After a long wait, Kabir Khan's film '83' was released in theatres. Ranveer Singh plays Kapil Dev in the film, which tells the narrative of the team who won India's first cricket world cup in 1983. P.R Man Singh, who was the manager of Team India and travelled with the 1983 Indian cricket team, is played by actor Pankaj Tripathi, who is noted for his versatility.
In a recent interview with Bollywood Hungama Pankaj 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 flick '83' has opened to a remarkable response from critics and the audience. Talking about preparing to become PR Man Singh, 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 Tripathi, who isn't a huge follower of the game, knew very little about PR Man Singh. However, after hearing Kabir Khan's account, he was exposed to fresh information and conducted his own investigation. "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, who is from a Bihar village, also said that he was unaware when India created history by winning the cricket world cup for the first time. “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.
Further 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.”