The 1983 World Cup

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Omkara
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The 1983 World Cup

Post by Omkara »

83 the movie is out and I just came back from the theatre. Well made movie. We have discussed 83 WC but I think never in a separate thread. So I thought let me start one.

With Omicron threat looming at large, this movie might be our last one before things close down again. So to start let me say, I loved it. Our team united India and that still is the biggest achievement if those players. It made us believe we can do it. I don't remember much but clearly this win helped improve TV sales in India. We remembered our first TV which came around 84. During 1985 Benson and hedges series, our house got occupied by atleast 15 odd people during the matches. I have only heard stories of the 83 win. I have also read the importance of Kapil's 175 given that innings kind of changed the game in India.

I spoke with my mom. She said people were on the street celebrating late in the night. For atleast next two weeks, people threw parties in their homes celebrating the win. I enjoyed the 2011 win and felt lost post the 2003 loss. But really not being that old so as have some memory of this tournament hurts me most. Touch and go. Had I been five or six i would have had some memory.

Let this thread be of memories of the tournament. I am sure few of us would have been young enough to remember what happened. I would love to hear from each of you.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by suresh »

It was summer vacation after I was done with my first year in college. I was down with fever and watched the whole match on TV wrapped in a blanket. I couldn't celebrate the win as everyone else was asleep at home. :D


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by jayakris »

It was during the summer after my 3rd year at IIT Madras but I was home then. My best memory is the Malayala Manorama newspaper headline next day.

ജയിച്ചു!

It means "Won!" in three huge letters across the page. That is it. No subject, object or context words. Quite surely the shortest headline ever in the 132 year history of that newspaper.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by rajitghosh »

Yes this forever changed the history of sports in India. Hockey that was already on a decline faded faster. The win in the 1985 World Championship of Cricket further boosted the image of cricket and big money started chasing cricket. India hosting the World Cup in 1987 made India a one sport nation. More importantly it inspired a generation. Sachin, Sourav, Rahul and all products of this inspiration.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by prasen9 »

I was in middle school. I heard the commentary of the semifinals. Incredible amount of hitting by Sandeep Patil. Even by today's standards. Then, when 5 runs an over was expensive, he was hitting at 8-9 runs/over and over 5-6 overs at least. Scored a 50 chasing. In an era when India found a way to get defeated from good positions. The expected collapse never came. We were jubilant. I was hearing it over our radio.

The finals were being telecast. There was some technical problems and the telecast went away for a while. Then, they came back and showed the incredible catch by Kapil to get rid of Sir Viv. And, then the confidence was there that we would pull it through by hook or by crook. Even though we were defending a small total. And, at the end the celebrations. From the balcony of Lords, etc.

Incredible feeling.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

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Re: The 1983 World Cup

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It was the summer between my ISC exams and my entry into college. I remember it very vividly indeed. India had been no-hopers in the World Cup, having won just one match in the first two editions (against East Africa -- Zimbabwe+Kenya) in 1975, and having lost all 3 matches (including to non-test playing Sri Lanka) in 1979. But some of us noted that India won one of the 3 ODIs in the West Indies in 1983 (with Gavaskar making 90 in that game), so we were not really no-hopers in 1983, although the bookies made India 66-1 outsiders to win (or was it 100-1..?).

The day after my entrance interview at St. Stephen's College-Delhi, I awoke in the morning to get an early glimpse of the newspaper -- and what a story there was on the sports page, India having shocked the West Indies in both sides' first match of the World Cup. (It turned out to be a 2-day game -- allowed in those days -- and Shastri and Amarnath were the bowling heroes). My hosts in Delhi, my uncle (father's brother) and his family were totally uninterested in cricket, and couldn't understand why I was so excited. I was at my maternal grandfather's place in Calcutta (New Alipore) during the Zimbabwe match; he and I lamented the 17/5 situation as being the end of India's hopes. I remember I had some work in Bhowanipore (near my paternal grandparent's place), but kept listening to the radio as I went about my work. When I came back to my Dadubhai (one of the great characters in the Eden Gardens stand in those days, with his inimitable wisecracks), he had stopped listening, but I told him to change that because Kapil was well past his century and hope had revived...

India won and lost a match each against WI and Australia in the league stage, but Zimbabwe beat Australia, and that ensured that India made the semifinal. I watched that at the Calcutta Club (where there was a colour TV, while we had a B&W one at home). Apart from Patil's heroics at the end (well described by prasen9), the most memorable was the 24-over spell by Kirti Azad and Mohinder Amarnath; they were supposed to bowl 6 overs each (sharing the 5th bowler's responsibility), but they were so effective -- getting the wickets of Gatting, Lamb and Botham while strangling the flow of runs -- that they both got to bowl their full quota of 12 overs!

The final of course is legendary. But the electricity went off (seemingly all over Calcutta) soon after that beautiful curve ball from Balwinder had Greenidge bowled after shouldering arms. So I missed watching the Viv Richards dismissal, but knew about it because the city erupted in a collective roar when it happened. (I never actually saw Kapil taking that catch off Madanlal's bowling until the TV re-runs before the 2011 World Cup!). The lights did come back on soon afterwards, and I recall watching the rest of it with my parents' neighbours, who were communists by day but cricket lovers (and hence quiet nationalists) by night :-) . When India won, the city (and no doubt the country) went absolutely mad with joy, and the shouting, cracker-bursting and diya-lighting went on through the night.

The most striking thing about that team was that almost everyone was an allrounder. Kirmani (batting at #10) was a test centurion, and Sandhu (at #11) had made two test half-centuries, including a 70+ against the fearsome West Indies. To me Binny (top wicket-taker with 18) and Madanlal were the real heroes, although of course Kapil's inspirational leadership was a decisive factor. "Kapil's Devils" they were named by Farokh Engineer, whose commentary on TV kept us all entertained -- because it was funny, and especially because he was ever-optimistic about India's chances. He was the one guy who could feel vindicated when India won -- on what happened to be my mother's birthday!


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by gbelday »

The best part after the whole thing was that the World Cup made it to our high school and we all got to touch it. It was kept on the assembly stage until everyone in the school got a chance to go up to the stage and touch it. No pictures unfortunately. This was obviously before the cell phone days.

And I still remember that beauty of a delivery from Sandhu.

Thanks for the memories PKB. I was Kapil’s fan before the WC and a bigger fan after that. Can’t wait to see the movie!


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by prasen9 »

Yes, that power off must have taken the live broadcast offline then and though we used to get Bangladesh TV some days in our antenna, that day we could not or perhaps they were not showing.

The unfortunate thing is that we never learned the lessons of that win and paid attention to all-rounders. The rules made bowlers less valuable and that is why we got away with Yuvraj as the fifth bowler in our second win. But, with the field restrictions now, we need five full bowlers and with two new balls, we need wrist spinners and not finger spinners in the middle overs. These are, of course, simplifications.

BTW, wrt communists and nationalists, etc. I do not think the Bengali communists were by and large that stringent about pure communist thoughts. Or maybe the right way to say it would be that all the Bengali communists I knew (and I knew a lot of them) were patriotic. Anyway, by the simple definition of nationalist in that they cared about the nation, all of them did. They actually cared for the state (Bengali pride) very much too leave aside being globalists. The intellectual thinkers who believe in internationalism and not nationalism per se were few and far between. This happened even in Russia/USSR --- they inevitably hunkered down to Russian pride, etc. Of course, they were not nationalists like the social nationalists or nazis either. Most of our communism was sort of home-grown mishmash of ideas focused on labor rights, socialism, etc. That is why these guys are now part of the BJP and Trinamul now, both parties who have quite different philosophies --- not because they renounced their ideals about labor, etc. but just political opportunism. So none of these guys were deep-rooted philosophical communists.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by Kumar »

For some reason, TV in my house was not working. We had the Bharath TV which had its ups and down, but probably lot more downs failing at most opportune time. I remember going to my friends place and glimpsing some part of the semi finals. The finals i was listening to commentary at another relative place. I vaguely remember commentators raving about kapil dev’s catch. We may have lost power or coverage after Greenidge dismissal, becoz i remember seeing that live and listening to commentary after that. Other than that, no distinctive memory of the 1983 finals as i barely watched them live, but i followed cricket so much the next few years.

Non cricket story, I still remember my older relatives complaining about Srikanth smoking cigarettes as if he was their family member.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by Atithee »

I was at my maternal grandparents’ place for summer as usual but that house was inhabited only during our sporadic visits. So, there was no TV. I went to my aunt’s place and watched the India innings. Either because I was disheartened or that I couldn’t stay away so long, I returned home and didn’t watch the WI crumble. That’s my memory of that match.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by Omkara »

Unfortunately the movie flopped, despite best efforts. I asked around in my office. Most people said, they didn't identify themselves with this event. They just couldn't connect. And then i realised, I was probably oldest amongst the people o asked.
Getting old!!


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by sameerph »

True, the movie came too late I guess. Many of us in this forum relate to that win in a big way. But, those in early 20's and 30's too do not relate much as they were born much after that. I fondly remember that. I think this was first big Indian win since i started understanding and following cricket. Was in 9th standard at that time. Still remember celebrations after the win. Of course nothing to the scale which we see these days. But, I think Cricket really took off in India after that.


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by Omkara »

Seriously.... 9 th standard, almost 15 years old. I was 3 years old

You never looked that old Sameer!


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Re: The 1983 World Cup

Post by sameerph »

Yes, Sumanta. Well past 50 now. Time flies. It has been a long time since we met at one of the tennis matches in Mumbai.