25th June, 1983 is written in the golden chapter of Indian history and in terms of dates, it doesn’t get bigger than today, in Indian Cricket. Exactly 51 years after their test match debut, India managed to lift the coveted World Cup under hostile circumstances, superseding everyone’s expectations from the then, minnows.
India defeated giants West Indies in the final at Lord’s, defending a meagre total of 183 against a batting line-up that consisted Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd and the likes. Mohinder Amarnath was the pick of the bowlers, alongside Madan Lal, who both took 3 wickets apiece to derail, what looked like an easy chase for the Windies.
While India winning the World Cup was huge, the potential impact it could have had, and did, was something even more grand. Fast forward to today, cricket, which was in the bushes, is now a religion in India and the highest paying sport in the country. It is also the most watched sport in the country, and we can only thank the 1983 World Cup triumph, playing a key role in the same.
Another reason they need to be lauded is the fact that they were truly passionate about the sport and representing the country. A look at the payments received by the players that time would raise eyebrows a comparison with current figures will be a testimony to the impact and the popularisation, and commercialisation of the game.
While players used to get 200 daily allowance for 3 days per ODI, their match fee was 1500, taking it to 2100 for playing a match. Even a Ranji Trophy match these days fetches players lakhs, lend aside IPL which has helped youngsters pocket millions of bucks.