Zee Media Bureau
Meanwhile, the boys may have grown up to become men (or even grandfathers in some case) but their closed door chats, closely guarded tales and anecdotes which transpired within the team on that momentous occasion was also still fresh on their minds.
Former opener Kris Srikkanth reminisces once such incident about Yashpal Sharma. "I was interested to watch English films but Yashpal always used to push me to watch `Kranti` to improve my Hindi.
"He used to butter Sunil Gavaskar as he wanted to be in the team and would praise him high and low... I guess even today he has not given up that," he quips.
Srikkanth also remembers how he was asked by the manager not to move and stay firm in the position were he was during the India-Zimbabwe match. "We were tottering for 17 for 5 and Kapil stepped in. It was very cold and I wanted to go to the loo, but the manager asked me to stay at that position as long as Kapil was batting. We were very superstitious and so I stood there enduring the cold wind," he said.
Kirti Azad remembers how he was saved by Roger Binny after he was pused to a swimming pool. "Once during a party, everybody was high on booze. Some were wearing casuals but I was in suit when I decided to play prank and pushed Binny in the swimming pool. After that I was also pushed in the pool but I didn`t knew swimming so Binny had to come for my rescue," he said.
P R Man Singh, the manager of the team then also has a lot to share. "After the India-Australia match, we were heading towards the hotel in our cab, when the driver skipped a red light. When I asked him, he said nothing will happen as it was late night. But soon there was this traffic police who asked us to pull over. But I convinced him somehow that I was the Indian Coach and the players were resting. After sometime he let us go," he ruminates.
He also remembers how he was once asked by skipper Kapil to leave the room. "I was asked by Kapil to leave the room after the finals, I felt really hurt but after sometime he came to me and said that the team has decided to share everything with me, I felt so happy," he said.
After being fizzled out of a mere 183 in the all important final, skipper Kapil Dev told his men “Chalo Jawanon, aage badho” but Sunil Gavaskar interrupted and said in a lighter vein “We are not jawans, we are officers”
Incidentally, 25th of June holds a very special place in the annals of Indian cricket for one more reason. It was on the same date in the year 1932 that India took its first step in the World of cricket. India played its debut Test at the Lord’s under CK Nayudu.
Every cricket fan remembers how Balwinder Singh Sandhu famously deceived Gordon Greenidge with a vicious in-swinger. However, it was later revealed by Kirmani that Sandhu had actually attempted an out-swinger which somehow ‘came in’.
In the match against West Indies, Malcom Marshall hit tail-ender Sandhu on his head with a nasty bouncer. Umpire Dickie Bird gave a good hearing to the bowler (with generous dosage of the four letter words). Kirmani (again), who was the non-striker at that time withheld the fact that Sandhu’s turban had saved him. So instead of rubbing his head, he was rubbing his helmet.
While Viv Richards was going hammer and tongs in the finals, choosing Madan Lal for special treatment, the latter insisted Kapil for an additional over. In his typical style he said, “`Tu mainu de de ball (You give me the ball).` Kapil obliged…..and the rest is history.
“I think it is going to be a party but it is going to be really very emotional. And it is going to be fun. Most of the times your life goes through rough periods but when the good times come then you should go out there and enjoy. You also have to pass on the message to the new generation also - that we had achieved something and now you will also have to work hard and reach there as well. But now we are going to have a great time”, said Kapil Dev, looking forward to the Grand party organized at the Lord’s.
When asked about his biggest gain from the World Cup triumph, an emotional Kapil replied,” I think we took home pride, happiness and the love of people. I think that`s what we took home. Money was very immaterial at that time. Maybe today everybody likes to have good money but at that point I think anybody did not think anything else rather than just winning the cup.