1983 WC triumph’s 38th anniversary: When Kapil Dev’s ‘Devils’ ushered in a new era in Indian cricket

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On the afternoon of June 25 in 1983, Kapil Dev-led Indian spirited Indian side created history as they became the first side to end the supremacy of the mighty West Indies team in one-day internationals. At a packed Lord’s Cricket Stadium, the underdogs from India had done the unthinkable as they defeated Clive Llyod’s two-time defending champions West Indian side by 43 runs and lifted their maiden ICC World Cup Trophy.

The Prudential World Cup 1983, witnessed the rise of an Indian side that was fearless, and its never-give-up attitude till the very last moments of the final left a huge mark on the history of the game.

Team India – who had hardly had any success in the previous versions of the quadrennial event – had performed badly and no one gave them any chance in the run-up to the tournament. Even the Indian cricketers – who were picked up in the WC squad – themselves were not too serious about it and had never thought of making it to the finals in the wildest of their dreams.

However, their captain – Kapil Dev – had other ideas and the teammates too started realising that they were up for something special as the tournament progressed and they went through several ups and downs.

The Indians had already stunned the cricketing world with their performance in the league stage and later beating hosts England in the semi-finals but hardly anyone thought that this young Indian side would breach the impregnable wall of the West Indies.

The sight of Mohinder Amarnath picking up the final wicket of Michael and the entire team running towards the pavilion as the euphoric crowd rushed into the ground to celebrate India’s monumental win, and Kapil Dev receiving the coveted trophy from the hands of the hands of Prince Charles still gives goosebumps to the Indian cricket fans.

It was the win that inspired the upcoming generation of boys to play cricket like Kapil’s Devils and win the world cup. The seeds of playing cricket for India were sown in the minds of the generation of the Tendulkars, the Dravids, the Gangulys, the Laxmans, the Kumbles – who went on becoming the greats of the game in the future – from that iconic triumph in 1983.

Today is the 38th anniversary of that incredible victory and the cricketing fraternity, as well as the fans, set aside the disappointment of the Kohli-led Indian side’s dismal show in the WTC Final to celebrate that remarkable win.

Here’s how cricketers and fans reacted to the anniversary of the day that instilled the confidence in the minds of millions of Indians that they could be world-beaters:

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