As India celebrates the 37th anniversary of its maiden 1983 World Cup triumph on Thursday (June 25), former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has showered rich praise on legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, as he described the legendary captain as the biggest match-winner India has ever produced.
On this day 37 years ago, Indian scripted the history under the captaincy of Kapil Dev by wining maiden World Cup back in 1983 against mighty West Indies at Lord’s in England.
Gavaskar, who was also part of India’s 1983 World Cup glory, was quoted as saying by Jagran.com, “In my opinion, Kapil Dev is the biggest match-winner India has ever produced. This is so because he could win games both with his batting and bowling abilities.”
The legendary batsman also went down the memory lane and revealed an incident that won him Kapil's respect.
He recalled, “I remember the first time I played against him was at Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in the Wills Trophy in 1978. We had just returned from the tour of Australia and Kapil and another talented all-rounder Rajendra Jadeja started to bowl against Mumbai.”
Gavaskar further added, “Kapil was bowling well but was bowling from a bit wide of the crease, so I was able to leave the deliveries easily. When I went towards his end, I asked him to bowl from a bit closer to the wicket.
His teammates thought I was sledging him but he told them otherwise and then started to trouble the Mumbai batsmen following my suggestion. This was the first instance when I met him and the fact that I helped him despite being on the opposite team, I think that stayed with him and he always respected me thereafter.”
He further revealed how few senior BCCI members and few cricketers tried to cause problems between the two legendary cricketers during their playing days with Team India.
Gavaskar signed off by saying, “Few members of the board and some players who had retired at the time joined hands with the media and tried to create differences between us. But we were always thinking about the betterment of the sport in the country and that is why we never let it bother us.”
(With IANS Inputs)