Born in Chandigarh on January 6, 1959, Kapil Dev, the speedster made his First-Class debut for Haryana and impressed everyone with his prowess to swing the ball.
Hailed as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time, Kapil rose through the ranks in domestic circuit and played his first International match for India at just 19.
Kapil’s consistent performances with the bat and ball forced the selectors to hand him the team’s captaincy while other senior players were still part of the set-up.
His initial days as captain were not very successful, but India surprised everyone by defeating the mighty West Indies in their first match of the 1983 World Cup which was followed by another win against Zimbabwe.
However, India suffered two massive defeats after that, Australia and West Indies totally demolished India’s moral. But Kapil’s men made an almost impossible comeback and defeated Zimbabwe after being reduced to 17/5.
Kapil played the perfect captain’s innings and destroyed the Zimbabwean bowling attack by smashing 175 at a staggering strike rate of 126.81 comprising of 16 fours and 6 massive sixes.
Dev’s men got their self-belief back and went on to win every game after that, even upsetting the defending champions in the final to lift the coveted trophy.
People were out on the streets waving the Indian flag, celebrating India’s first major cricketing triumph overseas. Many reports claimed that the scenes were reminiscent of India’s Independence in 1947.
The Nation was united by 14 underdogs who met the challenges head-on replicating their Captain’s attitude in their performance on the ground.
Kapil’s contribution, both as a leader and a player in the 1983 triumph is a major reason why youngsters in India took up the game and as a result, cricket went on to gain the status of most popular sport in India.