https://www.icc-cricket.com/video/1967059 ( 1983 world cup moments) 

Courtesy : Times of India

The Catch of the Century in cricket history in a World cup Final 1983 lingers in our minds. And it was by India’s best all rounder, Kapil Dev.  (Watch the above video of 1983 World cup moments).   And the catch, running backwards nearly 10-15 yards, a mishit by the flamboyant Viv Richards,  was the turning point in the Final as the “ Underdogs” India lifted the Prudential World cup played on 25th June, 1983.

The darling of the crowd who is celebrating his 62nd birthday today, the 6th January,  is Indian Cricket’s’ Best all rounder, Kapil Dev Nikhanj, who was admitted in hospital some time back, coming out of the hospital cheerfully and started playing his post-retirement and his favourite game now, Golf.

 He had his roots from Cahndigarh,  Haryana, a north Indian state, which was not known hitherto to produce any bowlers leave alone pace bowlers.  He was the first genuine pace bowler India has produced.  Later on he became an inspiration to so many youngsters to pick up pace bowling in India and represented Indian tricolours on the international stage.  

Kapil Dev made his international debut in an ODI at Quetta, Pakistan on 30th Sept.1978 and his test Debut on 16th Oct.1978 at Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Kapil Dev’s open chested action helped him to produce the lethal outswingers .  His energetic curved run-up was a treat to watch.  He was a fine athlete on the field and never missed a Test match  due to fitness issues. He came across as a raw talent who was keen on just ‘ripping his shoulder off’ every ball, and ‘tonking the leather off the ball’ when he had the bat

He announced himself in no uncertain terms in his first series, exhibiting pace and aggression hitherto unseen among Indian bowlers. 

 His golden run started with the tour of England where had a rich haul of 16 wickets in 1979 and kept on increasing his wicket tally in the next series to follow viz, Australia 28 wickets and  Pakistan 32 wickets in the home series at an average less than 18.  

Between 1979 and 1983 his bowling average never crossed 32 except in 3 three series. These bowling performances heralded a new chapter in his bowling career when his incisive outswingers worked to perfection.  He also collected  seventeen 5fer in 52 tests at an average of 4 wickets per Test.

After his sterling all round performances both in home and away conditions, he was given the captainship responsibilities in 1983 especially after 1983 WC title win..  He relished his captaincy and marshalled his resources well especially in shorter format.  


  • His 11 wickets haul in Chennai in 1979-80 series against Pakistan along with Gavaskar’s century paved the way for a win in the Test 
  • His 5 wicket haul against Aussies in MCG in 1981 in the 2nd innings won manly hearts as this has helped India win this Test and square the series for the first time in Australia
  • His 9 for 83 against West Indies in Ahmedabad  in 1983
  • His 8 for 106 at Adelaide in 1985-86

He was one of the best all rounders alongside his contemporaries like Ian Bothan, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee.   

He was the only all rounder in Test cricket to take 400+ wickets(434) and score 5000 runs ( 5248 runs) till date.

His 434 test wickets include twenty three 5fers and two 10 wickets haul in a match.   

He was also an aggressive middle order batsman in Tests who scored 8 centuries and 27 fifties.


His outstanding batting performance in the One-day matches came in the 1983 World Cup against Zimbabwe.  When India were in dire straits with 5 wickets down for 17, he lifted the game with a scintillating 175 runs which etched in memory of every indian fan which saw India romped home in the game.  Then India surged forward with hard earned wins including in the semi finals against England.  And when India met the mighty West Indies in the Final, everyone predicted West Indies would win hands down against India.    India carrying the “ dark horse” tag went on to win the title despite the heavy odds.  Kapil Dev marshalled his resources well setting himself an example while taking the Viv Richards catch.  And a beaming Captain Kapil Dev receiving the coveted glittering Prudential Cup at Lord’s on 25th June 1983, the nation celebrated the heroes.

And the World cup win signalled a new era in ODI Cricket in the country and India were no more push overs in the shorter format.  

After retirement in 1994 from International cricket, he served as coach for Indian team and in NCA. 

He was voted India’s  Cricketer of the Century in 2002 ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar , a great recognition of his all round talents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s