6th February 2021 marked a sad day in India’s history as Lata Mangeshkar, one of the greatest icons to ever take birth in the country, left for her heavenly abode at the age of 92. Her fans, not just from India, mourned in grief and agony for the icon.
Lata Mangeshkar, who is also known as India’s Nightingale, gave voice to over 30,000 songs in 36 different languages in a career that spanned over five decades. In her illustrious career, she not only took care of the cinema and music industry but once saved the BCCI from embarrassment after the World Cup victory in 1983.
The World Cup win in 1983 was undoubtedly the turning point in Indian cricket where an underdog team led by Kapil Dev defeated a mighty West Indies side. Such a big victory called for a massive celebration. However, the BCCI was not as financially strong in the 80s as it is now. Hence, the cricket board was completely helpless and unprepared for the honouring of the players.
In such a scenario, the then BCCI President, the late NKP Salve, turned to his friend Raj Singh Dungarpur, who was a cricketing legend in his own right for a solution. Dungarpur turned to Lata Mangeshkar, who was country one of the biggest fans, to do a pro-bono concert in the national capital’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
As per Makarand Waigankar, a senior journalist, Lata Ji and her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar hardly missed any games among the matches held at the Brabourne Stadium
The singing legend gave her approval almost immediately. The JLN stadium was prepared for a two-hour programme, where a packed crowd came to witness one of the country’s finest singers sing live.
Lata Mangeshkar’s concert in JLN Stadium helped raise ₹20 Lakh for the BCCI
As a result, a board who used to pay a daily allowance of ₹2,000, ended up paying the reward of ₹1 Lakh to each World Cup-winning player, an amount which may not hold much value today but it was a huge amount back then. All this was possible because of Lata li’s generosity.
The BCCI was indebted to Lata Ji’s generous gesture. As a virtue of thanking her for her gesture, the BCCI kept two VIP tickets reserved for Lata Ji at all the venues where India played an international match.
As a mark for her valuable contributions in Indian cricket, the Indian team wore black armbands during the first ODI against the West Indies at Ahmedabad on Sunday, as a mark of respect for the national icon.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 6, 2022
Two-day national mourning is announced in honour of Lata Ji and the national flag will fly at half-mast. India’s Nightingale might not be with us today, but her art, songs, and contributions to Indian music, cinema and cricket will remain immortal forever.
• Lata Mangeshkar breathed her last on 6 February, in Mumbai at the age of 92.
• Lata Ji saved BCCI from embarrassment after agreeing to a pro bono concert as the board didn’t have funds to reward its players.