India News

That Summer Night on 25th June 1983

By Maj Shiva Kiran
The trigger is the 83 cricket saga- real to reel.
That 25th of June 1983, is still crystal clear. Watching the India vs West Indies final, with friends and family, on the imported (custom reduced- 81 Asiad) Sony Colour TV, screaming and shouting as every West Indian wicket fell. Around 8.30 pm, my cousin, Narender, walks in with a “I had to watch this match with you…lets help India win”. And so we did.
Hyderabad Newsclick here for more Hyderabad NewsIndia batted first, 6.8 ft tall Joel Garner bowling to Sunil Gavaskar, all at sea, nose twitching- bat swirling- Srikant- 34 runs. Michael Holding the Mercedes of pace bowling… and we all tallied up to 183. Then our chance to bowl. West Indies, the two times winners. Did India have anything to lose? Then Sandhu bowls Greenidge, who shoulders arms to the in-swinger….Llyod…Hyanes…all gone…Chewing gum Viv Richards+Larry Gomes almost takes it away. The innocuous ball from Madan Lal and the great catch by Kapil da jawab nahin. Finally the now stop, now bowl Mohinder traps Holding in front with Dickie Bird finger up. Flags all over, people running, cricketers picking stumps, Kapil’s Devils receiving the trophy on the Lord’s balcony. A once in a moment in a country’s lifetime.
JYCC- Jolly Youngsters Cricket Club was the name of our cricket team, a cricket start-up born out of the 1983 World Cup victory. We organised tournaments, played a number of matches, prizes would range from a notebook, a trophy, Rs 100. What was more interesting was our morning routine, getting up as early as 4.30 am, waking each other up, doing the drills, and net practice. When I noticed that many in our team were more into chatting than fielding, we imposed a rule that all conversations would be in English. It was with the objective of improving our communication skills.
All chatter stopped. Most of us went on to represent their respective colleges/universities. Butchi Babu, Ram Babu, Rajesh, Prabhaker, Affan, Vidyanand, Krishnarjun. We were doing well in cricket as well as our academics, people wanted to join our team. We had an A team as well as a B team.
Almost all of us wanted to open the batting, as it was difficult for the opposition to get us out and others would not get a chance to bat.
I played for Deccan Blues and Osmania University for a year.
That summer night, the 25th of June 1983, India transformed. People often ask, why is cricket so popular in India? Money, fame… No, more than anything else, when we win in cricket, even if it is beating Bangladesh, as a nation we celebrate. Cricket is said to be the game played by 11 fools and watched by 11000 fools, now 130 cr fools. Yes these 130 cr fools want India to win and cricket does that for us. Thank you to the team of 83 for doing us proud.
(The author is a veteran played for Osmania University and represented the Northern Command in the Inter Services)

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