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83 Movie Release: The 1983 Cricket World Cup Heroes, Where Are They Now

June 25, 1983 – memories of that dreary Saturday in London are etched in the minds of millions of Indians. That was the day underdogs India humbled the mighty West Indies to win their first cricket World Cup at Lord’s. Even today, 38 years later, stories of Kapil Dev’s stunning catch to get rid of a rampaging Vivian Richards, Balwinder Sandhu’s famous delivery to bamboozle Gordon Greenidge, and thousands of Indian supporters invading the pitch after Mohinder Amarnath got the final wicket of Michael Holding, are narrated over and over again. After all, that remains one of India’s greatest and most unexpected underdog triumphs in the history of the gentleman’s game.

Last month, when the minute-long teaser of Kabir Khan’s 83 dropped, Generation X was transported back in time, and discussions about the World Cup heroes have once again taken centrestage on various platforms.

So, let’s take a look at where the cricketing legends are today.

Kapil Dev: He was the captain of the 1983 India World Cup Team. In the quarter-final against Zimbabwe, he played a brutal innings, smashing 175 runs off 138 balls. That captain’s knock kept India alive in the competition. In 1994, Kapil quit international cricket. He is now a cricket commentator and businessman. Kapil owns Dev Musco Lighting, a firm that installs floodlights for stadiums and sports venues. In 83, his part is essayed by Ranveer Singh.

Mohinder Amarnath: He was the team vice-captain and bagged Man of the Match awards in both the final and semi-final. Amarnath, also known as Jimmy, retired from all formats of the game in 1989, following which he presented a popular weekly cricket coaching show on Doordarshan titled Cricket with Mohinder Amarnath. In the past, he has coached the Bangladesh cricket team and was also entrusted with coaching in Morocco. Currently, he works as a cricket analyst for a number of news channels. Saqib Saleem portrays Mohinder Amarnath in the movie.

Sunil Gavaskar: The Little Master was dismissed early in the 1983 World Cup final after scoring two runs. Gavaskar retired from the game in 1987 and became a cricket columnist for some of India’s leading newspapers and magazines. Today, he is a widely respected television commentator and analyst. His command over English as well as Hindi and ability to articulate makes him a popular face in the commentary box and analyst’s chair. In the past, Gavaskar also served as Mumbai Cricket Association’s vice-president, interim president of the BCCI, and chairman of the International Cricket Council’s cricket committee. Tahir Raj Bhasin essays the role of Sunil Gavaskar in 83.

Dilip Vengsarkar: In the 1983 World Cup, Vengsarkar was the mainstay of the Indian middle-order. After retirement, he served as Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president. Now, he runs three cricket academies — two in Mumbai and one in Pune — where training is imparted free of cost. Adinath Kothare dons the role of Dilip Vengsarkar for the movie.

Kirti Azad: He was a right-handed batsman who also bowled off-spin. In 1986, he retired from all forms of cricket. After that, he followed in the footsteps of his father, former Bihar Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, and entered politics. He was a member of the Lok Sabha and was initially with the BJP. In 2019, he joined Congress. In November 2021, he left the Congress and joined Trinamool Congress. Dinker Sharma is Kirti Azad on screen.

Roger Binny: He scalped 18 wickets in the 1983 World Cup and was India’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament. Binny retired in 1987. Now, he serves as the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association. His son, Stuart Binny, too, played cricket for India. In 83, Nishant Dahiya essays the character of Roger Binny.

Syed Kirmani: In the 1983 World Cup, he won the best wicket-keeper award for the memorable catch of Faoud Bacchus in the final. After retirement, Kirmani was seen as an antagonist in the movie Kabhi Ajnabi The, which also starred Sandip Patil. He also held the post of the vice-president of Karnataka State Cricket Association and was the chairman of the national selection committee too. In 2016, he received the Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. Sahil Khattar, a YouTuber, essays the role of Syed Kirmani for Kabir Khan’s 83.

Madan Lal: No story of the 1983 World Cup final is complete without the mention of Kapil Dev running backwards to take the stunning catch to dismiss the dangerous Viv Richards. But there’s hardly ever a mention of the bowler. It was Madan Lal who bowled that delivery that got rid of Richards. His three quick wickets in the final rattled the Windies. Madan Lal retired in 1987 and first became the coach of the India A team, and then the senior squad. He was also a national selector. Now, he is a cricket analyst on TV channels and runs the Madan Lal Cricket Academy in Delhi. Punjabi singer Harrdy Sandhu will be seen as Madan Lal.

Sandeep Patil: A batsman and a medium-pace bowler, Patil first served as India A coach after retirement and then coach of the Indian team, before moving on to take charge of Kenya. At present, he is contesting for a position in Mumbai Cricket Association. His son, Chirag Patil plays his part in 83.

Balwinder Sandhu: A right-arm medium-pace bowler, Sandhu’s most talked-about wicket in the 1983 World Cup final is that of Gordon Greenidge when the West Indies opener shouldered his arms to a ball that came in sharply, bowling him out. In the 90s, Sandhu coached the Mumbai cricket team. This year, again, he applied for the post of Mumbai coach but apparently didn’t get it. Punjabi Singer Ammy Virk will play Balwinder Sandhu in 83.

Ravi Shastri: The all-rounder — right-handed batsman and slow left-arm orthodox bowler — was his generation’s pin-up boy. He was flamboyant and brash. He took up commentary after retiring from the game and carved out a niche for himself behind the microphone. Shastri’s voice stands out in the footage of some of Indian cricket’s most iconic moments, be it MS Dhoni hitting the 2011 World Cup’s winning runs, S Sreesanth’s catch in the 2007 World T20 to ensure India became champs, or Yuvraj Singh hitting six sixes in an over. He was named Director of the Indian team in 2014. He was even the head coach until recently when he stepped down after the T20 World Cup in 2021. Dhairya Karwa is Ravi Shastri in the movie.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth: He was the highest scorer in the final, scoring 38 runs. During his playing days, Srikkanth was known for his entertaining, innovative, and explosive batting. After retiring from the game in 1992, he has worked as a commentator and cricket analyst for various television channels. He was also the coach of the India A team for a while. Srikkanth is also a member of the All India Council of Sports, an advisory body for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Srikkanth will be portrayed on the screen by Tamil actor Jiiva.

Yashpal Sharma: In the 1983 World Cup, Sharma’s innovative batting and excellent running between the wickets made him a household name. Post-retirement, he was a national selector for a few years. In 2019, Delhi & Districts Cricket Association appointed him as a member of a new Cricket Advisory Committee to pick various selection panels as well as the coaching staff of the state teams. Sharma passed away this year in July. Jatin Sharma plays his character in 83.

Sunil Valson: He was the 12th man in the 1983 World Cup team. Alongside Yashpal Sharma, he, too, was appointed a member of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association advisory committee in 2019. Now, he is serving as team manager of the IPL team, Delhi Capitals. R Badree essays the role of Sunil Valson in the Ranveer Singh-starrer 83.

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