Sports film 83 helmed by Kabir Khan released in theatres after a long wait. The film sees Ranveer Singh in the role of Kapil Dev and narrates the story of the team that brought home India’s first cricket world cup in 1983. Pankaj Tripathi, essays the role of manager of team India, P.R Man Singhin the film.
Talking about him Tripathi said, “Back then it was just 14 players and Man bhai. Man Singh was the team manager, physiotherapist, all-in-one. There was no official coach as well.”
The film has opened to an amazing response from critics and the audience. Talking about preparing for his role Pankaj said, “I spent an entire day with him at his house in Hyderabad. Makeup was fixed by Vikram and got the right look. I didn’t have to work much on body language as there is not much reference about him in the media. Whatever is there is in the present times. There were some photographs and footage from that time which I watched. More than the body language I try to capture a man’s thoughts. A man’s thought cannot be seen but it is the driving force of a person. Man Singh sir is a very disciplined and passionate cricket lover and he himself is a Ranji player. I heard a lot of stories from him when I met him.”
Pankaj confessed that he wasn’t particularly a fan of the game and had little information about PR Man Singh. However, after getting a narration from Kabir Khan, he was introduced to new things and did his own research. “After going through the research material, I realised that it is just not a world cup, it was much beyond that,” he said.
The actor also revealed that he was not aware when India made history by registering their first win at the cricket world cup. “I came to know in 1988 that India won the world cup in 1983. I was around 7-8 years old back then and was playing ‘Gilli danda’ in the village. Little did we know that India was making history in London,” he said.
Talking about PR Man Singh and the team, the actor said, “I was surprised that it was just 14 players and PR Man Singh. Only 15 people went for the world cup. They had no one along with them. Each cricketer had to carry their own luggage and travel from home to hotel to the ground and back to the hotel. They did not have any assistant or anyone else to help them. In today’s time an entire team accompanies them. There is a lot of difference between the game then and now. 1983 was the moment that paved the way for the Indian cricket team and has made it the way it is today.”