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'June 25, 1983 inspired us to dream BIG'

By Rediff Cricket
June 25, 2020 14:50 IST
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Kapil Dev

IMAGE: India Captain Kapil Dev receives the trophy after beating the West Indies in the 1983 World Cup final, June 25, 1983. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

On June 25, 1983 India won the cricket World Cup for the first time.

Kapil Dev's team was not given a chance before the tournament, but the side defied all odds.

"We were proud about our team, we made ourselves proud by winning the tournament. The World Cup win is a wonderful thing. Because of that the entire nation celebrated," Kapil Dev -- who hit a memorable 175 not out after India were reeling at 17/5 against Zimbabwe in a 1983 World Game at Turnbridge Wells -- told ANI.

"Any big achievement affects the next generation. The 1983 win made a big difference in our country. Parents started inculcating the value of sports, so it was a big thing," Kapil, one of the world's great all-rounders, added.

Ravi Shastri said the World Cup triumph laid the foundation of the game in the country.

'#ThisDayThatYear On 25th June in 1983, we believed and we became World Champions and changed the face of #Cricket in #India once and for all," Shastri, now India's team coach, tweeted.

"The memories are still fresh in our minds," said S Madan Lal, whose wicket of Viv Richards (caught by Kapil, incidentally) tilted the game India's way.

"No one gave us a chance to win the tournament. We won just two matches in the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, so the 1983 win was very big. When such victories come against all the odds, they end up creating history," Lal added.

"This was not a victory of one individual person, this was a victory of a whole team. Everyone performed well, that is why we won the tournament," asserted Madan Lal.

Yuvraj Singh -- a member of the 2007 T20 World Cup winning team and the 2011 ODI World Cup winning side -- hailed the 1983 triumph as a 'moment of national pride' and said the victory set the 'benchmark' to achieve the same in 2011.

'Today 37 years ago changed the cricketing landscape in India. Thank you @therealkapildev and team for making the game a career for many of us today. Deeply indebted,' Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tweeted.

'June 25, 1983: The iconic image of Kapil Dev holding the World Cup Trophy at Lord's is a watershed moment in Indian cricket history,' tweeted former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif. 'It changed cricket in India. This win inspired the next generation to achieve the impossible and dream BIG.'

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