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Reliving 1983: Extraordinary tale of grit, passion, and determination

A team that was denied entry to the Lord's cricket ground at the beginning of the tournament stood at the legendary balcony with the World Cup in their hands sending a message that dreams do come true only if you have the nerves to chase them.

Jishu Bhattacharya Written by: Jishu Bhattacharya @bh0592 New Delhi Published on: June 25, 2022 11:42 IST
Kapil Dev, World Cup
Image Source : TWITTER (@TASLEEMARIFK)

Kapil Dev with the trophy

Highlights

  • This was India's maiden World Cup trophy
  • Before this India had won just against East Africa in the 1975 World Cup
  • Mohinder Amarnath was the vice captain of the team

It is June 25 once again and it marks the 39th anniversary of India's first World Cup win in 1983. A team that was written off, a team that had only one win in the previous two World Cup editions made the entire country believe that impossible is just a term.

"Team, if this is not a winning total it is a fighting total", said a determined Kapil Dev while addressing his troops during the innings break of the 1983 World Cup final. Before they walked out to defend a meager 183 against the mighty West Indies, little did they know that they were just hours away from creating history. With their batting great Sunil Gavaskar far from his best and man in form Yashpal Sharma just departing for 11, India could not outplay West Indies and could manage to put up just 183 on the board.

The West Indies on the other hand had a powerful batting line-up with the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, and Clive Lloyd in their wings. It was almost certain that West Indies were well on their way to winning their third title and everybody expected them to steamroll India. Viv Richards particularly was in no mood to spare India as he race away to 33 off 28 deliveries. While recalling Viv's innings, Kapil Dev says "The kind of mood he was in, it looked like he will finish the match within 30 overs". But things changed.

India Tv - Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, BCCI

Image Source : GETTY

Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath after World Cup win

With Viv belting the bowlers all around the park, Madan Lal took the onus upon himself to change things around and almost forced Kapil to let him bowl. He backed himself and bowled a short delivery, Viv mistimed and skipper Kapil Dev who was stationed at short midwicket ran backward and grabbed the ball over his shoulder. It was mayhem for the defending champions but India had almost grabbed the trophy till the time Faoud Bacchus and Jeff Dujon stitched a 43-run partnership which scared India for a moment. But fortunately, the World Cup was destined to be won by India.

When Mohinder Amarnath trapped Michael Holding's pads in front of the stumps, those eleven Indians on the field and everyone back home knew that a nation had scripted history. A team that was denied entry to the Lord's cricket ground at the beginning of the tournament stood at the legendary balcony with the World Cup in their hands sending a message that dreams do come true only if you have the nerves to chase them.

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