When the Indian cricket team ruled movies, commercials and comics in the mid-1980s

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Cinema and cricket were widely promoted by radio and Doordarshan’s only channel in the 1980s. But the era was also dominated by print media, comics and magazines playing a major role in the growth of children and teenagers. Therefore, when the Indian cricket team won the World Cup in 1983, a major boom was seen in print advertisements, comics and magazines focused on cricket and popular national icons.

Interestingly, veteran cricketer Salim Durani had previously featured in the Hindi film Charitra and Sunil Gavaskar in a Marathi film Savli Premachi, long before the big win in ’83. However, the storyline was completely different after the Cup came back. of the world, especially in the printed version. media.

Kapil Dev and Gavaskar have both been seen in heavily promoted print and TV commercials from Palmolive and Dinesh Garments, respectively, with Kapil’s one-liner “Palmolive Da Jawaab Nahin” that fans still remember.

In the comic book world, almost all of the most famous have featured special numbers on cricket around the World Cup. These included Madhu Muskan, Lotpot, Chacha Chaudhary and more by Diamond Comics showcasing their distinctive characters (published in Hindi and English). These comics also had posters and center covers featuring the star cricketers who remained the main attraction, featured prominently on their covers.

On the lines of Amitabh Bachchan’s Supremo comic book series, Sunil Gavaskar was also featured as a sleuth with the title Sunny – The Super Sleuth in a series released circa 1984-85. Sadly, just like the supremo comics, this also couldn’t go on for long and was put on hold after only three issues were released. A few years later, Gavaskar was again seen playing a cameo like himself in the film. Malamaal (1988) with Naseeruddin Shah.

Another major endeavor inspired by the World Cup victory in the mid-1980s was the release of a romantic Hindi film “Kabhie Ajnabi The”, starring young idol Sandeep Patil as the main hero with Poonam Dhillon, Shakti Kapoor and more. There was also Syed Kirmani playing a cameo as the villain. The film featured Patil as the key member of the Indian cricket team returning with the World Cup.

Its first 10 minutes contained actual footage of all the players waving to the sea of ​​people on the roads on their way back from the airport, then circling the stadium with the trophy meeting the fans. All of the live footage was shown with a song in the background saying “Baazi To Jeet Gaye Hum”. However, despite the presentation of Patil as a successful cricketer, the film could not do wonders at the box office.

Surprisingly, a cricketer’s most rewarding association with Hindi films was that of Pakistani icon Mohsin Khan who has been involved with mainstream businesses like Batwara, Saathi and more, as well as mainstays of the industry, impressing the Indian public.

But then that all changed in the 90s, with the arrival of the cable television revolution and the attention to visual media and many other things. Over the past few years many other cricketers have been featured in films, but this innocence has never been seen again, which has remained the hallmark of the breakthrough 80s.

(The writer is critic-columnist, cinema explorer and author of the “Did you know” series on Hindi films also active on bobbytalkscinema.com)

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Posted on: Sunday December 26th, 2021 07:26 IST


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