Former West Indies fast bowler, Vincentian, Winston Davis has recalled the bitter disappointment of the team’s unexpected loss to India in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup final as an unforgettable low point in a truncated career.
Then the best team in the world, the all-conquering West Indies squad had previously claimed back-to-back World Cup titles in 1975 and 79.
It looked set to be a golden One Day International debut year of sorts for Davis who was called to a 1983 squad who were heavily favoured to claim the third title in a row.
In a side already chockfull of fast bowling talent he made an impact as well. Davis was included in the team for the second group match against Australia at Headingley in Leeds, England and splashed his name across the headlines by taking 7 for 51, at that time a world record in One Day Internationals.
He was kept in the squad for the other four group matches but could not replicate his early success after taking just one more wicket. He was dropped for the semifinals against Pakistan with the team opting for the A-List strike squad that included Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall.
The team posted an easy eight-wicket win over Pakistan in the penultimate match and booked a match-up with an India team that they had previously beaten by 66 runs in the preliminary round. Despite the tag of prohibitive favorites, however, it was India who secured a stunning 43 runs win over the West Indies, registering one of the biggest upsets in cricket history.
Davis told the Mason and Guest Radio show in Barbados on Tuesday night that in 1983 West Indies went to England and were overwhelming favourites to win that World Cup, it would have to go down as one of his most disappointing times with the West Indies because there was no obvious reason that they should have lost that match and they still lost,”.