On this day, in 1983, the Indian cricket team won its first World Cup under Kapil Dev's captaincy
On June 25, 1983, Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev and his team did the unthinkable, and perhaps unimaginable! They won the first World Cup for India. In an era when owning a black-and-white TV was considered luxury, and people were dependent on radio and newspaper for news, the news of Indian victory was broken by cricketer-turned-commentator Farokh Engineer who was doing commentory for BBC's Test Match Special on BBC Radio.
According to media reports and interviews, Engineer had revealed an anecdote about how the then Indian Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, had declared a public holiday after she heard his comments about India's triumph at Lord's. The official account of the Indian Cricket Team on Instagram posted a picture of the Indian captain receiving the trophy Robert Carr (also known as Lord Carr of Hadley), who was the chairman of Prudential Assurance (title sponsor).
Kapil Dev had led a not so likely team to defeat two-time defending champions West Indies (under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd), leaving them stunned. It truly was a historic moment considering the demanding training despite the lack of resources. In an earlier interview with Indulge in 2017, Kapil Dev had revealed, "During our time, we were not educated and didn't know so much. That time if we got food that was good enough, to get a certain kind of food or protein was not the criteria. Getting protein wasn't important, getting food was all that mattered."
Exactly 28 years later, India repeated history under the captaincy of MS Dhoni who led team India against Sri Lanka. In 2011, India won the World Cup at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. When Kapil Dev was asked about the younger cricketers Dhoni and Virat Kohli, he had said, "I think both are fabulous. We have seen Dhoni for many, many, many years, and his approach to the game. I think it was wonderful, and suddenly we saw the change in Kohli. When he became successful, we said that's also wonderful. But if you keep up the aggression like that all your life maybe you should say 'I have had enough'. Everybody perhaps should be like Dhoni, but then sometimes, you'll say, 'that's also too much'. So change is good, but if that change brings us victory and brings us close to better sports and better cricket, then it is worth happening."
Today, the Indian cricket team is one of the most formidable teams in the world, but nobody can forget the first victory of 1983. Even as cricket fans remember and celebrate the day every year, film buffs are waiting for the biopic on that historic match - 1983 starring Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev!