That magical summer 25 years ago June 26, 2008Posted by chetan in : US Wireless Market , trackback
Non-cricket fans please excuse this sojourn down the memory lane.
In 1983 Cricket world cup, the Indian team was the biggest underdogs, a team that seemed alien to the one day format. Even the most ardent supporters and the team members didn’t have much hope from the event. The team had some spectacular players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, and the likes but they didn’t really find the one day format comfortable. As a teenager and as a loyal follower, I was glued to the commentary coming out of England. The biggest turning point was the best innings ever played in one day (and unfortunately not recorded) by Kapil Dev, an innings that will forever go into folklore for generations to come. From a pathetic 9-4, India went on to score 266-8 and win the match by 31 runs. After that India seemed unbeatable at least to us - the fans and the team itself but still the cricket fraternity didn’t give them a chance. Yet, India went on to beat Australia, then England in the semis and went to finals as a favorite underdog. But could they beat the mighty Windies who had won the world cup twice with ruthless efficiency. I remember watching the Indian innings and the match appeared lost when India only scored 183 for 4. I turned off the TV and went to the market but the entire market was on fire glued to their radios. India had been making good progress denting the windies batting line up. The catch that Kapil took to dismiss King Richards was nothing short of breathtaking. There was no stopping after that. We cheered until our throats were sore and India got the last wicket. The country erupted in joy, pride, and celebration.
The memory of that magical summer will remain etched in my mind for ever. It was an upset of such gigantic proportions that there are few equivalents in sports, maybe the US ice hockey team beating the Russians in Olympics comes close. It is also an unfortunate reminder that India hasn’t repeated its feat again.