I was in 7th grade.
A few months before the World Cup when I was playing street cricket one of my friends told me about World Cup.
He mentioned Zimbabwe was in the same group as India it did not mean much to me. Those days I used to regularly read the sports section of the newspapers but I vividly remember India touring West Indies before the World Cup and they did beat West Indies in a one day in that series so I was looking forward to reading about Indian team performance in the World Cup
Television coverage was restricted to doordarshan in fact there was no coverage of the league matches and we used to be under the mercy of the likes of Narrotam puri and Anupam gulati for some World Cup news.
West Indies were the all time favorites and were aiming a hatrick.
As such i was so cricket ignorant I fancied indias chances and names like Yash pal Sharma, Sandeep patil, Kirti azad, Madan lal, Roger binny still remain fresh in my mind.
I learnt India was in the same group As Australia West Indies and Zimbabwe and India had to play each team twice.Of course I only read about india’s matches and paid some attention about pakistan’s progress. As such my cricketing knowledge was not strong and did not even know Zimbabwe was making their World Cup debut in fact they defeated Australia in their first match which was not to repeated again for 30 years
India shocked the West Indies in their first match followed by a victory against Zimbabwe so they were sitting pretty but they lost their next two matches to Australia and West Indies as their going to the semis were hanging by a thread came the all important match against Zimbabwe India batted first and were 17 for 5 and then came the 175 not out from kapil dev and there was no looking back India won that match and they won against Australia in the last match to qualify for the semis
Those days India did not have any transmission satellites well a far cry from our mangalyaan achievement last year in fact doordarshan had to book time on a foreign satellite for live transmission of the semis against England.
England were not even bothered about India in fact they were so sure of going to the finals they were discussing the strategy of how to defeat West Indies in the final rather than thinking of beating India in the semis sure they lost and that match is always mentioned for Sandip patil hammering Bob Willis for 24 runs in a over well India was in the finals our neighbours did go to the semis but lost to the windies still remember Sarfaraz nawaz and Zaheer Abbas
The president of BCCI N.K.P Salve had no illusion of India winning the World Cup he just encouraged the indian team to give their best and assured them of paying some good bonuses
Now the finals on June 25 1983
India bats first
These are still fresh in my memory
Srikanth hitting Marshall for a six
Those scary windies bowlers Andy Roberts, Joel Garner Michael holding and Malcom Marshall.
All indian batsmen getting starts but no one playing a big innings
India all out for 183 ( I made a rough calculation and thought if India can restrict windies they can win at times ignorance is bliss)
Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s great inswinger which bowled Gordon greenidge and Vivian Richards waking to the crease with a swagger
At this time there was no live coverage as doordarshan could not get a slot on the foreign satellite
We missed the surreal part kapil dev taking a back ward running catch to dismiss Vivian Richards and by the time coverage was back on TV windies were 75 for 5 and there after it was Mohinder Amarnath who stole the show with gentle medium pace as westindies collapsed for a 140 odd
And all those indian spectators who ran into the stadium at lords and cheering kapil dev when he lifted the Prudential World Cup that remains an everlasting memory
Well India won that’s what mattered that day India was not a strong team but windies had a bad day but who cared and I still remember the head lines the next day in deccan chronicle
RED LETTER DAY IN INDIAN CRICKET