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June 25, 1983: When Kapil Dev & Co. Created History

London: It was on June 25, 1983 that Team India, under the leadership of Kapil Dev, defied all odds and won their first-ever World Cup trophy.

India had entered the World Cup with zero expectations and nobody really considered them as a title contender, considering the inexperience the team had of playing ODI cricket.

Before the tournament, the Indian team had just played 40 ODIs and had, in fact, won only one match in the previous two editions of the prestigious event.

However, with nothing to lose, Kapil and his troops decided to give it their all. They started off their campaign in an emphatic manner, defeating two-time champions West Indies by 34 runs on June 9 at the Old Trafford, which later on became a good hunting ground for the Indian team.

Gaining confidence from that win, they went on to defeat Zimbabwe in their next game on June 11.

But their campaign suffered a jolt as they faced crushing defeats against Australia (June 13) and West Indies (June 15) in their next two games.

It seemed that the team would be out of the competition. However, the Indian team came back strongly and registered comfortable wins over Zimbabwe (June 18) and Australia (June 20) to make it to the semi-finals.

On June 22, the team surprised many as they defeated England by six wickets to make it to their maiden World Cup final.

And on June 25, the underdogs whom the world had not even considered to be in the title race, surprised everyone at the Home of Cricket — Lord’s. They were bowled out for mere 183 and with West Indies having the likes of Vivian Richards and Clive Llyod, all thought it would be a cakewalk for a team from the island nation.

However, with a ‘nothing-to-lose’ attitude and the self-belief that they carried after a spirited campaign throughout the tournament, the Indian boys came out with a brilliant bowling performance as they bamboozled the famed Windies batting line-up, bundling them out for 140 and winning the game by 43 runs.

Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they picked three wickets each while Balwinder Sandhu scalped two. Kapil and Roger Binny also chipped in with a wicket each and contributed to one of India’s most famous wins in cricketing history.

The image of Kapil lifting the World Cup trophy from the iconic Lord’s balcony is still etched in the memories of cricket fans. It was a moment which told the cricketing world about the arrival of India on the big stage.

“It was the turning point for Indian cricket and for Indians. At a time when cricket was dominated by West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and others, a total underdog Indians became the world champions,” Kris Srikkanth, who was a part of the World Cup-winning team, recently said on Star Sports 1 Tamil show ‘Winning the Cup – 1983’.

Tributes pour in for Kapil’s Devils on 37th anniversary

India’s 43-run win is engraved in the hearts and minds of every cricket follower in the country and on Friday, Indian cricketers took to social media to recall that historic day.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) uploaded a photo of then skipper Kapil Dev receiving the trophy and their tweet read: “#OnThisDay in 1983 Lord’s – history created. #TeamIndia led by @therealkapildev won the World Cup after beating the mighty West Indies. #TeamIndia.”

Current head coach and member of 1983 World Cup winning team Ravi Shastri wrote on Twitter: “#ThisDayThatYear on 25th June in 1983, we believed and we became – World Champions and changed the face of #cricket in #India once and for all. @therealkapildev @icc @cricketworldcup.”

Former all-rounder and member of India’s 2011 World Cup winning team Yuvraj Singh tweeted: “A moment of national pride, our seniors lifted the 1983 Cricket World Cup on this day. Congratulations to every member of the 1983 team. You set the benchmark for us to achieve the same in 2011. Look forward to India becoming a world champion in all sports.”

Former Test great V.V.S. Laxman wrote on Twitter: “37 years today since the historic day at Lord’s when Kapil Paaji lifted the 1983 World Cup. As a 9 year old, it inspired me to dream big and enhanced my love for the game. Incredible day which inspired the whole generation. Thank you Team 83.”

Former cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who himself wrote history at Lord’s in 2002, tweeted: “June 25 1983: The iconic image of Kapil Dev holding the World Cup Trophy at Lord’s is a watershed moment in Indian cricket history. It changed cricket in India. This win inspired the next generation to achieve the impossible and dream big.”

(IANS)

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