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Tim Rich from The Independent examines India's surge to the forefront of international cricket, and how the unexpected 1983 World Cup victory created the groundwork for what would later become India's rise to the pinnacle. If Viv Richards had cleared Kapil Dev comfortably, and West Indies had gone on to win a third consecutive final, then perhaps the advent of such tournaments as the IPL would have never come to fruition.
When the 1983 World Cup opened, India were 66-1 to win a trophy that only 20 per cent of Indian cricket fans were aware was being contested. The state broadcaster, Doordarshan, only considered televising the games live once India reached the semi-finals. India had never done one-day cricket. Their great spin attack of Bishen Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan was simply not in the business of keeping run rates down. In the opening match of the 1975 World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar had infamously batted through a full 60 overs against England for 36 not out. The team that reached the 1983 final contained not a single spinner.
Geoffrey Boycott, in his column for The Week, talks about the shift in cricketing power from England to the Asian countries after India's win in 1983, and how the rise of satellite television created a huge market for cricket in the subcontinent . This also brought about nefarious elements into the game, specifically the betting and fixing scandals that emerged
Most cricketers of this generation have grown up in an era of instant gratification. Everything must be achieved 'now', at this instant, so the idea of quick money is as attractive to them as that of a quick match. Just as spectators are increasingly junking five-day matches for three-hour ones, players see a Rs.45-lakh offer as an instant recipe to set themselves up for life.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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