Not unexpectedly the bookies gave odds of 1000 to one on Zimbabwe winning the World Cup. After all they were making their debut and as the only non-Test playing nation among eight participating teams, it would have been great for them to even extend the teams in their group - reigning champions West Indies, Australia and India.
And yet by the end of the opening day of the World Cup the bookies were quivering with fear for Zimbabwe in the biggest shock in the competition's short history - Zimbabwe beating Australia by 13 runs.
Put in to bat, Zimbabwe were off to a bad start losing five wickets for 94. But skipper Duncan Fletcher and Kevin Curren (27) turned things around with a sixth-wicket partnership of 70 runs in 15 overs, and this was followed by an unbroken stand of 75 runs in 12 overs between Fletcher (69) and Ian Butchart (34) and Zimbabwe were able to post a reasonable total of 239 for six in 60 overs.
The fearsome pace quartet of Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Geoff Lawson and Rod Hogg were handled with a degree of confidence.
Still a target of 240 at four an over seemed within Australia's reach but accurate bowling and keen fielding made their task tough. Even the star-studded batting line-up that started with Graeme Wood and Kepler Wessels and continued with Graham Yallop, Kim Hughes, David Hookes, Allan Border and Rod Marsh were not up to it - thanks in the main to Fletcher who followed his invaluable knock by bagging four for 42 off eleven overs.
Australia were restricted to 226 for seven in 60 overs and the World Cup had started not with a bang but an explosion. It didn't matter that they did not win another match - Zimbabwe's place in cricket history was assured.
In Image: 1983: Cricket World Cup. Zimbabwe celebrate their shock victory over Australia at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
Text: Partab Ramchand
Images: Getty/AFP (Unauthorised reproduction prohibited)