I can still remember that day! 25th June 1983. And I relived those moments while reading this interview.
For those of you who were either not born or too young to have watched this on TV, suffice to say a 23 year old captain of the Indian team lifted the World Cup against the mighty WI on a green top, against impossible odds! After humbling England in the semi final. And after beating WI and Australia once during the league matches. And if you are amongst those who could never understand the fanatic following that cricket warrants in this country, then please ignore. This mail is not for you.
Kapil’s incredible innings of 175 not out against Zimbabwe at the 1983 world cup with India tottering at 9/4 and later 17/5 was the stuff of folk lore. It was the highest ODI innings for a long long time. And the occasion and the circumstances of that innings must rank it as the best ODI innings ever.
The semi final win against England and the finals threw an entire nation into celebration mode. BCCI at that time had to raise money to felicitate the heroes and they requested Lata Mangeshkar for a concert which was used to raise money to felicitate the Indian cricket team! How times have changed since then. That singular WC win fired the imaginations of millions of Indians and Indian Cricket was never the same again.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s delivery to get rid of Gordon Greenidge, Kapil’s magnificent catch to get rid of Viv Richards, Srikkanth’s electric batting against Garner, Marshall and Holding are some of the images which will be forever etched in my brain.
Sandeep Patil’s brilliant unbeaten innings of 50 plus runs in the semi final against England was another innings which has never got the credit that it deserved. Sure Yashpal Sharma and Jimmy Amarnath were there for a long time, but it was Sandeep Patil who scored those runs in quick time, dealing chiefly in boundaries.
Catch the interview on Times Now, at 1830 IST on June 21, and 1430 IST and 2030 IST June 22.
And as the interviewer mentions at the end of the above interview, thanks Kapil for giving us India’s greatest cricketing moment. Thank you very much!