A walk thro’ fire

Under Kapil Dev "they have got a team spirit I cannot remember in other Indian sides", Sir Len Hutton, former England captain said.

Another West Indian wicket falls in the final, this time it is Malcolm Marshall, and the Indians celebrate.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

BRITISH press, which had written off India at the start of the World Cup, hailed Kapil Dev and his colleagues as "Indian Mystics" who had "walked through fire."

"Kapil's Men Turn World Upside Down", was the heading on the Sunday-Times report which noted that India, "cannon fodder turned cannon" had sprung the biggest surprise.

Kapil Dev was praised by the newspaper as not only a "champion allrounder but a tough, shrewd and inspiring leader as well as a charmingly enthusiastic cricketer."

Sir Len Hutton, former England captain, described the Indian team as a "very lively bunch all round now, whereas in the past you got the impression that four or five of their side would be trying and four or five were having a day out." Under Kapil Dev "they have got a team spirit I cannot remember in other Indian sides", he said.

Denis Compton, another great England player of the past, wrote in the Sunday Express that India's win was one of the biggest upsets in cricketing history." India the World Cup no-hopers, stopped the calypso kings of cricket dead in their tracks in this Lord's final", he said.

The former England fast bowler John Snow, writing in the Mail says that there was an "air of stunned disbelief among West Indians as India against all expectations carried off the Prudential Trophy." Kapil's field placing was perfect, bowling changes exactly right and "he quietly urged everyone along."

Binny's distinction

ENGLAND'S David Gower and New Zealand's Richard Hadlee topped the batting and bowling averages respectively in the World Cup cricket tournament. Gower scored 384 runs at an average 76.80 while Hadlee's 14 victims cost him only 12.85 runs each. India's Roger Binny took most wickets with 18 victims while skipper Kapil Dev, who led India to victory in the final against West Indies was the tournament's leading all-rounder. Kapil Dev's record 175 not out against Zimbabwe boosted him to seventh in the batting averages with 60.60 and only 10 bowlers improved on his 12 wickets at 20.41.

Fortune won by faith

AN un-named Indian supporter is the biggest gainer financially from India's World Cup win — he has won £50,000 (about Rs. 8 lakhs) from a betting company. Backing India against all predictions, he put down £1,000 at 50-1 when the World Cup began and has now been paid £50,000.

Another Indian supporter has picked up £20,000 (Rs. 3.2 lakhs) which is what Indian team itself received for winning the Prudential Cup. India's unexpected win has caused substantial losses to bookies.

This report was published in Sportstar issue dated July 09, 1983