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World Cup 1983: 25 years on

Eighty-three once more

A look back at the magical, surreal summer that ended with Kapil Dev raising aloft the World Cup

Ayaz Memon

June 24, 2008

Comments: 37 | Text size: A | A



Beacon, icon: Kapil led India heroically © Getty Images
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Show me a person who gave Kapil Dev's team any chance of winning the 1983 World Cup: I will show you a liar and an opportunist.

The story of how David Frith, then editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, had to literally eat his words after he wrote India off as no-hopers has been told far too often to be repeated here, yet is symbolic of the utter disdain with which the Indian cricket team was viewed before the tournament. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the situation was "hopeless, but not serious."

My own belief in the Indian team's prospects, too, tended towards zero. True, there had been some glimpses of excellence when Kapil Dev's team beat mighty West Indies at Berbice in a one day game preceding the 1983 tournament, but India's track record in one-day cricket, and especially in the two previous World Cups, had been pathetic to say the least.

So while I was obviously privileged to be covering a World Cup, on the nine-hour flight to England in May 1983, two issues jostled for pole position in my mind: Did I really want give up law practice to pursue writing on cricket as a vocation? And secondly, did it make any sense to watch India play West Indies at Old Trafford first up when I could watch England play New Zealand at the Oval?

By the time the plane landed at Heathrow, at least one issue had been resolved. The Oval it would be. This decision was not, as might be misconstrued, based on the kind of cynicism journalists are known to acquire over a period of time. I was on only my second overseas assignment, un-jaded and curious, but frankly, what logic in watching India play the best team in the world?

I have lived to regret that decision. Watching the classy, elegant Martin Crowe was a delightful experience in itself, but not seeing India floor the mighty West Indies was such a bad miss that I was immediately chastened.

The topsy-turvy nature of sport is something only the foolhardy would ignore. This lesson had been painfully learnt. For the next month and more, I followed the Indian team diligently across the length and breadth of the country, spending long hours on British Rail, making scores of trips on the London Underground, as the World Cup wound its way through that magnificent summer. The budget was modest, the travel itinerary intense but the experience was unbeatable - and there other attractions an English summer offers, like catching a concert by Dire Straits at Earl's Court.

Top Curve
India's road to victory
  • June 9/10: India 262 for 8 (60/60 ov) beat West Indies 228 (54.1/60 ov) by 34 runs. Yashpal Sharma 89, Binny 3-48, Shastri 3-26
  • June 11: India 157 for 5 (37.3/60 ov) beat Zimbabwe 155 (51.4/60 ov) by five wickets. Patil 50, Madan Lal 3-27
  • June 13: Australia 320 for 9 (60/60 ov) beat India 158 (37.5/60 ov) by 162 runs. Trevor Chappell 110, Yallop 66*, Hughes 52, MacLeay 6-39
  • June 15: West Indies 282 for 9 (60/60 ov) beat India 216 (53.1/60 ov) by 66 runs. Richards 119, Srikkanth 80, Holding 3-40, Binny 3-71
  • June 18: India 266 for 8 (60/60 ov) beat Zimbabwe 235 (57/60 ov) by 31 runs. Kapil 175*, Madan Lal 3-42
  • June 20: India 247 (55.5/60 ov) beat Australia 129 (38.2/60 ov) by 118 runs. Madan Lal 4-20, Binny 4-29
  • June 22: India 217 for 4 (54.4/60 ov) beat England 213 (60/60 ov) by six wickets. Yashpal 61, Patil 51*, Kapil 3-35
  • June 25: India 183 for 4 (54.4/60 ov) beat West Indies 140 (52/60 ov) by 43 runs. Amarnath 3-12, Madan Lal 3-31
Bottom Curve

Thatcherism was taking firm control of political and economic life in England in the early 80s, and Prime Minister and "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher was the undisputed Queen Bee. Only occasionally was she forced to share centre-stage with US president Ronald Reagan. In that sense, even the World Cup enjoyed miniscule importance, but for those weaned on cricket lore, England was still a dream come true.

The grounds of Sussex spoke of the exploits of Ranji, and the two Pataudis, apart, of course, from CB Fry. At Lord's, passing through the Grace Gates was like a pilgrimage in itself, though the good doctor himself was from Gloucestershire. But my personal favourite as a diehard Surrey fan was The Oval, home to Jack Hobbs, the Bedsers, and my childhood hero, Ken Barrington.

The World Cup carousel took me to most of these historic grounds. When no matches were scheduled, I made day trips to soak in the history and nostalgia. Through the tournament I stayed at Surbiton, a few stops from Wimbledon. My host was a young engineer I knew from Bombay, who was on a work permit and who knew everything about cricket, tennis - indeed all the sport played in England. "For a sports buff, there is no place like this," he would say. Oh, to be in England that summer!

There were only six journalists (if I remember correctly) from India. The explosion in the Indian media, with its din, clamour and suffocating competition to grab soundbites, was nearly two decades away. In 1983 there was still easy access to players and the dressing room.

I remember watching Dilip Vengsarkar get hit on the face by Malcolm Marshall from the dressing room. There was a flurry of abuse when the batsman returned retired hurt, and not from Vengsarkar, poor chap, who could barely open his mouth. When India played Zimbabwe in the historic match at Tunbridge Wells, I watched a fair bit of Kapil Dev's memorable innings, sitting next to Gundappa Viswanath, from just outside the dressing room. Vishy, who hadn't yet retired, had failed to regain his place after the disastrous tour of Pakistan, but was still an integral member of the Indian team.

He was also the main source of hope, I realised, as the team tottered. When India were 9 for 4, he was to say with a sense of righteous belief, "Don't worry, the match is not over yet." He must have been the only man then to believe this. Talk of prophetic words.

As the tournament progressed, the small media corps became almost like an extended family of the team, but this did not mean we did not look for "controversies". The composition of the team showed a distinct north-west divide so to speak, and anybody who knows anything of Indian cricket knows how much these things mattered in those days. Did it influence Kapil Dev? More importantly, was Sunil Gavaskar dropped for the first match against Australia, or "rested", as manager PR Man Singh insisted?

All such doubts died by the time Kapil Dev had finished his business at Tunbridge Wells. Gavaskar was back in the team, despite his mediocre form; Vengsarkar was still out of contention through injury; but by a process of trial and exigency India had hit on the right combination.

The academically inclined are still locked in endless debate about which has been the greatest ever one-day innings. In my mind there is no doubt that Kapil Dev's unbeaten 175 that day stands supreme. There have been bigger scores since, innings with more sixes and boundaries hit, runs scored at a faster rate, but for sheer magnitude of impact (in a myriad ways) nothing quite matches up to Kapil's innings. It not only helped India win victory from the jaws of defeat, but also dramatically altered the course of the tournament, and subsequently, the future of Indian and world cricket.

 
 
Through the tournament I stayed at Surbiton, a few stops from Wimbledon. My host was a young engineer I knew from Bombay, who was on a work permit and who knew everything about cricket, tennis - indeed all the sport played in England. "For a sports buff, there is no place like this," he would say. Oh, to be in England that summer!
 
In the context of the tournament, this innings was to be a rallying cry from a field-marshal to his troops, as it were. Remember, Kapil was in his first season as captain, having taken over from Gavaskar after the rout against Pakistan a few months earlier. This change had been contentious.

Moreover, India had come into the World Cup on the back of a series defeat against the West Indies, and there were muted discussions on Kapil's future as leader even before the tournament began. The pressure on him was to not only justify his reputation as one of the game's greatest allrounders, but also to hold his team together, and thereby hold on to his captaincy.

Examine the scorebook and you find that India's performances till then had been modest -- despite the first-match win over the West Indies - and not at all indicative of the heady climax that was to follow. There had been a couple of exciting 50s, some of the swing bowlers like Roger Binny and Madan Lal were enjoying the helpful conditions, and the fielding was much improved by traditional Indian standards. But nothing to suggest that this was a world-beating side.

The next week flew past in a flurry of wins, banter and laughter as India knocked over Australia and England to earn a place in the final against the world champions. This was surreal stuff from a side which had now forged such enormous self-belief as to become unstoppable.

Australia were a team in disarray, with Greg Chappell not available, and unconfirmed reports suggesting massive infighting between some of the senior pros and skipper Kim Hughes. Having lost their first game, against Zimbabwe, the Aussies were on the back foot when they met India at Chelmsford. As it happened, neither Dennis Lillee nor Hughes played that game, and the result was a massive defeat which was to culminate in Hughes surrendering the captaincy in tears a year later.

The two semi-finals involved India and Pakistan. Could it be a dream final between the two arch rivals from the subcontinent? It was not to be, as Pakistan lost badly to West Indies. With Imran Khan unable to bowl, Pakistan relied heavily on their batting, but in this crucial match missed Javed Miandad who reported unwell. I happened to meet Miandad in his hotel room on the eve of the match. He was obviously suffering from influenza. I wondered, though, if he could miss such an important game; he did and that was that.



Indian summer: fans have something to cheer about at a group game © Getty Images
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On the same day, India's players marched to Old Trafford like born-again gladiators, bristling for the kill. It was a surcharged atmosphere, and by the time the match ended in a flurry of boundaries by Sandeep Patil off the hapless Bob Willis, many fights had broken out between the fans of the two sides all over the ground. One placard captured the Indian performance and the result of the match tellingly: "Kapil Dev eats Ian Botham for breakfast".

So incredible had been India's run of success and such was the disbelief that even the stiff stewards who manned the Grace Gates were completely nonplussed. "Oh, we now have Gandhi coming to Lord's," said one to his colleague in an obvious reference to Sir Richard Attenborough's memorable film on the Mahatma when a few of us landed up to demand accreditation for the final. After some haggling, we were not to be denied accreditation for the match.

On June 25, India took the field against the West Indies, and within a seven-hour roller-coaster ride, the cricket world had been turned upside down, a billion lives changed forever.

At a personal level, the second issue which had dogged my flight into England had been resolved too: the law degree would find its place on the mantelpiece; writing on cricket was to be my lifeline.

Ayaz Memon is an editor at large at Daily News and Analysis. He has written on cricket for more than 25 years

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by R_Raja on (June 26, 2008, 5:02 GMT)

One incident has not been mentioned by any of the writers. Clive Lloyd was injured before he took the field in the finals. He was suffering from a groin strain which he picked up in the semi-final match against Pakistan. During India's innings in the finals he fielded in the slips throughout. When he came to bat, Kapil very sportingly allowed Lloyd the services of a runner. India, till then the minnows of ODIs also taught two important lessons to all teams. Till the 1983 World Cup it was believed that a team needed the services of tear away fast bowlers to win an ODI. In 1983 India demonstrated that disciplined medium pace bowling with an ability to swing the ball can be equally potent. It was also believed that spinners have no meaningful role in ODIs.Two years hence, in the World Championship of Cricket played in Australia, Shivramakrishnan & Shastri proved that spinners can be match winners in One Dayers.

Posted by CrickDiktd on (June 25, 2008, 21:57 GMT)

hey the 83 cup is definetely done a lot good for me. otherwise no(read almost none) parent in India would ever let their kid play cricket. after that win my parents generation themselves got addicted to watching cricket. so the cant really restrict us from playing/watching cricket.

the greatest nostalgia for me is, my middle-school math teacher, who would beat the crap out of us kids for any other thing, was the one, who introduced cricket to us. he would tell us nice stories about indian cricketers. he was friendly to us only when he talks about cricket. his face would glow with happiness, when he talks about cricket. good times..

but, to poop the party, the sad thing is, that '83 win, even after 25 years, is still THE greatest memory for Indian cricket. hmm... doesnt feel gud...

Posted by CrickDiktd on (June 25, 2008, 21:47 GMT)

contd...

the only memory stands out for me is, how stupidly kapil got out in Realiance Cup (world cup) semi-finals against England. until Kapil was there, everyone thought, we will win the game. but he hits a four to long-on, high in the air. the very next ball, english skipper moves a fielder to long-on. kapil couldnt miss that change, coz even eveyone watching on TV clearly saw that field change. even as a kid i was praying, kapil.. dont hit to long-on.. and he hits straight into the hands of the fielder. the fielder wont even take a step.. it goes straight to the hands of the fields for an easy catch. and that pretty much got us out of the chance of winning a second world cup. that is the only time India team ever looked like world champions.

The batting line-up then was

Gavaskar Srikanth VengSarkar RaviShastri Ajharuddin KapilDev

and they were all in form.

there was never a better batting line-up since.

Posted by CrickDiktd on (June 25, 2008, 21:41 GMT)

yeah.. surely it changed the lives of educated indians (billion is exaggeration :-)

the fact that India never really dominated the game after that '83 cup, makes me suspect, thats just a match fixing to gain the interest of billian Indians.. and it worked better than anyone could ever imagine.

may be kapil was great and all, but, since i started watching cricket, late 80's, kapil always disappointed me with bat. i am not really convinced he is really a great all-rounder. agree he is the best bowler India could ever get, but batting.. naa..

TBC..

Posted by US_Indian on (June 25, 2008, 18:44 GMT)

Well I read articles related to India's World Cup Victory, I can imagine everything like a film running in front of my eyes, those balls which cleaned up batsmen of the caliber of Gordon Greenidge, Haynes, Clive Lloyd, the square driven six by Srikanth of Andy Roberts, the flick over midwicket for six by Yashpal Sharma and the most unforgettable catch I have ever seen, by Kapil of Madanlal of the immitable Viv Richards, the euphorea after that the opening of champaign bottle and showering the bald pate of Syed Kirmani etc., and the subsequent functions, the money etc., when those days India was considered a under dog, with no expertise in ODI's,hero's, technological help, trained physio's, video footage to study the oppositions tactics,mental conditioning coaches, trained coaches etc, that was the biggest success which laid the ground for later successess. In his Column Ayaz Memon said, that there was no one who had confidence that India would win, There was a 16 year old who had it.

Posted by sheebes on (June 25, 2008, 18:15 GMT)

Once again BCCI/Indian media makes a big HUYA, all across TV you see people talking about the 25th anniversary, and you see special shows made around the same event.

To me its quite sad that we are celebrating 25 years of winning the WC...get it...25 years since we have one that prestigious cup...sad I say, and we celebrate.

Posted by amicable2all on (June 25, 2008, 12:29 GMT)

That world cup victory literally changed the Malayalee parents mindset towards rejecting cricket which was widely considered a colonial hangover in Trivandrum. Suddenly parents like mine allowed me to by cricket kits for playing matches!! Previously we used tennis balls and bats made of any wood or cut out of coconut leaf stems!! The miserable part of that live coverage was that Doosdarshan had to broadcast the NEWS and so the coverage was cut off for 20 to 30 minutes and Richards was just in to bat. Everybody thought it was all over for India, and maybe this break of coverage must have got the millions of Indians praying to the Gods of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, Jainism, Buddhism and the remaining Gods!! And how can the "united" cry of the Indian millions go unanswered!! My parents never prayed of course. Anyway I knew then that Gods loves the prayers of minors!!! and when the coverage came back on, I couldn't believe my eyes to see the tailenders batting against India!!

Posted by Harsha.P on (June 25, 2008, 9:05 GMT)

great article Mr.Ayaz...I was one of the fortunate few to have watched this final..remember TV's were very few & for a colony max,4 tv's would have been there..I watched the first innings squating on the floor & literally bang in front..in my friends place the hall, bedrooms, kitchen every thing was full & in the innings break, it was difficult for me to come out & we were disappointed with the score & my parents didn't let me watch the second innings...even today highlights of the 83 worldcup final are watched in the same intensity as I watch Tendulkar's batting...kudos to Mr.Memon for refreshing the scene of final which will remain on our minds forever.......

Posted by Aakash_27 on (June 25, 2008, 8:48 GMT)

Hi Ayaz, An amazing article from you. You have delightfully captured both Indian Team's journey and your Journey through the most glorious tourney yet in the history of Indian Cricket. I have been an ardent fan of your articles. And unfortunately I am also amongst those who were yet to land on this earth when this magnificent feat was achieved by my hero Kapil Dev and his Team. I would also love to see another Indian team capture the hallowed World Cup once more and read your highly engrossing articles about those victories once again.

Posted by KICHUBALA on (June 25, 2008, 7:03 GMT)

I dint exist in this world when INDIA won the World Cup. I have seen the highlights of the match a lot of times. I got so engrossed in this article that I was able to feel every moment mentioned. Great Work Ayaz. Just cant imagine how a person who would have watched the match LIVE felt :) Kudos to Kapil's Devils !!! Wish i get a chance to Watch an Indian Team winning the World Cup again :)

Posted by RICHPILL on (June 25, 2008, 6:51 GMT)

Ayaz,

Great Article.

You were one of the very few reasons I ever purchased a Mid - Day. Journalists (like you) who can express themselves so articulately and accurately are a joy to have enjoyed.

Many thanks for writing the above article. I remember reading the exploits of the Indian cricket team in the local rags those days as i studied in a "convent" boarding school which sort of looked down a bit on cricket as a global sport.

Posted by ladcameo on (June 25, 2008, 5:48 GMT)

Nice one, though it got a little deviated in the middle, but yes writers are the masters of their words destiny.. I'm really beginning to like this line... Dev and Devils changed the lives of billions for ever... how very true, probably the most important day in Modern Indian history after the independence day.. nothing unites us like cricket and there is no bigger religion in India than cricket.. Also no better captain in terms of playing when it matters most than Kapil Dev... between 83-86 this man was at his best.. Long Live Indian Cricket Long live its Glory

Posted by pureprashant on (June 25, 2008, 5:30 GMT)

Kapil's innings of 175 was the greatest as he was all rounder and not genuine batsman. I feel he was the most dedicated, determined and honest cricketer India ever produced. My deep salutation to Kapil and His 83 champs.

Posted by niko1 on (June 25, 2008, 4:54 GMT)

An amazing period, very nostalgic. Kapil has always been my favorite cricketer, a passionate bowler and a great sportsman. As a kid, I remember during that period television was not widespread in India and all the neighborhood would gather to a friends place and enjoy the lovely game. It was fun then, all the nail biting finishes were shared by the entire community and there was a hope that Indian's could make a mark in world of cricket and have something to cheer about in the era when the country was in social and economic downturn. Television was used actively for political propagandas during that time and public had very less choice to decide on what entertainment they preferred, sports was just the great thing to watch. Kapil's Indian team did it and gave us a passion for the sport that has continued on, several great stars were born. A lot has changed since then, more choices, better economy and lots more sport. Proud to say that Indian's are doing extremely well now.

Posted by bluz13 on (June 25, 2008, 4:15 GMT)

Beautifully written, brought memories of that night flooding back even though I was only 9 years old then. Unfortunately, what I also remember distinctly is that some bureaucrat in-charge of Doordarshan that night decided that West Indies chase had to be interrupted by regularly scheduled program (was it 'Amchi maati, Amchi Manse'?!) so my brother tuned into AIR and leaped with joy when Dujon got out.

Posted by nsbharwani on (June 25, 2008, 1:53 GMT)

From most of the views shared by felow readers I understand that they liked the game played in those days where money was not the subject but Cricket was the game. Today alot of money is involved and with it comes strings attached. So my simple question is why do all those people with that opinion have to pay for the game in some way or the other. Why can't there be a social boycott? Don't encourage all those products these cricketers endorse. Why not boo them at every given opportunity? Why do we have to make them very very rich and they make fun of us. There are too many "whys" to know but I guess it's best left to the population to decide.

Posted by VL68 on (June 25, 2008, 0:29 GMT)

That memorable day still fresh in my memories. The joy it bought i think never experienced. That victory gave me to talk more about kapil dev skills since we were so craze about kaps. Thanks kapil.

Posted by mehmoodc on (June 24, 2008, 22:36 GMT)

The memories of that day are still vivid. I was a 12 year old and as many others a total cricket nut. In those days I could live without food and water but not without cricket and especially our typical "gully" cricket. I still remember that day - a saturday (and yes most schools were open on saturdays those days in Chennai) and my school ended at 3.30pm. I rushed back home, lugging my school backpack and lunch box on my back, walking as fast as I could. Missed out the first 15-20 minutes of the game when Srikkanth was at his best. My dad not being a cricket fan turned to other program and I missed out Kapil's catch (though I watched it and Srikkanth's innings several times after that on replays and other times). At that point one of my neighbors that did not have TV came to my house to watch and the rest is history...25 years it has been. As many others have said, those were the days when cricket was just a sport and one that would enthrall millions of people.

Posted by vilakudy on (June 24, 2008, 21:36 GMT)

Wonderful piece; Ayaz Memon goes memory down lane and 1983 comes alive in 2008. True that cricket was never the same again after that London Summer.

Posted by smartbombayite on (June 24, 2008, 20:18 GMT)

Fantastic article indeed Ayaz bhai, still the best Indian victory of all times in ODI's. Well I was just 7 years old then, but still vividly remember the radio commentary when the Indian matches when they were played. Remember also, my dad watching the final at home and rooting for an underdog Indian team and celebrating in style after the WC victory. Truly the best moment to cherish of all times, a close second maybe the T20 WC victory last year by MS Dhoni and his team. Kapil Dev was a class act and as rightly mentioned by Gavaskar, he is indeed the greatest Indian cricketer of all times. Of course the WC 83 final was won thanks to equal and amazing contribution by one and all from the Indian playing XI including Sandeep Patil, Jimmy Amarnath, Madan Lal, Kirti Azad, Yashpal Sharma, BS Sandhu, Gavaskar, Srikanth, Kapil himself, Syed Kirmani etc. Jai Hind my Bharat. Wonderful article once again Ayaz bhai. Khuda Hafiz.

Posted by Jasuja on (June 24, 2008, 20:05 GMT)

Oh, I still can't forget the way BS Sandhu dismissed Greenidge. He shouldered his arms to the ball outside the off stump. The ball swung in sharply and took the bails off.

Posted by ivanjoseph on (June 24, 2008, 19:39 GMT)

It was a truly magical win. It started with the win against the West Indies - Roberts and Holding gave us a scare with a stubborn partnership before Kapil brought on Shastri who got Roberts out stumped by Kiri off the very first ball. In the repeat match against the Windies, Vengsarkar and Mohinder were fighting valiantly when Marshall injured Vengsarkar and we went on to lose. Then came the match against Zimbabwe - I was traveling by train to Chennai from Kerala and only heard that India were 25-5. The first thing I did on reaching Madras was to go to the Higgin Botham's stand with my mother to buy the Hindu. I furiously turned to the sports page and read the headline 'Kapil beats the daylights out of Zimbabwe' . Unbelievable!! Then came the game aginst the Aussies and we just routed them. The fairytale continued in the semis and finals. Kapil's Devils had won and Mohinder was MOM in both semis and finals and the best bat in the world at that time. Yashpal was another great hero.

Posted by Himayun on (June 24, 2008, 19:19 GMT)

Thanks for a trip down the memory lanes. I have been a cricket fan, since 1960's. Having born in Karachi, Pakistan, I can remember listening to the cricket commentary even at the cost of school.

After the resumption of cricket between Pakistan & India in the 70's, I moved to the US. It was almost impossible to know any updated news from that part of the world, let alone cricket. However as a lifelong fan of cricket and the shortwave radio, I started listening to it again in the US.

The point I am trying to make is I can vividly remember a local radio station broadcasting the weekly one-hour program of Indian music. I called and told the Indian lady, that you know what just happened, it is a great day for India. Then I told her about the world cup victory and the scores and she announced that on the radio! Few people in this day and age can appreciate the efforts that we had to make just to know what was going on.

Posted by Patriotic_Indian on (June 24, 2008, 18:43 GMT)

What an article...To begin with i am passionate cricketer. I was just 8 at the time of this game and so hardly have any memories towards it.. But this article and than reading the responses posted by others really brought tears in my eyes. This Victory is too amazing for any Indian living anywhere in the World. As ICF_Lurker said to Ayaz if he can provide us with some more articles on this glory it will be the best. thankyou for bringing back the golden memories of this Win..its really unfortunate tht now the cricket has become all abt money.. wht is more upsetting is the way BCCI is dealing with Kapil Dev..They OWE him a lot. They are there becos of him and his team. Kapil Da Tusi Just Great Ho Yaar...

Posted by Anamitro on (June 24, 2008, 18:38 GMT)

This is the first article I have ever read/heard of where 83 World Cup is discussed without any mention of Jimmy Amarnath. He was the central figure of that campaign. True, Kapil had that great innings, Kris played a few great shots, Patil played a few great knocks, but the whole team revolved around Mohinder. Without him the victory would not have been possible.

Posted by ashwin_547 on (June 24, 2008, 16:54 GMT)

what a moment for indian cricket, it knocked off our national sport - hockey and football and now it dominates. yay!

Posted by addicted_to_cricket on (June 24, 2008, 16:23 GMT)

Great Reading!!!.....Took me back 24 years. That was a great day for Indian Cricket....nothing could ever surpass that joy and pride!!!

Hats off again to Kapil Dev and his men. It changed lives, it changed Indian Cricket and that World Cup will always remain the Jewel in the Crown of Indian Cricket.

Ayaz Saab, Great writing.....since you were present in England on the occassion, we would love to read more from you on the after-shocks!!!

Best Always!!!

Posted by Harish.Acharya on (June 24, 2008, 14:56 GMT)

A very well written article - I can still remember the day that Mohinder Amarnath, Kapil and the rest stood grinning from ear-to-ear holding aloft the trophy. We watched the match on TV and were all thrilled but never imagined the impact it will have on cricket in India. Can't believe it was 25 years ago! Those were the days when cricket was all about bat and ball and not about money. Thanks for a very well written article.

Posted by KishoreSharma on (June 24, 2008, 14:43 GMT)

Wonderful article. I grew up in England - near Surbiton, in Morden - and now live in New York. I was 17 during that Summer, studying for 'A' levels and a complete cricket buff. I attended India v West Indies at Oval, India v Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells (yes, that match) and India v Australia at Chelmsford. Oh what a summer that was! A couple of additional points. While I did not predict that India would win the World Cup, I always felt that they had a chance to qualify for the Semi-Finals. I had observed how well the New Zealanders had done in the previous 2 World Cups and felt that India's bowling line up was not too dissimilar, plus they had explosive batsmen like Srikkanth, Patil and Kapil Dev. Secondly, the slogan quoted by the author said "Kapil Dev can eat 3 Bothams for Breakfast" - this was a twist of a popular advert in the UK at the time which said that "Botham can eat 3 Wheatabix for Breakfast". Cheers. Kishore Sharma

Posted by Crikgeek on (June 24, 2008, 14:38 GMT)

A great article that took me down the memory lane. I was an 11 yr old cricket buff at that time and it was that year Television was slowly getting popular in India. I cherish that moment of watching that memorable match & the celebrations to follow with our entire neighborhood. The whole country was electrified by the amazing performance of Kapil and his men in white. No other Indian performance comes close to that one. Even though there were differences & contentions in the side, Kapil championed the side with chivalry. I wish the current Indian team revisits history and learn somethings. Good job!! Ayaz.

Posted by Pradeep_Manakil on (June 24, 2008, 14:16 GMT)

A endearing article laced with nostalgia that brings back those vivid memories of the summer of 83. Being a 10 year old boy, the square cut by Kris, the catch by Kiri and Kapil, the banana swing of Sandhu were all deeply etched in my mind and for a moment it took me back to my childhood days. Yes indeed it was the day that turned the lives of a billion people !!! Kudos to Ayaz saab for yet another excellent write up.

Posted by ICF_Lurker on (June 24, 2008, 13:30 GMT)

Ayaz saab.

Excellent write up. But frankly too little for an Indian cricket afficiando like me. A series of write-ups would have been absolutly great, specially by someone who had actually covered the event and not some soul who looks at the scorecard and prints an entire article based on that(and some recording etc). I know it is quite easy to romanticize the past but for fans who were unlucky enough not to have been born then, or too young to remember anything, senior journalists like you should share with them how it actually transpired. Kapil's innings, Patil's attacks in semis, Madan Lal/Binnis bowling in all the matches.

Please do share more if you can. And thanks for writing this.

xxx

Posted by loopsteria on (June 24, 2008, 12:55 GMT)

When we won the world cup in 83, I was only two years old and probably having milk somewhere just like MS Dhoni but its true that Kapil's 175 and then the victory in the final changed my life and of everyone I know in India. I find it difficult to do anything when India plays any form of cricket, just so many prayers and emotions go into it. Kapil is arguably the best we have produced and what the BCCI are doing to him is appaling, they owe their riches to this very man and his devils. Well done Ayaz Menon, it is a really good article. I now live in London and wonder what that day must have been like 25 years ago when we achieved the unbelievable. I just hope that may we win many more tournaments to come but this will still be the number one victory for the most of us.

Posted by mayurbaruah on (June 24, 2008, 12:42 GMT)

Cricket has always been my passion and to say that the passion got a major boost with Kapil's Devils lofting the cup would be a sure shooting canon. Really an article that made me feel the Lord's experience of 1983. Oh to be on the field with those gentlemen. Cheers...!!

Posted by Always_Indian on (June 24, 2008, 11:58 GMT)

A heart touching article. I felt the England Summer inside me. They were a core bunch of self believers who rose to the situation. This bunch had respect for each other which we can see in them still when they stood together to celebrate the 25th year of victory.

Posted by Neutral007 on (June 24, 2008, 10:27 GMT)

Ayaz really taken me back to 1983. Good to know the feeling of the dressing room those days. Great ayaz keep going.

Posted by Sankalp.Mohanty on (June 24, 2008, 10:01 GMT)

A gem of an article-tinged with nostalgia and dripping with emotion. Loved it. I've read a lot of articles on the 83 WC win but this article is just out of this world. Made the hair on the back of my neck standup. What an experience it must have been to be there then!

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Series/Tournaments: Prudential World Cup
Teams: India
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