Sunday, December 4, 2022

Bollywood relives India’s 1983 cricket victory with ’83’

test

83, Bollywood’s retelling of the 1983 World Cup hit cinemas Friday, recalling a stunning underdog victory that was instrumental in turning India into the cricket-crazy nation it is today.

Captained by Kapil Dev, seen now as one of cricket’s best-ever players, India began the tournament in England as rank outsiders but ended up triumphing over the all-conquering West Indies in the final at a raucous Lord’s.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh)

The first sign that India meant business was in the group stage of the tournament when Dev made 175 not out, with India having been on the ropes at 17 for 5, against Zimbabwe.

A BBC strike on the day meant this extraordinary exploit was not filmed but hallowed cricketing almanac Wisden called it “one of the most spectacular innings played in this form of cricket”.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh)

An easy semi-final victory over a fancied England side, featuring greats like Ian Botham, David Gower, and Bob Willis, then set up the grand final against the West Indies, the defending champions.

The West Indies were the best team in the world with fearsome fast bowlers Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, and Michael Holding — plus batting battleships Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, and Clive Lloyd.

But India cruised to victory, causing pandemonium in the Lord’s stands and back home.

Balwinder Sandhu, who scored an important 11 not out as the last man and later bowled Greenidge for one, remembers being hit on the helmet by a Marshall bouncer.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh)

“It made me more determined… I didn’t flinch,” Sandhu, who helped advise the actors and director of “83” Kabir Khan, told AFP.

The West Indies had “great fast bowlers who had a ‘no mercy’ attitude,” Sandhu said. “It was a great feeling just to get 10 or 15 runs off them.”

Veteran journalist Ayaz Memon, who covered the tournament, said that cricket was already hugely popular and that India had won a Test series in England in 1971 for the first time.

“But it was the sheer unexpectedness of the triumph. Who had thought that India would beat the world champions? It triggered so much passion and so much interest in the game in India that it was never the same again,” Memon told AFP.

The victory also revealed the commercial opportunities of cricket in India, paving the way for the money-spinning spectacle it is now.

This was also driven by the opening up of the economy and the advent of cable television in the 1990s.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh)

“It (the win) completely transformed the future not just of Indian cricket but also cricket as a sport internationally. After that India became in a sense the epicenter of the cricketing world,” Memon said.

Dev is played in “83” by Ranveer Singh. The Bollywood superstar honed his own cricket skills four hours a day for six months to bowl and bat and walk, talk and smile, like the captain.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh)

In an interview with AFP, Dev said “India was helped by being underdogs and were simply enjoying ourselves”.

“There were no expectations. All the media’s attention was on Australia, England, West Indies, and all the pressure was on the other teams,” the 62-year-old said.

Comments

Latest Posts

LATEST NEWS

Comments