How Lata Mangeshkar helped the Indian cricket team raise funds

Lata Mangeshkar’s love for cricket: The Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar left an irreplaceable void in the Indian music industry when she departed for heavenly abode on February 6, 2021.

Known as the “Queen of Melody” for her timeless songs and musical compositions, Bharat Ratna Mangeshkar was also a huge cricket fan. Let us recall one particular incident from the past which is still fresh in the memory of every Indian cricket loyalist as it speaks volumes about his selflessness and love for the game.

Lata Mangeshkar’s love for cricket: Remembering how the Queen of Melody helped India’s cricket team raise funds

In 1983, India surprised the world by winning the Prudential World Cup. The Men in Blue were considered underdogs in those days, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was not as financially strong as it is today.

In fact, there was a shortage of funds and to give the World Cup winning team a warm welcome, the board was determined to raise funds. The then BCCI president, NKP Salve, approached Mangeshkar for a gig, to which she accepted.

Although it seems like a routine affair, what the queen of melody did next highlights her greatness as a human being, not just as a musician. She didn’t charge a single penny for the concert which brought in INR 20 lakhs – a huge sum at the time.

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In addition to this, she also gave INR 1 lakh to each player in Kapil Dev’s team for their excellent performance in the World Cup. Recalling the incident, the former India captain said at a ceremony:

“The BCCI was not very rich when we won the World Cup. I got a call that Lataji will gather the whole team and sing for us and also help us with cash rewards. She gave us each a check for 1 lakh – it was the first time I had seen such a sum.

The singer also recalled the incident saying “After we (Indian cricket team) won the final at Lords, BCCI President Mr. Salve came to meet me and said our players should be welcomed. I agreed and he said you have to do a show if we want to do it. That’s the reason I’m doing this show”, according to quotes in The Bridge.

Lata Mangeshkar’s love for cricket: Remembering how the Queen of Melody helped India’s cricket team raise funds

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