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How Gabbar inspired Amarnath to excel

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Sat, Jun 21, 2008 22:48 hrs

New Delhi: Hero of India's historic World Cup triumph in 1983, Mohinder Amarnath says he drew inspiration from a dialogue in the Bollywood blockbuster 'Sholay' to get over the jitters of playing against two-time champions West Indies in the final.

"I remembered the famous dialogue of Sholay - 'Jo dar gaya so mar gaya' (the one who is afraid, he is dead). I told myself that it is my day and I have nothing to lose," said Amarnath, who was adjudged man of the match in both the semifinal and the final of the World Cup.

Twenty five years after the historic triumph, Amarnath described the Indian dressing room's atmosphere before the big match as calm and said that the team, which started the final as rank outsiders, was in high spirits since it had nothing to lose.

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"We were very relaxed on the final day. Not a single player was panicky. We were playing together for quiet some time, hence there was mutual understanding and confidence of winning," said the all-rounder.

In the final, played at the Lord's, Amarnath scored 26 runs and took three important wickets for just 12 runs in seven overs as the West Indies collapsed to 140 all out chasing a 183-run target.

Amarnath said he did not fear the "dangerous" trio of pacers Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Andy Roberts and neither was he intimidated by explosive batsman Vivian Richards.

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Amarnath, who played 69 Tests and 85 ODIs for India, said the triumph was a dream come true.

"We used to watch World Cup finals sitting beyond the boundary line. It was a dream to play a final and hold the trophy. We literally lived that dream on June 25, 1983," Amarnath said.

"It has been 25 years since then, but I can still feel the thrill as if we have won the Cup yesterday only. It was an unexpected win and we are proud of it," he added.

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Amarnath said despite the odds, the Indians were determined to win as it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at the top.

"We all were determined to win. You have to be numero uno as nobody remembers the runner ups," he said.

He rated the Man of the Match award in that game as the biggest achievement of his life.

"Definitely, It is my most precious asset. Things were not happening to me before the World Cup but that win changed everything.

"It was one of the rare opportunities when the whole nation celebrated together. There was no bar of religion, age, language or class. We have given a reason to smile to every Indian and it was the most memorable part of the win," he recalled.

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Cricket has changed drastically in the last 25 years and Amarnath feels the change has been for the better.

"More and more changes are coming up which I find is good as long as the traditional game does not suffer," he said.

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