Sunil Gavaskar clears the air on Kapil Dev’s exclusion from 1984 Kolkata Test against England

Gavaskar was the captain when Kapil was dropped from the playing XI in 1984.

Sunil Gavaskar | GettyOn March 6, 2021, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar completed 50 years of association with Indian cricket.

The first batsman to reach 10,000 runs in the longest format, Gavaskar had made his Test debut against the West Indies at the Port of Spain in 1971. He went on to make a world record 774 runs in his debut series at an average of 154.80 with 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries as India clinched their maiden Test series victory on Caribbean soil.

WATCH - Sunil Gavaskar felicitated by BCCI on 50th anniversary of Test debut

Gavaskar retired from the game in 1987 with 10,122 Test runs and 3,092 ODI runs to his name. He hit 35 centuries in international cricket, with 34 of them coming in the traditional format.

Apart from being a great batsman, Gavaskar also led the Indian team in 47 Tests and 37 ODIs. He captained the likes of Kapil Dev, Gundappa Viswanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Ravi Shastri to name a few.

While Sunil Gavaskar shares a healthy rapport with 1983 World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev, there’s one incident that has been able to sour the relationship between the two, at least in the public domain.

Under Gavaskar’s captaincy, Kapil was dropped from a Test match against England at the Eden Gardens in 1984, which India went on to win by 8 wickets.

According to the report, Kapil was snubbed on the command of Gavaskar for his poor showing with the bat in the previous match that enabled England to level the series 1-1.

Speaking on Sports Today, Gavaskar on Sunday (March 7) recalled the incident and said: “As far as Kapil Dev is concerned, this has been something a myth that has been spread for a long, long time. I did not propose dropping Kapil Dev. I was part of the selection committee as the Indian captain and as the Indian captain, I can join the selection committee I do not have a voting right. I'm just co opted to the selection committee. The proposed action to drop Kapil there was proposed by somebody else, another selector.”

“So I have to only say one thing that I might be a lot of things I might be whatever, but I'm not stupid to drop my only match-winner. To propose dropping my only matchwinner? How could I have even.... How can anybody even think that! I'm that stupid to think in terms of dropping my match-winner?” he asked.

Gavaskar also clarified that he and Kapil continue to share a cordial relationship with each other and there’s no bitterness from that incident.

“Yes, there was there were all kinds of canards being spread around that time about the relationship between Kapil and myself. We are we have always had a relationship of mutual respect. It still is one of mutual respect. His circle of friends was different. He was 10 years younger than me his circle of friends, even now is different. But that doesn't mean that you know, we don't like each other or whatever it is, it was just spread and sadly it has remained much in the same case that there is talk about two of our stalwarts in the current Indian team as well as that they don't get along,” Gavaskar said.

“We don't know the story, but it is something because cricket is such a popular game in India, people like to spread stories like this. So, the thing about Kapil's dropping is yes being part of the selection committee, collective responsibility. Yes, that way I am also to be blamed but I did not propose dropping couple days for the next Test,” he further remarked.

(Inputs from India Today)


By Salman Anjum - 08 Mar, 2021

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