June 25, 2019 marks the 37th anniversary of one of Indian cricket’s golden moment which changed the popularity of the sport forever in the country. Team India, under Kapil Dev’s inspired leadership, defeated the mighty West Indies on this day in the 1983 World Cup final to become only the second country then to win the coveted trophy. Of course the Caribbean side had won the first two editions and were the overwhelming favourites to win for third time too.
However, the spirited Indian side defended 183 runs miraculously to lay their hands on the trophy for the very first time. Kris Srikkanth was a vital cog of that side and after 37 years of the heroics, has revealed that the board had announced the prize money of Rs 25,000 to each player irrespective of the result in the final. He remembers being thrilled hearing at the news while also stating that there was no pressure on them at all as they had already done the unthinkable.
“I remember on the eve of the finals there were all the top officials from the board, the joint secretary and everyone and there was a small meeting. They said don’t worry about the finals tomorrow, you’ve come so far that’s itself fantastic. And whether tomorrow you win the match or not, they announced a 25,000 rupees bonus for all of us. And we were all thrilled to hear that.
“And honestly, we did not feel that much pressure. It was everything to gain and nothing to lose scenario. Because favorites were West Indies, they were ”75 & ’79 champions and rockstar team, dominating world cricket, so we thought it was a big deal making it to the finals itself,” he said while speaking to Star Sports.
Kris Srikkanth recalls Kapil Dev’s advice
Once the much-awaited final got unerway, as expected, West Indies were all over India. Batting first, the Kapil Dev-led side was bundled out for just 183 runs and Kris Srikkanth admits that the team had lost all the hopes of winning the game. However, the captain of the team, Kapil Dev then advised everyone to give resistance and not let the opposition score runs easily.
“With the batting line-up that West Indian had and looking at 183, we thought we had no scope at all. But Kapil Dev said one thing and he didn’t say we can win but he said — look guys we have got out for 183 and we should give resistance and not give away the match so easily,” Srikkanth further added. And then the history was created as India literally bowled their hearts out to skittle the West Indies for 140 and win the game by 43 runs.
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