Watching the ‘83 premier was turning the clock 38 years back when I was a 11-year-old and had seen the finals live on Doordarshan at a neighbour’s house and felt immediately connected. I had tears in my eyes as I felt history was created right in front of me.
I am not writing the review of the movie but what is shown in ‘83 is something that can never be forgotten. June 25, 1983 was one of those days which brought a revolution of cricket in India and it is one sport which no matter where India plays - is followed with great passion by every Indian across the world.
Before the 1983 World Cup, India had played two World cups - one in 1975 and then 1979 and had just managed one win - that too against East Africa. No one had given this Indian team a chance to reach the semi-finals but Kapil’s Devils managed to achieve the impossible. It all started when India, in their first match against West Indies, stunned two-time champions who were invincible and not lost a single game in both the earlier World Cups.
Yashpal Sharma, India’s hero in that first match who scored 89 crucial runs which paved for India’s win, sadly passed away earlier this year. India then beat Zimbabwe in their second game by five wickets but yet, no one still believed India would go the distance and when India lost two back-to-back matches against Australia and West Indies. It seemed all over in the game against Zimbabwe till Kapil Dev turned it around. It was a must-win game and India were reduced to 9/4 at one stage and when Kapil walked in, they were 17 for five.
Everyone felt India would get bowled out for 100 that’s when Kapil took the attack to the opposition and scored one of the finest knock in one-day cricket by making an unbeatable 175 of 138 balls - taking India to a challenging total of 266 which they defended for victory. That innings bought a belief in the Indian dressing room as the captain had led from the front and India demolished Australia by 118 runs in their last league game to make it to the semi-finals. India were playing hosts England, who were the runners-up in the 1979 World Cup but India won the semi-finals with ease to march in to the final against a rampaging West Indies.
What I remember as 11-year-old was that there were no live telecast during any of the league games, but the semi-finals and final were shown live on Doordarshan and all eyes of one billion Indian people were on the final. India, who were put in to bat on a green pitch at Lord’s, managed just 183 on the back of Kris Srikkanth’s attacking knock of 38 and some support from the tailenders. And when Sir Vivian Richards came on to bat, he hammered 33 of 28 balls and it seemed curtains for India. Then came the turning point when Richards pulled Madan Lal and Kapil ran from square leg to mid-wicket to pull off that outstanding catch and there was not stopping India as they won the historic final at the Lord’s by 43 runs. Like in the semi-final, Mohinder Amarnath was the Man of the Match again for his three wickets off just 12 runs.
I would recommend all youngsters to see this movie ‘83 as it will give you goosebumps when you watch the movie. You won’t feel you are watching Ranveer Singh and the other stars, you will directly connect with the players as the roles of each player has been played to perfection.
In India, cricket and movies are like religion and when it’s not fictional but real, you would not like to miss it for anything. Just go for it and it will be a complete paisa and time vasool (time and money well spent)!
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group