Britain’s cricket historian claims credit for Kapil Dev’s ‘83 World Cup victory

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Bipin Dani

Indian fans became “mad” when Kapil Dev’s team won the first World Cup title in 1983. Nearly 40 years after that, the followers of the game can recall the history watching the film titled 83.

Nobody had anticipated India’s victory in the fi-nal against the Windies team. A British historian David Frith had famously commented that India should withdraw from the World Cup if they didn’t improve. When they won it in 1983 he was pleased to (literally) eat his words,

“My role in India’s 1983 World Cup triumph has been misrepresented often since 1983. I was not “forced” to eat my words. It was suggested that I might do so after India’s victory, and I was very glad to do so”, speaking exclusively, he said on Tuesday.

“I also claim some credit for Kapil’s success. If my words goaded them into taking the World Cup more seriously then I’m delighted. No non-Indian was more thrilled than I was at that victory at Lord’s”.

“When it was suggested that I might eat my words I was very happy to do so – and even ar-ranged a photograph for Wisden Cricket Monthly (which I edited, having founded the magazine four years earlier)”, he added.

“That evening I joined the Indian players and a crowd of fans in the hotel across the road and en-joyed the celebrations. My friend Kapil danced the bhangra, which was memorable. I then got all the players to sign my match programme, which re-mains a prize among my cricket collection”, Frith signed off.

 

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