1983 World Cup players re-unite on golf course

June 22nd, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) It was an old boy’s reunion party on the golf course where camaraderie was in full bloom and anecdotes flowed like old wine from the bunch of 1983 World Cup winning cricketers. They shared the fond memories of the historic triumph after 25 years, on a golf course here with their bats replacing golf clubs at the Jaypee Greens Golf Course in Greater Noida Sunday.

Twelve members including team manger Man Singh signed a cricket bat adorned with 25 carat diamonds. The bat will be auctioned in London Wednesday, during the silver jubilee celebrations of the 1983 World Cup win and the proceeds will be presented to the team members.

Some of the dressing room talks were revealed for the first time despite captain Kapil Dev’s best efforts to keep them private.

Stories like Yashpal Sharma forcing Krishnamachari Srikkanth to watch Bollywood blockbuster ‘Kranti’ several times to improve the latter’s Hindi made the handful of spectators burst into laughter.

Other boys from that club of ‘83 that revolutionised cricket in India — Sunil Gavaskar, Yashpal Sharma, Kirti Azad, Mohinder Amarnath, Syed Kirmani, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Roger Binny, Sandeep Patil and Sunil valson — graced the occasion.

“There were lot of moments to cherish from the World Cup. We started very badly by losing both of our practice matches. But after winning the first match against West Indies we became very greedy,” said Patil.

Patil also shared another interesting story: “During the team meeting, our captain Kapil Dev used to speak in English, which we didn’t understand. Me and my roommate Sunil Gavaskar used to ask each other whether we understood what Kapil said.

“But during the innings’ break in the final, Kapil spoke to us in Hindi for the first time. He said ‘Chalo, Jawan Laro’ (Come on guys, let’s do it) and that inspired us.”

Patil also revealed how Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson teased him by saying “mate, are you carrying your helmet” before the start of their match at Chelmsford.

“I told Gavaskar what Jeff told me and Sunny asked me to just ignore it. And the first ball Jeff bowled, it was a bouncer. Jeff glared at me, but I was focussed on the job and scored 30 runs,” he said.

Binny said the World Cup win was the best thing that happened in his cricketing career. He emerged as the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 18 scalps.

“I was making a comeback in the World Cup. And conditions were ideal for me — English conditions are suitable for swing. I could swing the ball both ways and believed in my abilities and got wickets,” he said.

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