From what started as a commercial bid for television rights, a transformation of the game of cricket was born. By 1977 there was undoubtedly unease amongst the players and change was in the wind, but Mr. Packer’s move to broaden the cricketing audience provided the timeliest of catalysts.
Thirty-five years hence, the revolution has become the norm on the cricketing field. Helmets, lights, coloured clothing, night cricket, enhanced coverage, modern marketing and the growth of the one-day game evolved as a direct result of the changes brought about by WSC. Similarly, the recognition of the players in the commercial realm has resulted in the modern player receiving compensation and conditions that never existed prior to World Series Cricket. The ability to eke out an income as a full-time professional cricketer was only a marginal proposition in 1977.
However, perhaps Mr. Packer’s legacy extends beyond the changes we have now come to accept as the norm. Perhaps it was through the upheaval of World Series Cricket that ultimately the ability to marry a traditional game steeped in history with a progressive attitude was born. An attitude that may be able to take it forward another hundred years in an increasingly competitive marketplace. It is a fine balance and an ongoing challenge to value the past while moving viably into the future. World Series Cricket set the stage and the future now rests in the hands of this great game’s current custodians.