Today, thirty seven years ago, contributions in bits and pieces, made possible what was never imagined. As history was being re -scripted, paving the way for a change in the balance of power or creation of a new world order in Cricket the sport-a new religion had been born in India. Cricket has never been the same after June 25, 1983. India’s triumph at the iconic Lords over the mighty West Indies, who had bagged the cup in the earlier two editions, has indeed been the real game changer.
Not even a 50 plus score or five wicket haul that too in a once in a lifetime game. Never in an limited over’s match, one finds so many heroes-Srikkanth’s 38, highest in the match, Gavaskar’s three catches, Jimmy’s show with the willow and cherry, Sandhu’s magical late in dipper that utterly flummoxed the wily Greenidge, three scalps of Madan Lal- whose sprint to the wicket often seemed to be quicker than his deliveries, Binny’s key wicket of Clive Lloyd, Kirmani’s shouts from behind the stumps and Kapil’s astonishing running catch to silence the great Viv, West Indian dressing room and the packed house at the Lords. Fear, anxiety, suspense, apprehension, thrill and jubilation, all shades of human emotion was abundantly on display. And together they created what till today is sheer romance.
Though, India won the tournament again in 2011, it can’t be compared with the epic of 1983 Prudential World Cup. India achieved the feat when the Caribbeans were at their peak. That West Indian side is considered as arguably the best side ever to have played the game. Plus, the tournament was played in England unlike 2011 when India was the host. In 2011, India was the hot favorite to win the coveted cup, but in 1983, no one even ever thought of India, given its prior forgettable record.
1983 victory had set the tone for Indian cricket’s future.