World Cup 1983 flashback: Best memory is that people still recognise us, says Madan Lal

We did not believe we would win until the last West Indian wicket fell because we did not post a big total. I can still visualise the full match.

I knew Kapil was a good fielder and he would be able to convert the catch of Vivian Richards, says Madan Lal.   -  Special Arrangement

We just went to England to play the World Cup. There was no pressure on the team. Each and every player was keen and eager to do well for future selection in the Indian team. We had played One-Day matches in the West Indies and that gave us experience and an advantage.

We never had the feeling that we would win the World Cup. As we played matches, we could see things brightening up. When you beat a big team, your confidence levels go up, and that’s what happened after defeating the West Indies at Old Trafford. The second win that helped our confidence was the win against Zimbabwe (at Tunbridge Wells).

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In between we lost to the West Indies and Australia. We had experienced players and others, but we did not even dream of winning the World Cup. Kapil Dev made an unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe; that was one of the finest knocks. We played well and won the World Cup. I knew Kapil was a good fielder and he would be able to convert the catch (of Vivian Richards).

It was a team performance; there were contributions from everyone. I have never moved the ball in as much as I was able to do during the World Cup. The ball that I bowled to Larry Gomes (in the final) was a dream ball. (Sunil) Gavaskar took the catch. It also happened that Clive Lloyd won the toss and decided to field; if he had batted first, the West Indies may have scored 350.

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The best memory of our World Cup win is that people still recognise us. That’s the happiest thing. We did not believe we would win until the last West Indian wicket fell because we did not post a big total. I can still visualise the full match.

Madan Lal played in the 1983 World Cup.

As told to G. Viswanath.

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