinivas Venkataraghavan off the bowling of Mohinder Amarnath with 54 on the board, but Amiss and Keith Fletcher (68) put on 176 for the second wicket, before Fletcher was clean bowled by brisk medium-pacer Syed Abid Ali. Amiss went on to make 137 from 147 balls, including 16 fours and, following his dismissal, captain Mike Denness (37 not out) and Chris Hold (51 not out) took England to a healthy total of 334/4 off their 60 overs.

The Indian reply was bizarre, thanks in no small part to what team manager Gulabrai Ramchand later described as ‘…the most disgraceful and selfish performance I have ever seen’ by opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar. Gavaskar ‘carried his bat’ throughout the entire 60 overs but, for reasons best known to himself – and apparently oblivious to the frustration of his team-mates and the crowd – he scored just 36 not out, including just one four, off 174 balls. Somewhat ironically, Gavaskar’s brother-in-law, Gundappa Viswanath, top-scored with 37 off 59 balls, but India finished with a paltry total of 132 for 3 and lost by 202 runs.

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