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Cricket, Comics, Adverts and Movies in the mid-80s. (Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing)
31 Dec, 2021 | Articles on Cinema

Cinema and Cricket were majorly promoted through radio and the only channel of Doordarshan in the 80s. But the era was also ruled by print media with comics and magazines playing a major role in the growth of kids and teenagers. Hence, when the Indian Cricket team won the World cup in 1983, a major boom was seen in print advertisements, comics, and magazines focusing on cricket and the popular national icons.
 
Interestingly, the veteran cricketer Salim Durrani had already featured in Hindi film Charitra and Sunil Gavaskar in a Marathi film Savli Premachi, much before the big win in 83. However, the scenario was completely different post the World Cup was brought home, particularly in the print media.
 
Both Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar were seen in heavily promoted print and television advertisements of Palmolive and Dinesh Garments respectively, with Kapil’s one-liner “Palmolive Da Jawaab Nahin” still remembered by the fans.
 
In the world of comics, almost all the famous ones came up with special issues on cricket around the world cup. These included Madhu Muskan, Lotpot, Chacha Chaudhary, and more by Diamond Comics featuring their distinctive characters (published in both Hindi and English). These comics also used to have posters and center-spreads featuring the star cricketers that remained the major attraction, prominently mentioned on their front covers.
 
On the lines of Amitabh Bachchan’s Supremo Comic book series, Sunil Gavaskar was also presented as a detective with the title Sunny-The Super Sleuth in a series released around 1983-84. Unfortunately, just like the Supremo comics, this also couldn’t continue for long and was shelved after releasing only three issues. A few years later, Gavaskar was again seen playing a cameo as himself in the film Malaamaal (1988) along with Naseeruddin Shah.
 
Another major venture inspired by the World Cup win in the mid-80s was the release of a romantic Hindi film Kabhie Ajnabi The, featuring the young heartthrob Sandeep Patil as the lead hero with Poonam Dhillon, Shakti Kapoor, and more. It also had Syed Kirmani playing a cameo as the villain. The film showcased Patil as the key member of the Indian cricket team coming back with the World cup. Its initial ten minutes had the actual footage of all the players greeting the sea of people on roads while returning from the airport and then taking the round in the stadium with the trophy meeting the fans. The entire real-life footage was shown with a song playing in the backdrop saying, “Baazi To Jeet Gaye Hum”. However, despite presenting Patil as a successful cricketer, the film couldn’t do any wonders at the box office.
 
Amazingly, the most rewarding association of a cricketer with Hindi films was of Pakistani icon Mohsin Khan who featured in mainstream ventures like Batwara, Saathi, and more, along with stalwarts of the industry, impressing the Indian audience. 

But then, it all changed in the 90s, with the Cable TV revolution coming in and focus getting shifted to visual media and a lot of other things. In these later years, many more cricketers got featured in films, but that innocence was never witnessed again, which remained the major characteristic of the decisive 80s. 

Bobby Sing
bobbytalkscinema.com 
 
NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 26th December 2021.
 
Note : The write-up is a chapter shared from my upcoming book releasing soon. So any additions, rectifications suggested by friends are welcome to make it better.
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Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more such interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

Also available 
at Notionpress and Flipkart stores (in India)
The book is now also available in Hindi titled 
ITNA TO YAAD HAI MUJHE published by Prabhat Prakashan.

Tags : Cricket Comics and Movies in mid 80s By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Articles on Indian Comics by Bobby Sing, Nostalgia of the 80s by Bobby Sing
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