Kapil Dev, the iconic captain who led India to its first ODI World Cup victory in 1983, expressed disappointment at not being invited to the ICC World Cup 2023 final between India and Australia held on November 19 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Reports had initially suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had extended invitations to World Cup-winning captains for the event, including the expected attendance of 2011 World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. However, both Kapil Dev and Dhoni were notably absent.
Kapil Dev revealed his desire to attend the game with the rest of his ’83 teammates but clarified that he did not receive an invitation. He attributed his absence to the oversight in extending an invitation, acknowledging the busy nature of handling such significant events and responsibilities.
While some former India captains, like Sourav Ganguly, were present, Kapil’s absence raised questions about the communication surrounding the invitations. Sourav Ganguly attended the event in his capacity as a former BCCI president, adhering to a norm of inviting past presidents and officials.
Sachin Tendulkar, a cricketing legend and the ICC Global Ambassador for the Cricket World Cup 2023, graced the occasion. The star-studded audience also included Bollywood celebrities Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Ranveer Singh. Badminton great Prakash Padukone and playback singer Asha Bhosle added to the diverse mix of attendees. The presence of such luminaries underscored the high-profile nature of the final.
Despite the absence of certain cricketing legends, the stadium saw the convergence of sports, entertainment, and political figures. Sadhguru, a spiritual leader, was spotted seated next to BCCI secretary Jay Shah during the final, adding a touch of spirituality to the cricketing spectacle.
Australia emerged victorious in the final by defeating India by six wickets. Opting to bowl first, Australia successfully restricted India to a total of 240 All Out. The Australian team then achieved the target, propelled by impressive performances from Travis Head, who scored a century, and Marnus Labuschagne, who contributed with a half-century.