It was a glittering, nostalgic night to remember for Kapil's Devils, who from being rated 66 to 1 outsiders, batted and bowled their way to lift the 1983 World Cup. The celebrations at the venue they stunned the cricketing world was a journey down memory lane for the players.
It all began with Kapil Dev opening a bottle of champagne and spraying the bubbly from the balcony of Lord's pavilion on Wednesday night, just like he did 25 years ago.
This was followed by dinner where a replica of the Prudential Cup was presented by BCCI president Sharad Pawar and Vijay Mallya to the players.
Gavaskar spoke about the historic ball he had kept as a memento. “Even as I was running towards the ball, there was a big roar and I knew the batsman had been given leg before. I took the ball, put it in my pocket and ran. I think it was the fastest sprint of my life.” On speculation that the victory was a fluke, Kapil retorted, “If that was fluke, then we couldn't have won the 1985 Bensen & Hedges World Championship. You can win a match or two by fluke, but not the World C’ship or World Cup.”
Mallya, whose UB Group sponsored the event, unveiled a bat studded with 25-carat diamonds and a ball, also encrusted with diamonds. The items are to be auctioned by Sotheby's and the proceeds will be divided between the 15 players.
One of the offshoots of the evening was the thawing of relations between Kapil and Pawar.