New Delhi:Memories of the historic 1983 World Cup triumph, which changed India's cricketing landscape, came alive as the heroes of the watershed victory were felicitated as part of silver jubilee celebrations on Sunday.
The 15 men penned a new chapter in Indian history 25 summers ago on the hallowed turfs of Lord's by beating Clive Lloyd's invincible West Indies.
With their fond memories they transported the audience at a city hotel, as they recalled the eventful day of June 25 when a bunch of no-hopers emerged world champions.
The players, who have since become legends, were given a red carpet welcome by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
As world Cup winning captain Kapil Dev introduced his so-called "Devils" one by one on the dias, he was overcome with emotions.
"It is very difficult to talk at this moment. We will never know how it happened. In life many such things happen. Later in your life you come to know how beautiful those moments were," said Kapil.
He paid rich tributes to the fans. "Twenty-five years back the love and affection that we got from the people was unparallel. It can never match any amount of money."
Kapil also thanked the selectors and then board president N.K.P. Salve for extending all support to them.
"Salve's leadership skills were par excellence," he said.
Former captains Chandu Borde and Bishan Singh Bedi, who were in the selection committee then, were also present at the occasion.
Board president Sharad Pawar said the historic victory accelerated the popularity of the game in the country and put Indian cricket on an upward path.
"The win gave us a strong position that we enjoy in world cricket right now," he said.
Each of the team members was presented with a cheque of Rs 2.5 million and were felicitated by Pawar and Sports Minister M.S. Gill.
Also present on the occasion were Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Mohammed Azharuddin and former board presidents Salve and Ranbir Singh Mahendra.