On June 25, 1983, the India cricket team had won the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 and images of the team holding the trophy were inspirational for the entire nation.
I was just 10 years of age and have fond memories of that victory. My parents allowed me to celebrate the victory till late in the night. I was also inspired to take up playing the game with the season (hard) ball after the World Cup victory.
My first ‘live’ piece of World Cup action was during the 1987 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which was co-hosted by India and Pakistan. I was fortunate to be among the volunteers to be picked as a ball boy for the matches played in Mumbai. As I stood there watching the Indian greats on the field, I kept telling myself that I need to be a part of the action in the middle.
In 1992, I made my maiden appearance in an ICC Cricket World Cup match against England in Perth. This tournament was different to the previous events as it was the first time that coloured player clothing, white cricket balls and black sightscreens were introduced in ICC’s pinnacle event with a number of matches being played under floodlights.
I did not have an exceptional match; going wicketless in my 10 overs and scoring 35 runs, including sharing a 63-run stand with Ravi Shastri. We fell short of the target by nine runs.
India failed to qualify for the knock-out stage with the only consolation being in defeating Pakistan, the eventual champion, in a match where I also received my first man of the match in the ICC Cricket World Cup.