The iconic picture of Kapil Dev receiving 1983 World Cup trophy at Lord's Cricket Ground. (Photo/BCCI Twitter)
The iconic picture of Kapil Dev receiving 1983 World Cup trophy at Lord's Cricket Ground. (Photo/BCCI Twitter)

Defeating Windies in first match of 1983 campaign was a 'gamechanger': Syed Kirmani

ANI | Updated: Jun 25, 2020 12:15 IST

New Delhi [India], June 25 (ANI): Reminiscing about the 1983 World Cup triumph, former India wicket-keeper batsman Syed Kirmani on Thursday relived the winning campaign and said that beating the West Indies in the very first match of the tournament was a 'game-changing' moment.
India had defeated West Indies in the finals of the 1983 World Cup to win their first 50-over World Cup. The Kapil Dev-led side was not given a chance by many people prior to the tournament, but in the end, the side defied all odds.
The Kapil Dev-led side had also faced West Indies in their first match of the tournament and the side emerged triumphant by 34 runs.
"The first love cannot be forgotten, so the 1983 World Cup win is like that, we were the fourth weakest team in the competition, the win was totally unexpected, nobody gave us a chance so most of us thought about having a good time in the tournament," Kirmani told ANI.
"But according to me, the feeling I was having before we left the shores of India, I thought that if we can qualify at least for the knockout stages, then it would be the biggest achievement for the Indian cricket team," he added.
The former wicket-keeper also said that defeating West Indies in the first match of the tournament proved as a game-changer for the Indian side in the tournament.
"We played against reigning World Champions West Indies in the first match of the tournament, we had nothing to lose in that match and defeating them proved as a real gamechanger," Kirmani said.
"Kapil Dev told us we have nothing to lose, it was a great thing to be told by a captain, for a captain to say this, it's a very big thing, from there on we beat the West Indies in the first match and that's where we thought to ourselves that we know the strengths and weaknesses of our team and that boosted our confidence and from there, we never looked back," he added.
Kirmani hailed the team spirit that existed within the 1983 squad and the former wicket-keeper said that everyone made a contribution to the winning campaign.
"Match by match our graph was progressing upwards, we played against England in the semi-finals, there was an unbelievable contribution from everyone, then in the finals, Kapil Dev once again said that we have nothing to lose, and we went into the match with a positive frame of mind," Kirmani said.
"Defending 183, we got the wicket of the Gordon Greenidge and it boosted our morale, one by one we kept on taking wickets, dismissing Vivian Richards further boosted our chances, and when we won the tournament, I could not believe that we managed to achieve the feat. We made the impossible possible and we taught entire cricket fraternity, any team can defeat the other side on their day," he added.
After the 1983 World Cup triumph, cricket got a fillip in the country, elevating the sport to religion for fans with every child wanting to become a cricketer.
In the finals between India and West Indies, the latter won the toss and opted to bowl first.
The Kapil Dev-led side managed to score just 183 runs as Andy Roberts took three wickets while Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, and Larry Gomes picked up two wickets each.
Defending 183, India did a good job of keeping a check on the Windies run flow, reducing the side to 57/3.
Soon after, the team from the Caribbean was reduced to 76/6 and India was the favourites from there on to win the title.
Mohinder Amarnath took the final wicket of Michael Holding to give India their first-ever World Cup title win.
In the finals, West Indies was bowled out for 140, and as a result, India won the match by 43 runs.
Kapil Dev lifting the trophy at the balcony of Lord's Cricket Ground still remains an image to savour for all the Indian fans.
In the finals, Mohinder Amarnath was chosen as the Man of the Match as he scored 26 runs with the bat and also picked up three wickets with the ball. (ANI)