Ahead of the worldwide release of the Ranveer Singh-starrer cricket drama ’83’ on Friday, December 24. Vikram Man Singh, son of former cricket administrator and manager of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, P R Man Singh, showered praise on the movie after watching it at a special screening in Mumbai.
Vikram Man Singh also shared an interesting story of how his father, played by Pankaj Tripathi in the film, broke the strict BCCI rules for sake of the players. Man Singh played a pivotal role in the side’s World Cup victory. He was the only member of the support staff who accompanied the team to England.
Vikram, who was also a former cricket administrator in Hyderabad, said: “I watched the movie with moist eyes. I have no words to express the feeling.” He added that Pankaj Tripathi did justice to his father’s character.
Vikram also praised director Kabir Khan for providing “equal space and importance” to each character in the movie. “I would really like to thank him for making this beautiful movie. Not a single character you will find ignored or unimportant,” he said.
“My father also felt very proud, he relived the moment and the way Pankaj Tripathi portrayed his role was phenomenal,” Vikram continued. “The role of manager is very important in any team. He takes care of things to make it easy for sportspersons to just concentrate on the game rather than worry about day-to-day matters.”
Talking about his father, Vikram said: “When he was the manager of that historic team in England, my father made sure the players didn’t get affected by any off-field issues. Nowadays, you will find a large support staff goes with the team for any major event, but my father at that time was handling everything all alone. He was the only one who went with the team with limited resources.”
And Man Singh also broke a few rules, issued by the BCCI at that time, to provide relief to players.
“WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) were not allowed to travel with the team at that time,” Vikram recalled. “And the BCCI’s rules were really strict. The players were agitated about this, as other countries were allowing it. Just before the 1983 World Cup, Krishnamachari Srikkanth got married and his wife was there in England, but she was staying in her friend’s house.
“So, Srikkanth informed my father that he would go and meet his wife and then come back for training. The BCCI was against all this, but my father told ‘Chika’ to let her come to the team hotel and stay with him. He even told Chika to tell his roommate Roger Binny to move to my father’s room.”
Vikram continued: “So many other such things, such as distributing daily allowances and making sure that every single player of the team is happy and focused on just his game was the duty of my father. And he did it brilliantly. Till date, Kapil Devji calls up my father and speaks to him about his health and everything and he keeps praising my father in public. I mean the entire team actually loves my father and respects him for his management and honesty.”
At the end of the conversation, Vikram re-emphasised his endorsement for the film: “I would want everyone to go and watch this movie. You will find all the minor details of the 1983 World Cup.”
–By Chetan Sharma