On This Day: 37 years since World Cup 1983, where are they now?

On June 25, India created history by defeating West Indies in the final at Lord’s. Sportstar finds out what the 15 members are doing amid the COVID-19 crisis.

India captain Kapil Dev (right) and Mohinder Amarnath with the World Cup at Lord's balcony in 1983.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

The 1983 World Cup winning team is the most iconic bunch of cricketers from India. It changed the face of Indian cricket and compelled the rest of the world to believe that teams from Asia can lay their hands on the trophy as well.

West Indies, England and Australia were the top guns of that period.

On this day, 37 years ago, India created history by defeating West Indies at Lord’s. Sportstar  finds out what the 15 members of the side are doing amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Sunil Gavaskar: He is always watching cricket, analysing the game for the connoisseurs and the laymen. There can be no cricket involving India without his presence in the commentator’s box. His transition was the best and quickest, from cricketer to a media man. Few professional journalists can match his passion in writing sports columns. The lockdown period has confined him to his home in Mumbai but he has books for company. “He has borrowed some from me,” informs son Rohan.

K. Srikkanth: He was the star of the final at Lord’s. His square drive on bended knee and a flicked six were strokes to remember. He has been far more active after retirement. He was chairman of the Indian cricket board selection committee which picked the 2011 World Cup winning team and then he concentrated on a career in broadcasting. He has been a coach too but not for long. His restless nature was visible at the crease. He is a calmer soul off it.

K. Srikkanth and Kapil Dev share a light moment during an event to promote 1983, the film.   -  M. VEDHAN

 

Mohinder Amarnath: The man who can be never be perturbed. Can never be put under pressure. If hit on the chin, trust him to send the next ball into the stands. After retirement, he preferred the busy life of Mumbai and did coaching at the Khar Gymkhana before setting up his own full-fledged academy at Baroda. He served a year as national selector before falling out with board because he would not toe the line of an influential official. He called a spade a spade. He has chosen to spend time with his family in Goa.

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Yashpal Sharma: After the World Cup success, he was hailed as a match-winner but went out of favour. He played an ODI in January 1985. First-class cricket kept him busy for the next eight years and he also played for the State Bank of India team. Coaching and umpiring kept him connected with the game before he became a national selector. Like most players of his generation, he found work in the media and loves his work with India TV. The pandemic has kept him indoors.

Sandeep Patil: “I am in Lavasa,” declares the man who devastated Dennis Lillee and Bob Willis with furious assaults in Test matches. “Lavasa has not reported a single COVID-19 case and it is the best place to be.” He is spending time with his family, including grandchildren, shuttling between Mumbai and Lavasa, nestling in a valley. With no media work or coaching to do, he is happy to relax in the serene surroundings. Patil is also the official cook at the villa. “It’s raining so can’t have barbecue,” he laments.

Former India cricketer Sandeep Patil at his villa in Lavasa.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Kirti Azad: A multi-faceted personality. A cricketer, activist, politician, media expert, he has loved every role. He was a sort of rebel as a player too. He always made his point clear. After retirement, he stayed in touch with the game as national selector and did television work for some years. Politics was in his blood and soon, he was off to serve his people in Darbangha. Lok Sabha beckoned him and he was immersed in a career away from cricket. As a person with strong ideas to fight for justice, he continues to pursue his political dreams but spares time for cricket with his crusade against corruption in Delhi & District Cricket Association.

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Syed Kirmani: He was known to go about his job in a jolly manner. Not the demonstrative types, he preferred to work silently. An integral part of the World Cup triumph, he lost his place in the side in the next three years. Every four years, as he would say, the nation remembers cricketers like him. He found his place in the media after a stint as an administrator in Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). He was a national selector too, who offered views with a lot of humour thrown in, and took to golf like many of his colleagues. In these times, he has remained at home, catching up with old friends.

Kapil Dev: He would speak little as a player. His talks as captain in team meetings were brief. “We are here to play, not talk,” would be his response. Today, he is the most sought-after speaker at corporate events. And he is a delight on the stage. He has business to handle and contracts to honour as a media expert. He picks his assignments carefully and remains the most popular member of the 1983 World Cup team. He is also the most tech-savvy of all. A true captain, very active on social media, with a huge following too.

Kapil Dev holds the 1983 World Cup Trophy during a visit to Lord’s in 2019.   -  HOME OF CRICKET/TWITTER

 

Roger Binny: He is the current president of KSCA. After retirement, he spent time in coaching and served as national selector too. He is settled in Bengaluru but spends lot of time at his farm on the outskirts of Bandipur National Park. He grows mangoes and is fond of wildlife. His farm is frequented by elephants, leopards and wild dogs. “They polished off all my mangoes this time,” laughed Binny. The last three months he was happy to be stuck at the farm. “I always loved nature and my farm is the place to be,” he said.

Roger Binny is settled in Bengaluru but spends lot of time at his farm on the outskirts of Bandipur National Park.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Balvinder Sandhu: He is the ‘unofficial’ director of the film on the 1983 heroes, which is ready for release. This deceptive medium-pacer, who foxed Gordon Greenidge with a nightmarish inswinger, takes pride in having researched for the film and spent time in London and Dharamsala assisting in the shoot. He was entrusted the task of providing technical details of each player, action, mannerism, and he seems to have an excellent job. Post retirement, he has spent his time coaching aspirants at various levels. It is said he can’t stay without giving coaching lessons everyday.

Madan Lal: When he retired from active cricket, he was confronted with an uncertain future. But he settled fast. Cricket it was again – as a selector, coach and media expert. “Can do nothing other than cricket. Sorry, I can play golf,” he corrects himself. Golf has been an obsession for him but not at the cost of his academy at Siri Fort Complex in Delhi. He also considers himself to be a professional media man. “Why not? I am in the studio almost every day. I am a media man because my money comes from television work and of course from my academy,” he says.

Ravi Shastri: Mr Cricket. That’s what he loves to be known as. From the time he played his first competitive cricket match, this all-rounder from Mumbai has remained associated with the game in various capacities. “I played, commented on, coached, for some time and wrote too,” he was spot on. He had aspired to play the role of an expert which he did with distinction from 1994 onwards with a debut in Sri Lanka. He has grown in stature as a commentator and is happy to be part of the Indian team as chief coach. During the lockdown, he has chosen to spend time at his farm house in Alibagh.

Ravi Shastri is now the coach of the Indian cricket team.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR

 

Sunil Valson: He played his cricket well. And then he also took care of his career in the corporate sector at the Steel Authority of India Limited where he quit as senior manager. He was the only international cricketer who did not depend on cricket after retirement. He joined GMR as associate vice-president when the Indian Premier League was launched in 2008. He was the manager for Cricket Operations with Delhi Daredevils and also had a successful stint at the DDCA as a Cricket Improvement Committee member. He prefers a quiet life and that’s the reason he shuttles between Delhi and Dehradun.

Dilip Vengsarkar: His was a busy life as he was the most-sought after cricketer. Coaching was followed by scouting work and then, he also took up administrative work at the Mumbai Cricket Association. As national selector, he highlighted MS Dhoni’s leadership qualities. He started his academy in Mumbai before shifting to Pimpri. “Close to my heart,” he says of his academies. Media work did not attract him and he was happy to concentrate on unearthing talent at the grassroots level.

From left: Ravi Shastri, K. Srikkanth, Yashpal Sharma, Kirti Azad (partly hidden), P.R. Mansingh (team manager) and Dilip Vengsarkar with the World Cup.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

 

Man Singh: They called him the lucky mascot of the 1983 team. “I was happy to be one,” was his response. So, they made him the manager in 1987 too. That India lost in the semifinals remains his biggest regret. But Man saab, as he is fondly called, leads a contented life in Hyderabad. He has his museum of priceless memorabilia to maintain and the family business to handle – Ram Singh Aggarwal Wines. To celebrate the win, on Wednesday, he reminded the 1983 team of the incident when he got rid of two BCCI officials whose presence in the dressing room was considered an omen. “They went out and West Indies lost the last four wickets in a jiffy. Sometimes you have to believe in superstition,” Man saab laughs.

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