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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

remembering that epic knock of Kapil Dev - 37 years ago !!

Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings believes it is "unlikely" and "unrealistic" that the Men's T20 World Cup will take place in Australia as scheduled this year. The fate of the tournament, scheduled between October 18 and November 15, is being deliberated fiercely by the ICC Board which last week deferred to take the final call.

·         William Nevill, 1st Marquess of Abergavenny KG MVO (1826 – 1915), styled Viscount Neville and known as The Earl of Abergavenny was a British peer.

·         Royal Tunbridge Wells, previously just Tunbridge Wells, is a town in western Kent, England, 30 miles (48 km) south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex.  The town came into being as a spa in the Restoration and enjoyed its heyday as a fashionable resort in the mid-1700s; though its popularity as a spa town waned with the advent of sea bathing, the town remains highly popular and derives some 30 per cent of its income from the tourist industry

·         Slazenger is an English sporting goods manufacturer which concentrates on racket sports including tennis, golf, cricket and hockey. Founded in 1881, it is one of the oldest surviving sporting brand names. It has the longest sporting sponsorship in world history, thanks to its association with the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, providing balls for the tournament since 1902.

On 11 April 1913, the original pavilion was burnt down in an arson attack attributed to militant suffragettes. The fire was discovered by a passing lamplighter and the fire brigade extinguished it within an hour, but too late to save the pavilion.   It is generally believed that the fire was caused by militant suffragettes as part of a country-wide campaign of arson and other violent opposition to the withdrawal of the 1912 Franchise Bill co-ordinated by the Women's Social and Political Union.

There was an angry reaction to the attack locally and nationally. The National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage held a meeting in the town with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a member of Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club, attending, where he called the suffragettes "female hooligans"  and compared the attack to "blowing up a blind man and his dog".  A new pavilion was built using the original designs after a series of fund raising concerts at the Opera House.

The Nevill Ground is a cricket ground at Royal Tunbridge Wells in the English county of Kent. It is owned by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and is used by Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club in the summer months and by Tunbridge Wells Hockey Club in the winter. The cricket ground was leased from William Nevil. It was opened in 1898 and was first used by Kent County Cricket Club in 1901. The county has held the Tunbridge Wells Cricket Week on the ground annually, despite a suffragette arson attack which destroyed the pavilion in 1913. The ground is known for being one of the more picturesque county grounds in England.

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Sunil Gavaskar), 2-6 (Kris Srikkanth), 3-6 (Mohinder Amarnath), 4-9 (Sandeep Patil), 5-17 (Yashpal Sharma), 6-77 (Roger Binny), 7-78 (Ravi Shastri), 8-140 (Madan Lal)  ~  every die hard Indian fans knows this story of  17/5 to 266 for 8 and the epic knock by Captain Kapil Dev 175* - incidentally the first century made by an Indian in an ODI.  On 18th Jun 1983, at Turnbridge Wells, with India reeling at 17/5, in walked Kapil Dev – scored the first century for India in ODI, an epic 175* .. ..  we had to wait for more than an year, as Ravi Shastri made the 2nd  ton playing against Australia at Indore in Oct 1984, Dilip Vengsarkar made 105 against England at Pune in Dec 1984; Shastri made another at Cuttack and then Krish Srikkanth made a flamboyant  102 off 104 balls against Australia at Jaipur in Sept 1986; a month later Raman Lamba made one at Rajkot.    Now – 39 Indian Cricketers have hit century in an ODI and the centuries total is 294 !
The scorecard of that famed match read : India 266 for 8 (Kapil Dev 175*; Rawson 3-47, Curran 3-65) beat Zimbabwe235 (Curran 73; Madan Lal 3-42) by 31 runs

Statistics would perhaps never describe properly that great ODI match nor the greatness of that epic knock by Kapil Dev taking the team from nadir to a victory.  Tunbridge Wells  is described tobe a small  ground, but that day was packed with a large crowd, squeezing in between the marquees and hospitality tents that surrounded much of the boundary.

After India had decided to bat, Zimbabwe losing the toss for the fifth consecutive time, Peter Rawson and Kevin Curran bowled so well getting lot of assistance from the ground.  Openers Sunil  Gavaskar and  Krish Srikkanth both failed to score, and the five top batsmen were all gone for a mere 17 runs, with Dave Houghton taking three catches behind the stumps.  Srikkanth,  tried to pull Curran and got a top edge, the ball looping into the air to be well caught by Iain Butchart running about thirty metres backwards from mid-on and taking it over his shoulder. Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil and Yashpal Sharma all departed sooner giving worries that the match would be over before the lunch time.  Some started talking about another Zimbabwe win, yes they had earlier beater a strong Australian side.

There was a good recovery as Roger Binny stayed and took the score to 77, but Ravi Shastri made it 78/7 – Madan lal partnered till 140 then Syed Kirmani stood by and watched Kapil Dev playing an incredible innings hitting bowlers all over the park and some outside too.   The partnership  added 126 and is still an official one-day international record for the ninth wicket.  Kapil ended up 175* -  181 minutes, 6 sixes, 16 fours, and century off 72 balls.  Kapil played with a Slazenger V12 bat !

Zimbabwe  began the chase well  with an opening partnership of  44, but were set back by two run-outs. They slumped to  113 for six, ended up  only 32 runs short of a victory they had looked like winning easily a few hours earlier. There was no official television footage of the match as BBC cameramen were on strike on the day of the match,  the Nevill Ground being ruled as too small and India and Zimbabwe being deemed too "irrelevant" for a camera crew to be sent to the match. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
PS : 1.  It is 37 years since that epic day – 18th June 1983 – am posting this today itself to ensure that I am ahead of others in Covid times
2.  Kapil photo : may  not be of that match - but shows Kapil with  Slazenger V 12!

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