Cricket Surpassed Hockey As Most-Loved Sport In India After 1983 World Cup: Mohinder Amarnath
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Cricket Surpassed Hockey As Most-Loved Sport In India After 1983 World Cup: Mohinder Amarnath

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev and Mohinder Amarnath with the WC Trophy [Photo-Getty]

Indian men’s field hockey team had already set their foot on the world map, clinching victories in Asian Games, Olympics and World Cups. But it was only after the 1983 World Cup that the Indian sport system saw a major turnover. Cricket became a celebrated sport with India lifting their maiden World Cup in 1983 as the sport started to overshadow the national game.

Mohinder Amarnath, the man of the match, in the 1983 World Cup final saw the exponential rise of cricket in the country. He feels youngsters, parents started to show more involvement in the sport after the 1983 World Cup. It also, up to an extent, surpassed the love for hockey in the country.

Cricket Surpassed Hockey As Most-Loved Sport In India After 1983 World Cup: Mohinder Amarnath
Mohinder Amarnath (Credits – The Hindu)

Mohinder Amarnath: All parents wanted their kids to play cricket after 1983 World Cup

Mohinder Amarnath said the 1983 World Cup triumph was special from the cricket point of view as, though the team was playing well, they did not achieve something significant before that. He also said that before that quadrennial, India were only masters in the game of hockey. But the perspective of parents and kids changed later.

“The 1983 victory was crucial in a way because before that we had hardly achieved anything great at the international level and that team should get credit for laying the platform for Indian cricket which gave the feeling of self-confidence that we can achieve something at the international level,” Amarnath told Times of India.

Cricket Surpassed Hockey As Most-Loved Sport In India After 1983 World Cup: Mohinder Amarnath
Indian crowd goes wild after 1983 World Cup win [Photo-Getty]
“It’s not that we didn’t play good cricket earlier, but somehow we didn’t have any achievement to show. Before this, it was only hockey that we were masters at, but after the 1983 World Cup victory, all parents wanted their kids to play cricket, represent India and become a World champion. All the changes that are seen in Indian cricket today started after the 1983 World Cup win.”

India lifted their maiden World Cup after beating the West Indies by 43 runs. Kapil Dev, the most impact player of the quadrennial, became the first Indian captain to lead the national team to a World Cup triumph.