38 Years Ago Today, Cricket Became India’s Unofficial National Sport
June 25, 1983, is the date that has been registered in our minds forever, and no Indian can ever forget what took place that day, that week, and that month. It was the day India could stand tall as a nation and tell everyone they arrived and were ready to conquer the world. The day India won the third edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup and became just the second team to lift it. It was an incredible job, and many people considered that this team might not have the quality and the ability to go all the way. But the one great thing about India and its people is that they very well know how to prove their haters wrong.
The great Kapil Dev, the then captain of the Indian Cricket Men’s side, had a lot of faith and confidence in his team. He believed that even if everyone loses hope in them, he and his players would never back down and would never stop thinking. This never says die attitude and never stop believing policy had taken Kapil Dev and his side a long way. The circumstances under which they got the victory were also very contrasting. They faced the mighty West Indies in the final, and that team was full of stars all over the pitch. They had Clive Lloyd, who was on the verge of winning the third consecutive world cup since its inception. Kapil Dev and his players were no less; even though they were underdogs, they couldn’t have been written off as they had the pedigree and wanted to win the game and the tournament for their country. At that time, the Cricket World Cup was sixty over per innings and not fifty overs which is the new norm today. India batted first and got all out for a mere 183 in harsh batting conditions. It certainly felt the entire match had tilted in the favour of the West Indies, but Kapil Dev and Team India had some other plans in place. Team India won the game as they bowled out the tough West Indies side by 43 runs. The pick of the bowlers for the Indians were Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal. The player’s belief in the team and their captain certainly paved off as they become the first Asian side and the second side overall to win the Cricket World Cup.
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They did the unthinkable and proved to the world that cricket is a game for everyone, and anyone who has the skill and the class can beat the mightiest of teams. This team and their heroics will always be remembered, and no one can forget this day ever in their lives. This was the day cricket became the unofficial national sport of India.