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To millions of us in India, quite possibly the biggest event in international cricket was India’s winning the Prudential World Cup at Lord’s, June 25, 1983.  Exactly 25 years later, we still remember that historic photo of Kapil Dev holding aloft the World Cup.

Today the whole country rejoices at that feat. We look back with great pride at an event which clearly shaped the future of Indian cricket.

One of India’s leading writers on cricket, Ayaz Memon has written a nice article called “Eighty Three Once More” which captures the spirit of those times in this tournament. Remember the odds for India winning the Cup were 66 : 1 and you get a sense of the achievement.

Beating the mighty West Indies who had won the first two World Cups – the inaugural in 1975 and the next one in 1979- was a feat unparalleled.

The lessons,to me, from this superlative victory by Kapil’s Devils- as they were fondly called:-

  1. The strong sense of self- belief that the Indians had. Perhaps their beating the West Indies for the first time in an earlier tour of the West Indies  gave them the confidence that they could pull off what was termed impossible.
  2. The team spirit was exceptional. Apart from Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, none of the other players were anywhere near being super stars. This gave them the edge to perform. They were the underdogs and had nothing to lose.
  3. The West Indies were complacent. They thought winning against India was a foregone conclusion.  As a result, we witnessed complacency kill yet another champion.  

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This is Post No: 205 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success

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