Kapil's Devils to mark 25 years of World Cup

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 11:34 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

New Delhi: India's only World Cup winning cricket team will gather in London later this month to celebrate the 25th year of arguably the country's greatest sporting triumph.

It was on June 25, 1983 that Kapil Dev's unheralded team pulled off a stunning upset to deny Clive Lloyd's all-conquering West Indians a hat-trick of World Cup titles with an amazing 43-run win at Lord's.

The 14-man squad, popularly known as Kapil's Devils, will mark the anniversary with a private function at the Long Room in Lord's on June 25 followed by a gala dinner in London later that evening.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who was part of the winning team, has organised the Lord's gathering while liquor baron Vijay Mallya will sponsor the dinner, an official said on Wednesday.

A diamond-studded bat signed by all team members will be auctioned by Mallya's United Breweries group to mark the occasion, a company release said.

"This is our way of ensuring that the silver jubilee celebrations are memorable for millions of those who were either a part of it or yearned to be one," said Gavaskar.

Dev told AFP: "We will enjoy the moment and have fun. We will remember the good times."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will also organise a celebratory dinner on June 22 in New Delhi before the team flies to London.

The BCCI had earlier been reluctant to mark the occasion because the team included players who are involved in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL) promoted by the Zee media group.

Dev is the ICL's chief organiser while 1983 team-mates Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal and Balwinder Sandhu serve as coaches of various ICL teams.

The BCCI, however, relented and agreed to celebrate the 1983 feat even though ICL players and officials are banned from associating themselves with official cricket.

"Cricket has always been the most popular sport in India," said BCCI president Sharad Pawar, a political heavyweight and federal agriculture minister.

"However, the most remembered event in the history of Indian cricket is the stunning victory of our team against West Indies -- the then cricket superpower.

"I am certain that every cricketer in the years to come has this rich legacy to inherit and the die-hard spirit to win."

Dev's men were widely expected to be crushed by the powerful West Indians in the 60-overs-a-side final when they were shot out for 183 in 54.4 overs in good batting conditions at Lord's.

But man-of-the-series Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal claimed three wickets each as the West Indians, cruising at 50-1 at one stage, were bowled out for 140 in 52 overs to spark frenzied Indian celebrations.

India have not won the World Cup again, their next best finish coming in South Africa in 2003 when Sourav Ganguly's team reached the final but lost to Australia.

In the last edition in 2007 in the Caribbean, India were knocked out in the first round after losing to minnows Bangladesh and eventual finalists Sri Lanka.

The next World Cup will be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011.


Kapil Dev (capt), Sunil Gavaskar, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Yashpal Sharma, Sandeep Patil, Dilip Vengsarkar, Kirti Azad, Syed Kirmani (wicket-keeper), Roger Binny, Madan Lal, Balwinder Sandhu, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Walson. Manager: Peter Man Singh.


Write Comments