1983 WC: Kapil was brilliant throughout the tournament, says Vengsarkar

Former India batting great Dilip Vengsarkar hailed India’s 1983 World Cup win as a defining moment for the sport in the country, saying the nation never had to look back since that day in the sport which is now a religion in this part of the world.

It was on June 25, 1983 that Team India, under the leadership of Kapil Dev, defied all odds and won their first-ever World Cup trophy.

India had entered the World Cup with no expectations and nobody considered them as a title contender, considering the inexperience the team had of playing ODI cricket.

Before the tournament, the Indian team had just played 40 ODIs and had in fact won only one match in the previous two editions of the prestigious event.

“It’s one of the greatest things to have happened for Indian cricket,” Vengsarkar told IANS on Thursday.

Part of India’s 15-member World Cup winning squad, Vengsarkar lauded skipper Kapil’s virtuoso efforts throughout the tournament.

Kapil scored 303 runs at an average of 60.60 including the epochal 175 not out against Zimbabwe, regarded as one of the greatest ODI innings of all time, and also scalped 12 wickets.

“Indian cricket never looked down after that. It always looked up. I remember Kapil Dev was so good and he was the Man of the Tournament almost.

“We defied all odds to win against the mighty West Indies. Kapil was brilliant throughout the tournament,” added Vengsarkar.

The image of Kapil lifting the World Cup trophy from the iconic Lord’s balcony is still etched in the memories of cricket fans. It was a moment which told the cricketing world about the arrival of India on the big stage.