What if India never won the 1983 World Cup?
Kapil lifting the World Cup
This question has been asked again and again by a lot of viewers. Before writing this piece, I closed my eyes and realised the consequences it would have had on the future of Indian cricket. Let’s be honest, we still get rushes of nostalgia while remembering the iconic moment of Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup in the Lord’s balcony.
Let me take you back in time
India performed poorly in the 1975 and 1979 edition of the World Cup, and even the most optimistic bunch of Indian cricket fanatics had their doubts when it came to the 83 World Cup.
However, as the tournament unfolded, people began to realise that a special team is there in the making. Kapil’s team had the fire, desire and the determination to prove the world wrong.
Playing against a star-studded Windies team was a menacing thought for the Indian side, but they fought against all the odds and won the grand finale by 43 runs at the iconic Lord’s stadium.
Surely it was the greatest triumph in the history of Indian cricket, but imagine if we would have lost the final? Would Indian cricket be the same as it is today?
Cricket wouldn’t have dominated India
Mohinder Amarnath was a key player for India
Fair to say that a heartbreaking loss in the finale of the World Cup would have changed the fate of the Indian cricket. Cricket is like a religion in India, and the popularity of the sport increased post the famous win. The self belief within the team increased and this was just the change required for us.
It paved the way for youngsters to get inspired from the triumph and take up the sport. Had we not won the World Cup, a certain ‘GOD of Cricket’ wouldn’t have been inspired and we would have missed a glorious chance to watch the little genius bat.
Hockey would have been everyone’s darling
India at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
Now don’t get me wrong, every sport is important, and traditionally, India have performed exceedingly well in Hockey. But cricket would have taken a backseat had we lost to West Indies on that fateful day of June 25, 1983. The beginning of the new era in Indian cricket took the focus away from Hockey and cricket became everyone’s darling.
India wouldn’t have hosted the 1987 World Cup
Australia won the 87 World Cup
The success of the 83 World Cup paved way for India to host the next edition in their own backyard. The first three editions took place in England, and it was India’s success at the world stage which prompted the governing body to allow the subcontinent side to host the World Cup. India alongside Pakistan hosted the 87 edition.
It became a trigger point, a catalyst for change, and it surely brought a positive change in Indian cricket.