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Jul 16, 2010

Kapil Dev's 'mad' captaincy won us WC 1983: Srikkanth

Members of 1983 World Cup winning team never thought of even reaching the semifinals but it was their "mad" Captain Kapil Dev's inspirational leadership that guided them to the coveted trophy, said chief India selector Krish Srikkanth.

Srikkanth, one of the key members of the team that beat the mighty West Indies twice in 1983 World Cup including in the final, said many players had even booked flight tickets for the United States for holidaying after the tournament as they believed they would not go beyond the group stage.

"None of the players thought we would reach the semifinals. So, they booked flight tickets for the US. The plan was to watch the semifinal and the final and then fly to the States for a holiday. The tour agent said that even my wife can come as I married in March 1983. So my booking was for Bombay-London-New York," he said at a book launch function in the city yesterday.

"At that time we were minnows in ODIs. Before 1983, we had won only one match in a World Cup, against East Africa which was a team not heard of. So to be honest there was no hope of going beyond the group stage of the competition," said the former dashing opener.

Srikkanth said Kapil was somehow very serious and said his side can beat the mighty West Indies and his self-confidence rubbed off on to his team-mates.

"Somehow Kapil was very serious. He said we had beaten the West Indies once so we can beat them in our first group match at Old Trafford. He said 'Dil se khelo' we can do it," he stated.

"All the players said Kapil had gone mad. West Indies have Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes as openers. After that they have Vivian Richards, Larry Gomes, Jeff Dujon and four fast bowlers whom I never wanted to face. But Kapil insisted at the pre-match meeting that we can beat them. That gave us the self-confidence that we wanted and we managed to defeat them in the group match and in the final," Srikkanth said.

"I can say that the group match victory against the West Indies was the turning point in India's ODI history. And I say there will never be another Kapil in this country and for that matter in the world," he declared.

1 comment:

  1. WELL SAID SIR... Krish Srikanth had said a truth that many Indians forget ..His innings of 175 when India was 17 for 5 should be rated of the greatest in world cup matches ... he was great and the cricket in India became popular and players began to make money only after this great world cup win under Kapildev the greatest all rounder..