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Monday, June 22, 2020

India's hour of glory this day 37 years ago !!

Can you identify this Cricketer, the unsung hero of World Cup 1983 ! – yes it is Yashpal Sharma, he manned covers gracefully those days, made a heroic 89 in the 1st match against WI and scored again in the Semis.  Remember before 1983, India had lost all its 6 matches in Cricket limited overs World Cup (60 overs those days !) [pic credit Blooming Buds school in Moga,  Punjab]

Captain Kapil Dev who made that epic 175* -   according to  critics was only a natural Cricketer and not a strategist ! – yet would any one explain the Captain not completing the quota, Balwinder Sandhu bowling 8 (off the 12) and S Madanlal bowling just 5 – then who completed the 60 ?  It was 12 by  Roger Binny, Mohinder Amarnath and Kirti Azad ! – this day 37 years ago ! – a famous victory at Old Trafford Manchester.

The West Indies cricket squad completed its 14-day isolation period in England on 22.6.2020  (this day 37 years ago, India made history ) and will step up its preparations for next month’s Test series by playing a three-day internal warmup match in Manchester. The tourists have been in quarantine at Manchester’s Old Trafford cricket ground and adjoining hotel since arriving in Britain on 9 June.  While the West Indies will start its first warmup game on Tuesday, England’s 30-man training group will report at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and be tested for COVID-19 on arrival along with the management team.

The name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunio and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians.   The recorded history of cotton fame  Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium.  Manchester’s unplanned  growth was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution; the building of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761 built to transport coal triggered an early-19th-century factory building boom which transformed Manchester from a township into a major mill town.

As the players of Manchester City and Burnley took a knee inside an empty Etihad Stadium in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the sound of an aircraft could be heard overhead.  It had a very different message. “White Lives Matter Burnley” read a banner being pulled by the small plane that circled the ground for several minutes on a clear Monday evening in the east of Manchester. Ben Mee, the captain of Burnley, couldn’t help but notice. He and his teammates had heard rumors just before they walked out for the match that such a stunt had been planned.

Old Trafford is England’s second oldest test venue and one of the most renowned.  It was the venue for the first ever Ashes test to be held in England in July 1884. In 1956, the first 10-wicket haul in a single innings was achieved by England bowler Jim Laker who achieved bowling figures of 19 wickets for 90 run.  It was at Manchester in 1982 that Sandeep Patil famously moved from 80 to 104 in a single over of Bob Willis (6 fours struck in that 7 ball over !) ~ it was here that India’s parttime bowlers Mohinder & Kirti Azad bowled 24 overs costing  only 55 runs. 

After Bob Willis had won the toss, their openers put on 69 at more than 4 an over — a fantastic platform considering the era. The wicket was slow, and not at all ideal for stroke-play.  In fact  Chris Tavare considered a slow starter hit 4 fours. Indian bowlers and particularly the duo of Mohinder Amarnath and Kirti Azad choked the scoring.  England batsman struggled after a very good start from Greame Fowler and Chris Tavare.  The generally slow Tavare made 32 off 51; Fower 33 off 59; David Gower 17/30;  Allan Lamb 29/58; Mike Gatting 18/46; mercurial Ian Botham 6 off 26 ball struggle; Ian Gould 13/36 .. …   Indian batting was much organized and they could romp home with 32 balls to spare.  Gavaskar 25; Krish Srikkanth 19; Mohinder46; Yashpal 61 – Sandeep Patil 51* and Kapil 1* saw them through.

After Srikkanth and Gavaskar (that  washis highest in WC 1983 !) [his scores read : 19; 4; dropped; dropped; 0; 9; 25 & 2) exited, Amarnath and Yashpal steadied the innings. Runs came at a slow, steady rate. The two picked the gaps and ran hard. It was this 92-run partnership that washed away all hope and when after 2/3rds – they opened up.  Mohinder hitting Marks for a 6 and Yashpal hitting Allot straight for a 6 and then audaciously moved inside and dispatching England’s fastest bowler Bob Willis over square for another.   A brilliant piece of fielding and throw by Allott ended the partnership and then Yashpal skied towards the end.    Sandeep Patil thrashed Willis again.  With scores level,   Willis called all his men over to the off-side to ensure their reaching the pavilion faster.  Sandeep Patil ended with an unbeaten half century.  Mohinder was the man of the match.

On the same day, in the other Semis, Pakis made 184/8 in 60 overs.   West Indies won the toss and put  Pakistan to bat.  Malcolm Marshall (3/28) and Andy Roberts (2/25) starred with the ball. Viv Richards spectacular  (80 from 96 balls, 11 fours, 1 six), saw them through with loss of just two wickets

~ the final was played at Lords on 25th June 1983 – rest is history

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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