India created history on June 25, 1983, beating the mighty West Indies at the hallowed Lord’s Cricket Ground to lift the World Cup for the first time. This was the third edition of the one-day World Cup. Nobody gave India a chance of winning after their forgettable showing in the first two editions in 1975 and 1979. However, Kapil Dev’s men stunned the world by reaching the final and defeating the Windies by 43 runs in the final. West Indies had dominated the earlier two editions, cruising to victories. India’s triumph marked a power shift. They became a major force in the game, while West Indies never reached the ODI World Cup final after 1983. But where are India’s World Cup heroes now? Let’s take a look.
Kapil Dev: The captain who inspired India’s turnaround with a sensational 175 against Zimbabwe in a must-win match went on to represent the country till 1994. Kapil Dev took the iconic running catch to dismiss Viv Richards in the final at Lord’s. The wicket turned around the match on its head. More significantly, he turned a bunch of no-hopers into a match-winning outfit. The image of Kapil lifting the World Cup at the Lord’s balcony remains one of the most poignant moments in Indian cricket history. At the time of retirement, he held the record for most Test wickets – 434. He also claimed 253 in 225 ODIs. He was the coach for 10 months between October 1999 and August 2000 but quit in the wake of an unsubstantiated match-fixing allegation. He remains connected with the game as an expert and is not wary of speaking his mind. He has been critical of the Indian team several times. He has also found a second love in golf.
Sunil Gavaskar: The Little Master had a forgettable 1983 World Cup on a personal level. However, he led India to victory in the 1985 World Championship of Cricket. Sunil Gavaskar continued to excel in Test cricket. He scored over 10,000 runs and broke Don Bradman’s record of 34 Test tons. This stood as a record until Sachin Tendulkar overtook it. He also scored a one-day hundred in the 1987 World Cup match against New Zealand. Till the end of his career, Gavaskar remained in top form as a batter. Post-retirement, he served as an advisor to the India national cricket team during the home series against Australia in 2004. He has also been the Chairman of the ICC cricket committee. Gavaskar took up commentary after retirement and continues to share his views on the game. He is also open to helping young cricketers and is often seen giving them advice on improving their batting. Few players are revered as much in world cricket as Gavaskar.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth: The former Tamil Nadu dasher was the leading run-getter in the 1983 World Cup final, scoring a fighting 38. He also excelled in the World Championship of Cricket. Srikkanth ended his career with 43 Tests and 146 ODIs, scoring 2062 and 4091 runs, respectively. He coached the India A team and was the Chief Selector when India won the World Cup in 2011. Srikkanth remains active as a commentator, with his inimitable mischievous streak very much intact.
Mohinder Amarnath: Former all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath was the Player of the Match in the semi-final and the final of the 1983 World Cup. He came up with a terrific all-round effort in the summit clash to end West Indies’ dominance in the World Cup. Often in and out of the team, he ended his career with 69 Tests and 85 ODIs, the last of which came in 1989. He once famously called the selectors a “bunch of jokers,” but himself went on to become one. Amarnath sometimes appears as an expert on the game.
Roger Binny: Former India all-rounder Roger Binny was the leading wicket-taker in the 1983 World Cup. Exploiting the helpful conditions, he claimed 18 wickets in eight matches at an average of 18.66. Binny remained a useful all-rounder for the team and played 27 Tests and 72 ODIs. He was the coach of the India U19 team that won the World Cup. He is currently the BCCI chief. Roger’s son Stuart was also an all-rounder who played a few games for India.
Dilip Vengsarkar: The former India batter was struck by a vicious bouncer on the chin by a delivery from Marshal Malcolm during India’s second match against West Indies in the 1983 World Cup. Dilip Vengsarkar had to retire hurt and could not take any further part in the tournament in England. He is renowned as one of India’s finest batters of the 80s and holds the special record of smashing three consecutive Test centuries at Lord’s. Nicknamed Colonel, Vengsarkar represented India in 116 Tests and 129 ODIs, scoring 6868 and 3508 runs, respectively. He was briefly captain of India but lost the job following a tiff with BCCI. Post-retirement, he started the Elf-Vengsarkar Academy in 1995. He was vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association in 2003 and became Chairman of Selectors. It was during his tenure that Virat Kohli made his international debut. Vengsarkar keeps sharing his thoughts on the game through columns and interviews.
Syed Kirmani: India’s wicketkeeper in the 1983 World Cup, he added an unbroken 126 for the ninth wicket with Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe. He remained arguably the best keeper in the world until he was dropped. Kirmani played 88 Tests and 49 ODIs for India. He is not actively involved with the game but keeps sharing his views when asked for.
Madan Lal: The former pace-bowling all-rounder famously dismissed Viv Richards in 1983 final. He ended the World Cup as the second-joint-leading wicket-taker with 17 scalps. Lal represented India in 39 Tests and 67 ODIs, contributing with bat and ball. He coached the UAE team for the 1996 Cricket World Cup and was India’s coach from September 1996 and September 1997. A member of the Selection Committee from 2000-2001, he now appears as an expert on a TV show.
Yashpal Sharma: The middle-order batter top-scored for India with 89 in their opening match against West Indies in the 1983 World Cup, which India won against all odds. He also top-scored in the semis against England in 61. His flick over square leg for six off Bob Willis became legendary. Yashpal represented India in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs. After retirement, he briefly became an umpire and then a chief selector. He died in July 2021 at age 66 following a massive heart attack.
Sandeep Patil: The flamboyant Sandeep Patil scored a scintillating half-century in the 1983 semis against England. However, his inconsistency, although interspersed with flashes of brilliance, meant he was never a regular in the Indian team. He ended up playing only 29 Tests and 45 ODIs. After retirement, he coached both India and India A. As a coach, Patil also famously guided Kenya to the 2003 World Cup semi-finals. He was named chief selector in September 2012.
Balwinder Sandhu: The former seamer famously bowled Gordon Greenidge in 1983 final as the batter shouldered arms to a ball that came in sharply. However, despite a couple of fifties in Test cricket, Balwinder Sandhu only had a little else to show for his efforts. He ended up playing only eight Tests and 22 ODIs. He has served as the coach of Mumbai and Punjab and worked with the National Cricket Academy. He was actively involved in making 83, the Bollywood film based on India’s historic World Cup triumph.
Ravi Shastri: The former India all-rounder claimed three wickets in the win over West Indies in the team’s 1983 opener. He had a relatively quiet World Cup after that. He famously went on to win the Player of the Tournament in the World Championship of Cricket. Injuries forced him into premature retirement in 1992. He went on to become a popular commentator. Subsequently, Shastri had a long and successful stint as a coach during Virat Kohli’s captaincy tenure. He has since returned to the commentary box and remains popular as ever, sharing his frank views on the game.
Kirti Azad: Famous for bowling Ian Botham in the 1983 World Cup semi-final, Kirti Azad did not have a successful international career. He played only seven Tests and 25 ODIs from 1980 to 1986. Post-retirement, he joined politics. He was with BJP from 1999 to 2019 before joining Congress. Azad is now part of the All India Trinamool Congress.
Sunil Valson: He is the only member of the Indian team who did not play a single match in the 1983 World Cup. As destiny would have it, Sunil Valson did not play a single match for India. The pacer featured in 75 first-class matches and claimed 212 wickets at an average of 25.35. Not much is known about what he is doing now.