The 1983 Indian World Cup winning team expressed their distress and concern over the mistreatment of champion wrestlers and the possibility of them discarding their hard-earned medals in the Ganga River. The team, known as Kapil’s Devils, also revealed that they were not invited to watch the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium on November 19, 2023. This has sparked anger among sports fans who believe that grace, good manners, and gratitude should be shown instead of jingoism in cricket.
To ease the anger, the author shared their personal experience of watching the Prudential World Cup final on June 25, 1983. They were 22 years old at the time and gathered with their brothers and friends to watch the match at a friend’s house in Kolkata. Despite India’s poor performance in the previous World Cups, they were hopeful for a better outcome.
The author vividly remembered the moments of the match, including the early wicket of Gordon Greenidge by Balwinder Sandhu. Viv Richards showcased his batting prowess with seven boundaries, causing tension among the viewers in Jamir Lane. With an Indian victory seeming unlikely, the author’s father made a promise to open a new bottle of scotch if India won, while the author jokingly announced that they would streak on the main road.
The turning point came when Kapil Dev took a magnificent catch to dismiss Viv Richards, which cricket pundits believe changed the course of the match. Eventually, the West Indies were all out for 140, thanks to outstanding performances by Mohinder Amarnath and the Indian team. The author’s father kept his promise and raised a toast, and the author fulfilled their promise by becoming the first streaker in their neighborhood (albeit with their underwear on).
Now, several decades later, the friends who watched the match together are still connected through a WhatsApp group. Despite the passing of time and living in different parts of the world, their friendship remains strong.
The author concludes by emphasizing that cricket matches may come and go, but true friendships last forever. The article is written by Derek O’Brien, a Member of Parliament and leader of the Trinamool Congress in the Rajya Sabha. The opinions expressed in the article are his own.
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