Dubai, Feb 9: Javed Miandad, the former captain of Pakistan and 1992 World Cup winner, feels his last-ball six off India paceman Chetan Sharma in 1986 changed ODI cricket.
Ahead of the ICC World Cup 2015, Miandad, who played in the first ever World Cup 1975, recalled how the 50-over game has changed since then.
"Ever since the summer of 1975, when I started my ODI career during the inaugural ICC World Cup in England, the dynamics of this format of the game have evolved at a scarcely believable pace," Miandad wrote for International Cricket Council's (ICC) website.
According to Miandad, ODI cricket, played under artificial lights, helped to change things quickly. "The natural evolution of the format was speeded up when ODI cricket began to be played under artificial lights. This innovation changed the game in many ways, not least because it meant games could be stretched out into the evening and allow a new demographic of younger fans to be introduced," he added.
About that famous last-ball six in Sharjah against India in the final of Australasia Cup, he said, "My last-ball six in the final of the Australasia Cup in Sharjah in 1986 to beat India, changed the game in a way. Teams, officials, players and, most importantly fans, all started to believe in the format and its' potential.
"Now players would fight till the very last ball was bowled knowing they could triumph at the very last instant. Fans knew likewise, that every game was alive until the last ball was bowled." With 4 runs needed to win off the final ball, Miandad hit Chetan Sharma for a six to seal the match.
"Investors and sponsors started to measure the mileage they would extract from supporting cricket. Many preferred to hold three ODIs instead of three Tests in those early days. Therefore, the ‘C' of cricket soon became synonymous with the ‘C' of commercial.
"Looking back I feel I was fortunate enough to play a small part in unleashing the true potential of the excitement and enthusiasm for the format, which had been hidden until then," he said. Miandad and Sachin Tendulkar of India hold the record for appearing in most World Cups - 6.
The 11th edition of World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29.