India and the West Indies’ World Cup rivalry goes back to June 25, 1983, when they first faced each other in the title clash of the quadrennial event at Lord’s, London. That is precisely 32 years, nine months and six days from Thursday. Many generations of sportspersons have graced the playing fields in that period. A cursory glance at the date of births of India and West Indies cricketers, who are part of their ongoing World T20 campaigns, reveals some interesting information.
Since the semifinal line-up will be announced at the time of toss on Thursday, we have taken into account all 15 players from each side. What we analysed that only a few of them would have possibly followed the event live on radio and television and that too without a sense that a history was being made in front of their eyes.
The West Indies have four, while India have just three players who were born before India’s 1983 World Cup triumph. From the Caribbeans, Chris Gayle, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, and Marlon Samuels, while from India Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni were born before the Kapil Dev-led India won the coveted trophy.
Nehra is the oldest cricketer in both the teams, followed by Gayle. Nehra was 4 years, one month and 27 days old, while Gayle was 3 years, 9 months and 4 days on July 25, 1983. Among other Indians, Dhoni was one years, 11 months 18 days old, and Harbhajan was 2 years, 11 months 22 days of age at that time.
West Indies’ Samuel Badree, a T20I specialist spinner, who debuted at a matured age of 31, was 2 years, 3 months and 16 days at the time of India’s glorious victory. Another spinner Sulieman Benn was 1 year, 11 months and 3 days, while Marlon Samuels was 2 years, 4 months and 20 days old on the day India upstaged the Goliaths of world cricket. While these are cricketers, who within a few years of triumph would have realised the magnitude of India’s feat, there are youngsters, who could have got a sense of it as late as the end of the 20th century.
Batting superstar Virat Kohli was born more than five years after the famous triumph and just about a year before the legendary Sachin Tendulkar made his international debut in a Test match against Pakistan on November 15 at Karachi. India’s rising stars Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah were born more than 10 years after June 25, 1983, while Delhi lad Pawan Negi was born nine and half years after Clive Lloyd-led team’s epic failure at Lord’s.
India is a bunch of young lot and if we leave apart veterans Nehra, Dhoni and Harbhajan, opener Shikhar Dhawan is the oldest cricketer in the team, but he was born 2 years, 5 months and 10 days after India became only the second team after the West Indies to win the coveted trophy.
In the West Indies squad, allrounder Dwyane Bravo and skipper Darren Sammy were just 3 months and 5 months old when Mohinder Amarnath took Michael Holding’s wicket to hand India a memorable victory in the 1983 World Cup title clash.
Here is a list of India and the West Indies 2016 World T20I players with their dates of birth:
MS Dhoni - July 7, 1981
R Ashwin- September 17, 1986
Jasprit Bumrah December 6, 1993
Shikhar Dhawan December 5, 1985
Harbhajan Singh July 3, 1980
Ravindra Jadeja December 6, 1988
Virat Kohli - November 5, 1988
Mohammed Shami -- September 3, 1990
Pawan Negi -- January 6, 1993
Ashish Nehra -- April 29, 1979
Manish Pandey -- September 10, 1989
Hardik Pandya - October 11, 1993
Ajinkya Rahane -- June 5, 1988
SK Raina -- November 27, 1986
Rohit Sharma -- April 30, 1987
West Indies squad
Darren Sammy - December 20, 1983
Samuel Badree - March 9, 1981
Sulieman Benn - July 22, 1981
Carlos Brathwaite - July 18, 1988
Dwyane Bravo - October 7, 1983
Johnson Charles - January 14, 1989
Chris Gayle - September 21, 1979
Jason Holder - November 5, 1991
Evin Lewis - December 27, 1991
Ashley Nurse - December 22, 1988
Dinesh Ramdin- March 13, 1985
Andre Russell - April 29, 1988
Marlon Samuels - February 5, 1981
Lendl Simmons - January 25, 1985
Jerome Taylor - June 22, 1984
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