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Saturday, January 29, 2022

I had tears in my eyes after watching 83: Ravi Shastri

Former Team Indian head coach Ravi Shastri lauded filmmaker Kabir Khan's project and the actors.

By: Express News Service |
December 24, 2021 12:20:58 pm
Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri. (File)

At The Indian Express eAdda on Thursday, Ravi Shastri, who was the guest, was asked to pick between Iqbal, Lagaan, Dhoni and ’83’ as his favourite cricket film. The former India head coach didn’t think twice to choose 83.

“83. I had tears in my eyes yesterday. Not because I was part of the team that won it. I really had tears in my eyes when the film got over, because it brought back so many memories,” Shastri said.

He lauded filmmaker Kabir Khan’s project and the actors. “The cast, the efforts they put in… Ranveer (Singh) as Kapil Dev. Kabir and all the cast there; they worked their backsides off to try and look like the characters they were playing. To put real life into reel life is not that easy. And I thought they did a fabulous job. Memories came flooding in again, when certain scenes were shown and that got tears to your eyes. This is must-watch for everyone. Get to the theatres.”

Shastri’s team-mate and another hero of the 1983 World Cup, Madan Lal, dittoed. “Yes, it’s a must-watch, on the big screen. This movie will motivate you, will tell you the story of a bunch of underdogs who overcame steep odds to win the World Cup,” the former India allrounder told The Indian Express.

He especially fell for the scene that recreated Kapil’s iconic catch to dismiss Vivian Richards in the final, off Madan’s bowling. “Hardy Sandhu’s (he plays Madan Lal) expression was fantastic and also all his co-actors. Hardy has played cricket under my coaching at U-19 level. He knows the game. But imitating a real life character was never easy. The entire ’83’ team did a fabulous job,” said Madan.

The catch had a backstory and the ex-seamer revealed that. “Mereko maar pad raha tha (I was getting hit). Kapil was contemplating a bowling change, when I told him to give me one more over. He agreed and Richards got out, which opened the game for us.”

The 1983 World Cup triumph happened during the ‘pace-age’ of cricket. The West Indies had a fearsome fast-bowling quartet. Every other top team had at least one or two 90 mph bowlers. Helmet technology was in its infancy. Visor was a luxury. Sunil Gavaskar never used a helmet. His team-mates used just passable ones.

“That’s why Sunil Gavaskar is the greatest of them all. Scoring so many runs and centuries against those fast bowlers without a helmet, he was exceptional,” said Madan.

Gavaskar himself has given a rave review of ’83’. “Saw the movie for the first time at the Premiere last night (Wednesday) and was blown away by the film. It’s simply brilliant and the way every actor has got the mannerisms, the walk, the look, the style of every player was unbelievably uncanny. Full marks to Kabir Khan and his team for their efforts,” the batting maestro told this paper yesterday.

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