“I also claim some credit for Kapil’s success. If my words goaded them into taking the World Cup more seriously, then I am delighted. No non-Indian was more thrilled than I was with that victory at Lord’s
David Frith. Pic/Getty Images
British historian David Frith, who was seen eating his own words in the just-released 83 movie, claimed a bit of credit for inspiring Kapil Dev’s team to clinch the 1983 Prudential World Cup.
Frith had famously commented that India should withdraw from the World Cup if they didn’t improve. When Kapil’s Devils did the incredible by beating the mighty West Indies in the final at Lord’s on June 25, Frith literally had to eat his own words.
More thrilled than Indians
“I also claim some credit for Kapil’s success. If my words goaded them into taking the World Cup more seriously, then I am delighted. No non-Indian was more thrilled than I was with that victory at Lord’s.
“When it was suggested that I eat my words, I was very happy to do so—and even arranged a photograph for Wisden Cricket Monthly [which he edited, having founded the magazine four years earlier],” Frith said.
‘Not forced to eat my words’
“My role in India’s 1983 World Cup triumph has been misrepresented. I was not forced to eat my words. It was suggested that I might do so after India’s victory, and I was very glad to do so,” he said.
Frith said he enjoyed celebrating the historic victory with the Indian team. “That evening, I joined the Indian players and a crowd of fans in the hotel across the road and enjoyed the celebrations. My friend Kapil danced to bhangra [beats] which was memorable. I then got all the players to sign my match programme, which remains a prize among my cricket collection,” Frith said.