Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
In a conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai, Sandeep Patil remembers being Sunil Gavaskar’s roommate in 1983:
I asked him if would be able to even see the balls of West Indians. He asked me what do you mean by ‘the balls of the West Indians?’ I told him the cricket balls that will be bowled by Marshall. I had not faced West Indians then and Sunil told me that you have faced Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson; you will be able to see the balls. I saw the ball and I hit a six.
My favourite bit in the interview, though, is when Sardesai asks what Kapil Dev said to his team in the dressing room after India was dismissed for 183 in the final. Kapil replies:
I just said c’mon Jawaano, let’s fight it out.
Through a nostalgia-tented lens, of all this seems charmingly uncomplicated. But in my view, the politics is less today and our cricket is much better. (Not the West Indies’s, sadly.) Still, it’s good to remember.
Many readers of this blog, shameless young kids all, were born after that 1983 World Cup. Those of us born before it are often asked where we were when the final was won. I 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.”
(Link via email from Sanjeev.)
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