World Cup 2019 Countdown: That Indian summer of 1983!

Updated: May 19, 2019, 09:28 IST | A Correspondent

Kapil Dev & Co claiming world cricket's biggest prize at Lord's on June 25 opened new vistas for the willow game in India and abroad. Devendra Prabhudesai breaks down that big-ticket event in which the mighty West Indies fell

World Cup 2019 Countdown: That Indian summer of 1983!
India captain Kapil Dev lifts the World Cup on the Lord's Cricket Ground balcony as Sunil Gavaskar (obscured, right) looks on after beating the West Indies in the final on June 25, 1983. Pic/Getty Images

The keenness of the authorities to build on the success of the first two editions was also a factor that prompted the tweaking of the format, of course. More matches obviously meant greater financial gains. Those behind the revised format would have felt vindicated when the tournament got underway with not one, but two upsets on the opening day itself.

Australia were stunned by debutants Zimbabwe and the West Indies suffered their first defeat in a World Cup match after 10 consecutive wins. Ironically, but quite appropriately for a tournament that had begun with two shock results, the third World Cup ended with one of the greatest upsets in sporting history. Kapil Dev's Indian team, which had beaten Clive Lloyd's 'Invincibles' on the opening day of the competition, stunned the two-time champions on its last day and returned home to a rapturous welcome.

India players Yaspal Sharma and Roger Binny grab souvenir stumps as Mohinder Amarnath (left) runs off the field. West Indies batsman Michael Holding appears stunned at Lord's. Pic/Getty Images
India players Yaspal Sharma and Roger Binny grab souvenir stumps as Mohinder Amarnath (left) runs off the field. West Indies batsman Michael Holding appears stunned at Lord's. Pic/Getty Images

CLASSIC CLASH: India's maiden victory over a major team in World Cup
India v West Indies, Old Trafford, 9 June 1983

The defending champions commenced their mission to complete a treble of triumphs with a match against a team that had won only one of its six World Cup matches till that point. The match started late due to rain and the WI had no hesitation in opting to bowl in overcast conditions after winning the toss. Yashpal Sharma, one of India's earliest limited overs stars, handled the fast bowlers with aplomb in an innings of 89.

Yashpal Sharma
Yashpal Sharma

His teammates batted around him, and India had reason to be satisfied with their score of 262-8. The match spilt over into a second day, due to the delayed start on the first. WI who were 67-2 overnight with their openers back in the pavilion, lost Vivian Richards immediately after the resumption. That wicket had an inspirational effect on the Indians. The batsmen were undone by the swing and movement that the Indian bowlers extracted from the conditions, and when the eighth wicket fell at 130, the underdogs scented victory.

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However, Andy Roberts launched a counter-attack, with support first from Michael Holding and then Joel Garner. The equation was down to a gettable 35 from 36 balls when Ravi Shastri, recalled to the attack after his colleagues had gone for runs, drew Garner out of his crease. The batsman swung and missed, and Syed Kirmani, the wicketkeeper, collected the ball and dislodged the bails.

Hosts: England and Wales
Duration: 9–25 June
Participating teams: 8
Matches: 27
Prize money: £66,200
Prize money for the winners: £20,000

Roger Binny
Roger Binny

A: England, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka
B: West Indies, India, Australia, Zimbabwe
Winners: India
Runners-up: West Indies
Losing semi-finalists: Pakistan (beaten by the West Indies) and England (beaten by India)
Highest scorer: David Gower (England): 384 runs @76.8 from seven matches, inclusive of a century and a half century.
Highest wicket-taker: Roger Binny (India): 18 wickets @18.6

1983 WC QUIZ
1. Two Indian players took 2 catches each in the final. Kapil Dev was one of them. Name the other.
2. Who won the individual award for his 'captaincy' in a league match?
3. Name the umpire who completed a 'hat-trick' of appearances in a World Cup final.
4. How many wickets did Imran Khan, who led Pakistan, take in the tournament?
5. What dubious distinction did New Zealand's Martin Snedden achieve against England at the Oval?
6. Kim Hughes, Australia's captain, missed the match against India at Chelmsford due to injury. Who led Australia in his absence?
7. Name the only playing member of the Indian squad who did not get to figure in a single match in the tournament.
8. Who scored his only ODI century in a league match against India?
9. I was part of a team that qualified for the semis of a WC for the very first time in 1983. Twenty years later, I was coach of a team that made it to the semis of a WC for the first time. Who am I?
10. Who became the first bowler to take 7 wickets in an ODI during the tournament?


Excerpted from The Trail of Cricket's Holy Grail by Devendra Prabhudesai, published by Rupa & Co

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