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1983 WC final was biggest disappointment of my career

Joel Garner

New Delhi: Recalling the monumental upset when the mighty West Indies were stunned by India in the 1983 Prudential World Cup final, pacer Joel Garner said that the loss was the biggest disappointment of his decade-long cricket career.

Chasing 184 for victory in the 60-overs-a-side game at the Lord’s, reigning champions West Indies slumped from 50 for two to 140 all out in what proved to be the biggest upset of the the mega-event.

Coming in to bat at No.5, the 6 feet 8 inch tall pacer remained unbeaten on five off 19 deliveries and he saw the last West Indian wicket to fall after Man of the Match Mohinder Amarnath (26 and 3-12) trapped Michael Holding lbw.

“You know when we chase small totals, everybody looks to the next person to finish the job,” Garner was quoted as saying in a Tony Cozier column on ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

Winner of two previous edition, 1975 and 1979, West Indies were overwhelming favourites against India who had not even crossed the league hurdle in the two previous editions. Garner admitted that overconfidence played spoiler. “Overconfidence is a hell of a thing,” Garner says.

“It was just that they took it for granted that they would make the 183.” Sharing the new ball with Andy Roberts, Garner (1-24) played his part in bundling out the Kapil Dev-led side for a paltry sum in 54.4 overs and the Barbados-born was livid with the batting show.

“Afterwards, I went into the dressing room, packed my bags and went to the presentation,” he said. “I then went into the Tavern, had a few drinks and went back to the Westmoreland hotel that was just across the road.”

“There must have been 5000 Indian fans there in the lobby with their cowbells and their music, taunting ‘We beat you’. I said to myself, ‘You mean I’ve got to put up with this!”

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