1983 World Cup : Why the Victory will always be at Top

Here's how Express covered India's historic 1983 Cricket World Cup triumph-  The New Indian Express

If someone asks me one victory of Indian Cricket Team that is closest to my Heart … without a second of a delay I would say 1983 WC Victory. For a surprise I haven’t watched the match live, the first live victory that paved my way for becoming a die hard Cricket Fan was 2011 Victory. But why I called 1983 victory the top one was that victory paved the way for ‘Indian Cricket’ to be regarded as Champions for the very first time.

The Indian team which won the 1983 Cricket World Cup - Old Indian Photos

Those Times and the Weak Team …..

First of all we should keep in mind that the victory didn’t came in the present times. Back then, there was seldom any proper cricketing facility across the country. Nor were there proper training centers or staff accompanying the team and nor was the salary any high (it was just 1500/month and 600 allowance). Situation was that cricketers used to do some other job and then come to play for the team taking leave. It was during these times that the team pulled off such a victory.

Not just that … Indian Team was one of the weakest teams of the cricketing world in those times. In the previous 2 editions the team managed to win just one game that too against EAST AFRICA, an even weaker team ( Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda played with this name then and this team will never play again). For such a team with zero expectations to come all the way in England and defeat not just AUS, ENG but the mighty WINDIES is commendable.

Remembering the 1983 World Cup victory: It laid the platform of  self-confidence for Indian cricket, says Mohinder Amarnath | Cricket News -  Times of India

The Journey

INDIA was a team with no expectations and it was said that only KAPIL DEV went there with the aim of winning the cup, rest weren’t even dreaming of it. The tournament started by INDIA shocking everyone with a victory over the WINDIES and then a rather easy victory over ZIMBABWE. But after that the road wasn’t easy as the team had to face consecutive crushing losses against AUS and then again the WI. At that point … it seemed end of the road for us but one man stood up … his name is KAPIL DEV. In a must win game now against ZIMBABWE, the situation wasn’t good for IND again as they were struggling at 17-5 with almost every credible batsman inside the pavilion.

The Gamechanger

Then came to bat DEVON KE DEV … KAPIL DEV and batted and batted and batted … he went not out with 175 out of 138 balls taking IND to a competitive 266. It is said that that innings infused a new energy into everyone with the help of which not only they wrapped up that match but also the whole tournament. One more interesting Trivia is related to this match … there is NO recording of that match which means you can’t watch that gem of an innings even if you want to which I think many of you do. Actually BBC had some demands and it was on strike on that day, since both IND and ZIM were weak teams then so BBC decided to boycott this match only. According to many this is the greatest ever ODI innings and what a bad luck … people can’t watch it.

Kapil Dev's 175* After India Was Down To 17/5 - The Innings That Inspired Indian  Cricket

Inspirational Comeback

Now the team was pumped up and went high against AUS. Though it wasn’t able to score much and was out for 247 only but with some sensational bowling by ROGER BINNY and MADAN LAL they wrapped AUS at 129. Then, came the Semi finals against ENG, not only did they restricted them only to 213 but the weak looking batting was also able to chase down the target well within time with some mature batting by YASHPAL SHARMA and SANDEEP PATIL.

Then came the Finals … WI were the Favorites without a slightest of doubt. Up against them were Underdogs INDIA … who had already played much better than what they themselves had expected of. Even if they had lost they would have still received a respectable welcome back home, but the team had other ideas. It is no surprise that Britishers have always been TOO jealous of us and it was the reason that the wicket was made too grassy and green. KAPIL DEV was not at all happy with it as everyone was aware of the WI Pace Attack and the wicket was single handedly favoring them.

The dressing room pep talk that fired up India in the 1983 World Cup final  | Sports News,The Indian Express

The Climax

The match started on expected note as IND was bundled out for mere 183, though everyone was trying hard but no one was able to control WI pace demonism. The only chance of a miracle was in bowling. Though one wicket of GORDON GREINEDGE fell early but after that the legendary VIVIAN RICHARDS took on the charge and started smashing boundaries in all directions. The match was slipping out of the hands very fast and the tag of ‘Runner Up’ was getting ready for us.

India lifted first-ever Cricket World Cup on this day in 1983

MADAN LAL was struck badly by RICHARDS for 2 consecutive overs now who had already struck 7 boundaries at the score of 33. When you don’t have much runs on board a captain is tempted to change early and so did KAPIL, but as soon as he was thinking of someone else, MADAN LAL came and snatched the ball back from KAPIL and said “I will take his wicket … just give me the ball”. Well … KAPIL didn’t had much options and MADAN LAL was against RICHARDS again leaving both KAPIL and Fans extremely tensed. He bowled a bouncer and RICHARDS tried to pull but … there was a top edge and ball was sailing backwards of KAPIL who was at short mid wicket at a good height, the catch was looking impossible but KAPIL ran backwards and then finally took it diving … and the impossible was done. The greatest batsman of the generation was back in the pavilion … and INDIA was back in the game with a bang. After that it was just a matter of time and the rest of the batting fell like a pack of cards in front of the bowling heroics of MADAN LAL and MOHINDER AMARNATH. When the latter bowled out MICHAEL HOLDING … at that very moment millions got pumped with joy as History was made … 26th June 1983 was the day. It was proved that for winning if there is something needed its a strong commitment more than a strong team, as KAPIL DEV himself reckons.

1983 World Cup: Five interesting facts from India's campaign - cricket -  Hindustan Times

Victory above All …..

I think all of you would have understood why for me this victory stands above all others. A team from which no one expected, a country which no one respected and a young Captain who had a dream to make his country win. The world witnessed and bowed in front of INDIA and then … World Cup came home for the first time. Social media was not present in those times, so this victory is not celebrated that much but irrespective of many World Cups and Tournaments we end up winning … this will always sit at the top. If that day INDIA hadn’t won the match … neither the TV and Cricket revolution had entered INDIA nor the millions of children including SACHIN TENDULKAR and ME would have dreamt of representing their country. Today, while writing this I would like to thank KAPIL DEV and Team from the very bottom of my hearts … THANK YOU.

World Cup 1983 final: How the magic unfolded at Lord's to give India her  greatest moment - Cricket Country

83 The Movie

As I earlier also said that one thing I regret is not being able to witness this victory. So for many like Me … the movie on this special victory has been made, specially focusing on KAPIL DEV. RANVEER SINGH will be essaying the role of legendary KAPIL DEV who himself has said that the hardwork RANVEER has done for the role even left him amazed. It’s release has been halted as of now, but whenever this movie comes … it will be a TREAT to watch. I am very excited for this KABIR KHAN directorial, specially for watching KAPIL DEV’s initial struggles and his classy 175 knock. So … hope that it comes soon and we witness History all over again. Irrespective of how many good things we say about it, this victory will be beyond words … it will always be Special.

Kapil Dev reveals what his first reaction was when told about '83' movie-  The New Indian Express



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