Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1983 - The Lords of Lords

When the 1983 World Cup began, India was considered to be the underdogs. Not even given the slightest chance of putting up a a worthy challenge. But things were a lot different than what was expected. A dashing cricketer from Chandigarh, leading a group of young guys in their twenties, proved the world wrong. With the least bit of expectations on their shoulders, there was nothing but the game on their minds. The underdogs put up an inspiring performance that took the cricketing world by surprise. Indians had announced their arrival at the forefront of cricketing history.

In their league stages of the tournament, they won 4 out of their 6 matches. This, in a pool consisting of West Indies and Australia. Both considered to be strong favorites in the tournament. Zimbabwe in the same group was capable of creating some upsets too. Particularly Kapil Dev's brilliant 175 against Zimbabwe after coming down at 17/5, remains one of the most spectacular performances in cricketing history. Unfortunately it was not caught on camera as the BBC crew was on strike that day. A pity indeed.

After a clearly convincing performance in the league stages it was a contest against the English in the semis, who had had a great run in the league stage, having lost only one game. In spite of an inspirational run by the Indians, the odds were still stacked against them. However the spirited Indians chased down 213, and beat the previous year's runner ups by six wickets. In the other semis, the mighty West Indians thrashed the Pakistanis and won the game by 6 wickets.

At the final showdown at Lords, it was a battle between the menacing Windies and the young inspired Indians. India won the toss and batted first against one of the most feared bowling attack. The attack ripped through the entire Indian line up without much of a significant resistance, with just Srikanth top scoring with a 38 run stand. In the end, the Indians just managing a score of 183 runs. The writing seemed to be up on the wall. It appeared to be an easy enough score to chase down, for one of the best batting side of that era. However it wasn't to be. The Indians were not going down so easily. The Windies got bowled out for a total of 140 runs with the efforts of Amarnath and Madan Lal who took 3 wickets each. One of the most crucial and memorable moments of the game was the catch of Viv Richards, taken by Kapil, after running back a great distance. Amarnath was awarded the Man of the Match for taking 3 wickets and conceding just 12 runs.


Truly it was a time when cricket became one of the household term in India. India found a new passion for the sport. This was probably the spark that instigated such a die hard fascination for the game, in the years to come. The pictures and visuals convey a flood of emotions even after so many years. A momentums event indeed. On 25th June '08, 25 years after that day, the Lords of '83 went back to the venue for some nostalgic moments of glory, pride and passion. We at home can only imagine what it feels like to script one of the defining moments of Indian sporting history.

5 Comments:

OFIC said...

Looks like That was a bit of luck on our side....

Visu said...

That was a great match indeed. Wish I had seen it live, But you see. Anyway, that was a brilliant team spirit. I mean, who would have thought of defending such an easy target, that too against the WINdies.
Over the years we have improved a lot with lot of talents unleashed, say, Sachin. Discounting the damn politics they speak of, BCCI is doing a great job. We however perform badly at times, but what to do. Cricket is after all a game of Luck.

Hail Indian !

Aslam Kamal said...

@philip (ofic) : Well my friend, cricket is a sport and not gambling. It takes more than just plain luck to win...!!
I think they deserve a lot more credit than than...

Harish said...

Yes, they deserve praise and accolades as is being done. This will only help the present crop to realize the importance of the world cup, and the benefits that they can reap.

And that team repeated another great deed in 1985 when they won down under. So it was luck but coupled with an enormous amount of hard work and heart involved in the 1983 win.

Hakuna Matata said...

it was a momentous occassion indeed...but, vitta 50-dhadhu aandu vizha kondaduvvanga pola!