Just like you can ask any American who lived through President Kennedy’s assassination and they would recollect the exact moment when they heard the news, what they were doing and what they felt, you can ask any Indian who lived through the 1983 world cup and they would tell you about the two moments … first, when most of us slept fitfully on June 18th, as India were 17 runs and 5 wickets down. We had just shifted to Hyderabad from Shillong and were staying at my aunt’s place. My cousin, Kokka had the radio on and angrily switched off the commentary when the 5th wicket fell, saying its all over ! Somewhere in the middle of the night, we woke up to crackers going off and the great news that India won against Zimbabwe and that Kapil Dev had hit 175 runs of the 266 that India made. Zimbabwe was bowled out.
The second moment that everyone will remember is Viv Richards getting out in the finals … Madan Lal bowling and Kapil Dev sprinting to get the great man out. Somehow, Richards getting out meant we had a chance however slim. He was such a great batsman that he could get the paltry 183 that India had made all by himself and not even break into a sweat.
Am sure for many Indians like me, the picture below is etched in their minds as one of the most special moments in the life of our nation – we are truly crazy about Cricket !
Why am I remembering this today and now ? Well, India is currently at 62 for 4 against New Zealand in the Semi-finals of the World Cup 2019. This is a team that has lost just one match in this world cup and has giant players with many records to their name…. but the basic nature of the team hasn’t changed at all – in the most important match, all three greats get out on 1 run, Virat, Rohit and Rahul. Rohit Sharma, the man who has scored 5 centuries gets out for 1. Virat Kohli who can get the entire 240 runs that are needed single-handedly, surprisingly gets out urgently ! I am praying for the fans, because the Indian fans are likely to take this very personally :).
I want India to win, but I have stopped being emotionally invested in cricket after my idol Kapil Dev retired in 1994. The only players I have watched since then is Rahul Dravid, M S Dhoni and Virat Kohli. I believe that Rahul Dravid is one of the finest human beings to have played the game and is the best role model for anyone in any profession. M S Dhoni will be written about as the greatest captain of all times. Sanjay Manjrekar and THE Sachin Tendulkar would do themselves a great service by swallowing their opinions about him – his contributions, intentions and cricketing sense are unquestionable, period. Virat Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve and while his talent is immense, he is also a good man. His comment when everyone trolled his then ex-girlfriend and now wife that their break-up was a personal matter and no one had a right to say nasty things to her showed character. Have been a fan since then.
So fans take a chill pill .. watch the match and pray that the rest of the team has half the gumption that Kapil Dev had in his little finger to win this one. 🙂 Its just a game and we anyway beat Pakistan, so our world cup has been good.
Jai Hind. Jai Hanuman.
p.s – Can someone pay Sanjay Manjrekar and ask him to shut up for the rest of the match? His karma doesn’t work in favour of India. 🙁