At an event recently, Kapil Dev was asked this question: What changed for him after India won the World Cup in 1983? Nothing changes overnight, he said, it changes over the years. After 25 years, you realize you have done something, he added.
After 28 years, that moment of Dev lifting the World Cup at Lord’s remains the most defining of all World Cup moments in Indian cricket; they did something. Because India was never expected to win it, the surprise and adulation that followed stayed longer than the disappointment of subsequent World Cups. That was the last time we were underdogs; irrespective of our performances leading up to every other World Cup, we assumed we were in with a chance, only to be disappointed.
Listen to the Lounge Podcast. Download here
Cricket has, of course, changed. Not just with the advent of coloured clothing, use of technology and changed rules but also in the way it is viewed. Today, it’s an advertiser’s delight, a marketing juggernaut, a ‘tamasha’, what have you. The sport has become a business, its heart fitted with a mechanical pacemaker.
In this issue, we not only look back at the joy and heartbreak of the past, but also what we can look forward to—some of the newest members of the Indian team, and why they will be crucial to India’s campaign. We analyse the favourites from outside the subcontinent in what promises to be the most unpredictable competition in more than a decade. We revisit the moment Eden fell, and how the Kolkata stadium, once one of the pre-eminent cricket venues in the world, has struggled to regain its past stature.
Like every other World Cup, there’s always hope that India will not only win this one, but also bring back some soul and passion to the sport which men like Dev speak of.
If India does win the World Cup, it will also be a lease of life for the One Day format of the game. Since the Indian Premier League (IPL) began in 2008, Twenty20 has been threatening to upstage One Dayers in popularity and relevance. The 1983 victory saw the shorter version of cricket step out of the shadow of Test matches in the subcontinent, and maybe history will repeat itself.
Additionally, this title needs to be for Sachin Tendulkar—as a team and as a nation, we owe him one.
— Issue editors: Arun Janardhan and Rudraneil Sengupta
The World Cup Issue
Making a strong pitch
Three relative newcomers, Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan and R Ashwin, are riding on confidence and a successful 2010 to launch their maiden attempt at this month’s ICC World Cup (Read more)
The re-education of Yuvraj Singh
Why the worst year of his life could be the key to bringing out the best in the left-handed batsman (Read more)
The heroes in Havana hats
Games change and cricket umpires, like it or not, will have to go along (Read more)
The year we huddled
India’s campaign in 2003 ended with a loss in the final, but it laid the foundation for the team’s future success (Read more)
How we won the World Cup
Former Indian cricketers recall their dogged, driven and utterly improbable 1983 victory (Read more)
When more equals less
An increasing number of cricket matches every season, peaking with this year, may lead to declining viewer interest (Read more)
Five World Cup Events that changed cricket
Jonty Rhodes’ missile-like dives, the 1999 Aussie victory and the might of a Sri Lankan opening pair—they shaped the One Day game (Read more)
Shehan Karunatilaka’s novel about cricket encompasses an entire way of life on the subcontinent (Read more)
A rare type bowling
The author of ‘Chinaman’ on cricket writing, dead novels and getting sued (Read more)
An unfinished business
Tendulkar has survived generations, reinvented himself and broken all records. But the final chapter to his saga remains: the World Cup title (Read more)
Croats play cricket too
On the picturesque isle of Vis, the sport shares an intimate relationship with surrounding vineyards and football (Read more)
The visiting favourites
Defending champions Australia, perennial chokers South Africa and smoking hot England will be equal hopefuls in what would be an unpredictable World Cup (Read more)
Return to Eden
After its ignoble performance in the 1996 World Cup semi-final, Kolkata’s iconic, ‘unpredictable’ cricket stadium is back in the limelight (Read more)