Where were you on the night this took place?

Twenty-five years ago—a quarter of a century ago!—India won the World Cup of cricket.

It all seems like a millennium ago, and it is. The matches were 60 overs a side. The players wore white clothes; the balls were red; and the television sets were black and white. The matches were all played during the day; in the event of rain, they were completed the following day. There was no 15-yard circle, no fielding restrictions, no one-bouncer-an-over rule.

In the finals—at the Tirupati of the Game, Lord’s—India scored 183 in 54.4 overs and the West Indies were bowled out for 140 in 52 overs.

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN was in Bombay on the day of the finals: “After the match, I remember going with a friend on his scooter in Chembur and getting  drunk at a Sardar’s pub. The sardar’s son every now and then was doing a ‘Kapil‘ by opening a beer bottle and spraying it everywhere. An indulgent father was showing him how to do that correctly by opening another bottle!”

AMIT VARMA was nine at the time, and hadn’t yet begun following cricket. “I vaguely remember being in a room with many family members, all of them rather excited. When they began jumping up and down at the fall of the tenth West Indian wicket, I looked at the screen and sagely remarked: “But they still have one batsman left.”

Where were you when India did what it has never done again? Did you have a TV set at home or did you go to a neighbour’s to watch the proceedings? Colour or b/w? If you had gone off to sleep, what was your first reaction when you were told the next morning that such a thing had happened?

What is your finest, most abiding memory (besides Balwinder Sandhu bowling Gordon Greenidge)?

Where were you on Twentyfifth June Nineteeneightythree?

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27 Responses to “Where were you on the night this took place?”

  1. Madhu Rao Says:

    Kitty on our street had the lone black and white TV and was hospitable to the what seemed like a gandhi class(30 or so) of kids infront of it. Like Amit, I was too young to really appreciate the game but had gone in as it was what the kids were doing.

    India were bowled out for a paltry 183 and KEB decided to put us out of our misery — there was a power cut and people pulled out their radio transistors.

    Remembering hearing ‘namma Binny, Mohinder sakkat agi aadtiddare’.

    A few years later and when I was 14-15 and playing for my school, the re-runs of it was what made it so memorable for me…

    Apart from Sandhu’s banana inswinger that came in from France all the way to the stumps to get Greenidge, the awesome catch that Kapil took to dismiss Richards is what I distinctly remember from the re-runs..

  2. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    I was too young to understand cricket and my family (or my neighbours) didn’t have a TV of any kind. I lived the next few years with absolutely no knowledge that India won the World Cup until India won the B&H World Series in Australia where apparently we reaffirmed our status as world champions according to a commentator. A Solidaire B&W TV introduced me to my first pictures of cricket.

  3. jeevarathna Says:

    Was it black and white TV ? I vividly remember a West Indian Supporter inconsolably in his hunches in a Yellow shirt after the sea of Indians invaded the ground ! That great catch by Kapil to dismiss Richards and mustached Mohinder smiling and running towards the Lords pavilion are really some great memories etched in mind . Years later when i became acquainted with a gem of a gentlemen named Roger Binny the circle was complete.

  4. oochara Says:

    I was not born yet :)

  5. dharma Says:


  6. Shrinidhi Hande Says:

    Me too wasn’t born yet…

    Question is will we repeat that history again?

  7. Poli Kitty Says:

    I was 7 yrs old kid. I really did not know anything about game.
    I remember benson and hedges world series in which shastri was champ of champ

  8. Janasamanya Says:

    Ah, what a nostalgic moment to remeber. At that time, in the whole colony, where I was residing there were only 2-3 persons who had T.V. (B&W). One gentleman put up a shamiana in front of his house brought out the T.V. set and kept it on a table elevating it by putting 4-5 bricks under the table legs and invited all the neighbouring people. Around 200-300 of us sat under that shamiana and enjoyed every moment of the 1983 world cup (except the match vs Zimbabwe, which was not telecast at all, I think. I have never enjoyed the cricket more than that at any point of time. After the India won, all of us hugged each other and the T.V. owner distributed the sweets. (Looking back, I don’t think anyone of us even thanked the TV owner!).

  9. Aatmasakshi Says:

    1983 was the time of 30-feet-tall TV antennae. (Remember? The taller the antenna, the better the reception was the received wisdom, and the “status” of neighbours was judged on the height of the antennae atop their stately homes!)

    I watched the proceedings on a 14-inch Philips black and white set, the screen every so often self-destructing itself into a million black and white pieces, after which like some shortwave radio station that needed to be fine-tuned, it would slowly but faintly return to the action on the field.

    I remember being distinctly dejected when India was bowled out for 183. I went off to sleep after seeing Greenidge shoulder arms to Sandhu, woke up very late for school next morning, and rushed into the “Assembly” that had already begun.

    We used to have a news-reading session during “Assembly”, and when that day’s newsreader, Satish, read out the headline from Deccan Herald “By Lord’s, It’s India”, I collapsed into serious delirium.

  10. Ishweshwaraih Says:

    I remmember seeing the World cup on a black and white ‘Bush’ TV and yes the antenna was long. I was 10 years old and this was a great moment. The greatest memory of the world cup is about Jimmy amarnath and his ‘slow’ style. He was my hero. Later in high school and college when I palyed in BTR and KSCA second division league I used to imitate Jimmy’s bowling action and also had a red hankie popping out of my pocket. Kapil and Jimmy were my heroes. I always had this impression that Sunny Gavaskar was crooked villain.

  11. Janasamanya Says:

    Richards used to say – I go to sleep when Amarnath comes to bowl! The W.I. who were seething with anger, took a big revenge after the 1983 World Cup. When they visited India soon after the World Cup, they beat India 6-0! And, Amarnath, Hero of World Cup was duck out for 4-5 times I think. Later, India’s Benson & Hedges Cup win in Australia was much more convincing than 1983 WC, because, almost every player was in form, we won every match efforlessly, both the manager (Prasanna) and captain (Gavaskar) got equal credit. This series was more colourful (literally) and by that time India had advanced much in communications.

  12. NS Rao Says:

    The most important thing I remember amongst all the above mentioned was Narottam Puri’s compere and frequent disruption of relay due to Satellite failure on the day of finals. I very vividly remember Narottam Puri apologizing for the failure and also mentioning that neither he nor DD (Doordarshan) was responsible for that :-)

    For the next one week or so, we had innumerous number of replays.

  13. D P SATISH Says:

    I was just 6 years old. Many years later, my elder brother told me that it was raining cats and dogs in Malnad and radio was out of order! He got the newspaper which carried that news 3 days later.

  14. arun Says:

    not born

  15. Poli Hudga Says:

    Just Born :-) … (3 month old kid)

    May be my birth was an Good OMEN, that from now on INDIA will be a global power (atleast in cricket ;-) … ). Jeez! What a quarter of century it has been, full of excitement both for me and Indian cricket.

  16. nilagriva Says:

    I was a kid at that time; it was a cloudy Saturday evening and I started watching the match at 3 or 4’O clock after my half day at school. My uncle , the consummate pessimist that he was, constantly praised the West Indies and made fun of India whenever he got the opportunity. (Of course, he was the happiest when India won)

    We had a 20″ TV at that time and we were all excited to watch a match live from England. I remember Gavaskar go for a paltry score (1? 2?) and Srikkanth’s belligerent 38 at the beginning and Mohinder’s important 26 in the middle/end. Kirti Azad or was it Yashpal Sharma got caught by Joel Garner who caught the ball like a small marble. I distinctly remember somebody lamenting the fact that Roger Binny, the rep into the team from Karnataka, was not playing the finals because of some injury. He was also, I remember, the highest wicket taker in that series.

    Seeing India all out for 183, I did not think India would win. Then I saw that unbelievable in-cutter from Sandhu that took out Greenidge. Kapil’s catch to dismiss the dangerous Richards was also great. I remember Faoud Bacchus and Larry Gomes at the crease when I felt sleepy and went to bed.

    The next morning, a holiday of course, saw my newspaper triumphantly scream “Kapil and his “Dev”ils win World Cup” or something like that. “Dev”ils – I definitely remember.

    It is another matter, though, that the West Indians who came visiting soon after thrashed the living daylights out of India in the Test and one day series (notwithstanding Gavaskar’s eclipse of Bradman’s record in the same series).

    Has it been twenty five years now, really!

  17. jeevarathna Says:


    Roger Binny played in the final and scored just 2 runs but took the all important wicket of Clive Lloyd.

  18. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Remember the folks at home watching the match on our black and white National Panasonic TV (is probably still at parents home in the car-shed – dont know if it still works).

    Remember their excitement discussing about the match more than the match itself. Also some memory of Srikanth hitting a four (one of the few in the match). Later Sandhu bowling the in-cutter, and Greenidge letting the ball go and looking back – like in slow motion. There was probably a power cut (or a cut in the broadcast) at one point – commentary on radio about Richards batting and the general disappointment – and when the TV was back on, they were showing replays of Kapil great catch which did Richards in. Everyone was excited.

    And finally the LBW off Mohinders bowling(?) and Mohinder running back (did he grab a wicket on the way?).

    Also remember elder brother ruefully recounting how his friend’s father took them all to Lake View (or was it Chit Chat) on MG Road and telling them to eat what they wanted, treat was on him.

  19. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Also remember reading somewhere (Sunny Gavaskar’s book Idols?), when Kapil saved India from elimination in the competition with his match winning 175 against Zimbwawe (which remained a record for a long time) – the BBC (or whoever was covering the world cup) was on strike and there was no recording of one of the greatest one day knocks. India were down 28 for 5 or some such dismal score chasing a huge total (for those days) and while the tail enders – including our very own Kirmani held off getting out at one end, Kapil just plundered the attack from the other end. This enabled India to avoid getting eliminated and book a berth in the semis (quarters?). So there is no TV recording of Kapil’s brilliant century. It was rumoured someone in the audience had a recording but the Indian team/officials weren’t able to get hold of a copy.

  20. kaangeya Says:

    I was visiting my cousins who lived at a township near Madras – the kind that is neatly laid out, where everyone works for the same company and goes to the same school, where you have an open air movie theatre etc., My cousing and I weren’t keen to watch the game as I ‘knew’ WI would thrash us. My father thought otherwise, after having listened to the thrilling games against England and Australia with me. Anyway my cousin and I went over to the rec centre to watch Rajinikanth’s “Johny” with its lovely songs. When we came back the match had just started and I saw Kris Srikkanth hammering everythig that came at him, and then the rest of the team fold up. When WI began its innings my father (he’s no more now) was confident after the 1st over, “Watch them get Greenidge.” And it happened. Even after three wickets I wasn’t confident while my dad’s confidence began to surge and then soar. After the 5th wicket I woke up my other cousin 9-years old (who runs a startup now in the Bay) and asked him to stay awake – I knew something was going to happen. And then it was a flood – or so I recall. Amazingly exciting. A couple of years later I watched India bat through the B&H final in Australia to beat Pakistan – stirring stuff, but then I was recovering from a hangover this time. Great stuff nevertheless.

  21. ERR Says:

    Those days when DD was the sole channel, you shared your cricket telecast along with local news, quick headlines, National News in Hindi with Salma Sulthana and Raman and English News with Sunil Tandon,Neethi Ravindran and Komal G.B. Singh butting in.You mostly kept the progress of a match with a black and white EC tv, a transistor making sure the cells work!
    Coming to India -Zimbabwe match India was 7 for 4 and 17 for 5 before Kapil and Kirmani rescued the team.

    A different item altogether: When Govt. announced a 3 day mourning because a politician( Probably G.B. Panth, I think) died on the eve of Wimbledon final, Rajiv Gandhi came to the rescue of Sports lovers and made sure Tennis finals was telecast!

  22. Rags Says:

    I was 11 yrs when India won the world cup. We had a black and white Dyanora TV (Bet very few would remember this name). I had watched the semi final and was very thrilled that India had entered the final. Me and my friends thought that it was a fluke and west indies would beat us black and blue (They had beaten us in the previous league match). We were all excited and it was a Sunday. First thing was I tried to figure out the time of match by computing the time difference and then checking in the paper. In those days on the TV you used to have a bar image with a beeping sound before the relay starts. So I switched it on almost 20 min before. By that time me and my parents had finished our lunch had a short nap too. My cousins had come down from Chikballapur (town after Devanahalli) to watch the match since there was no TV at their place.When the Indian innings was over we all felt we were vindicated in our belief that we would be beaten. However when the WI innings started and sandhu got the first wicket cheapely somewhere we started believing that India may indeed win it. Again when Sir Viv was going after our bowling we thought it was only a false chance and Wi will win it. But he got out and later wickets started falling I realised that India was on its way to victory. And when the last wicket fell and the whole crowd rushed to the ground and Amarnath started running back to the pavilion it was a great moment that India had indeed won the world cup. This was really great considering the fact that Australia had beaten us very badly in the home series before the world cup and we were never considered as a force in cricket. I am happy that I was old enough to remember that world cup win

  23. nilagriva Says:

    I checked cricinfo after I read your comment on my earlier comment and I now see that I have conflated the 1985 Benson/Hedges final (where Binny actually didn’t play) with the 1983 finals. I think my other memories should be accurate though.

  24. Varun Says:

    I was in my mother’s womb :). I was born in December ’83

  25. bengalurumanja Says:

    in jayanagar 4th block in a friend’s house watching TV with friends,when TV strted news we switched on to BBC radio commentary,later after India won we went round jayanagar and gulped couple of beers issued free by bar owners in joy.

  26. curry hurry Says:

    This was the tournament that initiated me into following limited overs cricket religiously. Sandhu’s unbelievable ball, the DD news that put us in suspense over the progress of the game .. still remember it all.
    But this reenactment/reliving an old victory is a little over the top.

  27. captainjohann Says:

    I think i watched the final in my colour BPL tv which i purchased at that time for delhi Asiad i think. I was a great fan of Kapil and Srikant and ofcourse hated Gawaskar at that time. I think i was hearing the commnetary or newssclip about india being 17 for 5 against zimbawe and went to bed and came to know about Kapils brilliant kncok. so i was remembering the hits which srikant hit against andy roberts and our total was not good at all . But when richards got out, i had a small hope and i very well rremeber the clip of amarnath getting the last batsman out and fans running into field. Kapil’s getting the cup was momentus for me as i am avid cricket fan who had the fortune to hear the Live commentary of the Historic Tie test between Australia and west indies.

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