On 5th January 1971, England and Australia played the first ODI cricket match at Melbourne Cricket Ground. The first three days of the third test match between England and Australia was washed off due to heavy rain. At this point, the CA (Cricket Australia) officials gave two options. Either to abandon the test match or if the two teams agree, then play a one day game of 40 eight balls over each side.
ODI cricket is undoubtedly the most popular form of cricket. Over a period of time, it has given so many high-pressure games, nail-biting finishes, and individual excellence. But have you wondered when was the first-ever ODI played?
First Ever One Day International Cricket Match
And guess what? In very short notice, to present the huge crowd something to watch, both the teams agreed to play the new form of cricket on the fifth day of the third test match. The two sides were named as Australian XI and England XI. The match was organized in the sponsorship of Tobacco company Rothmans, who sponsored a lump sum amount of 5000 Euros and the man of the match got 90 Euros. “They called it the first one-day international which rather surprised me years later. I thought, Gee its part of history, that game we thought was a bit of joke”, said Ashley Mallet, the Australian off-spinner. (Read More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashley_Mallett)
The First Step Towards History
In presence of 46, 000 thousand home crowd at MCG(Melbourne Cricket Ground), Australia had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Sir Don Bradman called all the players together and gave them a powerful speech and at the end of the match he addressed the whole crowed saying “You have seen history made”.
In the slow and damp Melbourne pitch, England XI made 190 in 39.4 overs with John Edich anchored the innings with his blistering 82 runs knock. But the score was bellow per considering the playing condition. The two Australian spinners had a huge impact on that match. Keith Stackpole, a part-time spinner took 3 for 40 and Ashley Mallet, another Right-arm off-break bowler got 3 for 34.
Australia started their innings very steadily with two openers, B Lawry and K Stackpole. In spite of losing 2 wickets in 51 runs, I Chappel and D Walters had a very good partnership of 66 runs in a steady run-rate. Finally Australia
The two countries England and Australia immediately welcomed the overwhelming success of the first-ever ODI match. Alan McGilvary, the Australian commentator beautifully explained the first-ever one-day international match with his golden words, “ Its different to a Test match or state game.there’s more involved. There are more tactical operations, there’s more alertness in the field, better running between the wickets. Generally, it’s a spectacle that I’ve enjoyed in England very much.”