For me, Kapil Dev fell from grace on three occasions, at least!

Posted on by Aditya Wilson
 
  

Tears that revealed guilt!

Kapil Dev cried like a baby in a television interview almost two decades ago. Looking back, it was an excellent performance, and the tears that rolled down seemed real enough… I remember I watched Karan Thapar ask tough, direct questions and Kapil Dev, who was never really that strong and mannish, cracked under pressure.

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At the end of the ordeal, I was in a deep state of emotional turmoil. I believed in him, he was my hero. Did I get the news right? I was second-guessing myself because of the nature of the allegation. How could it be true of Kapil Dev?

Manoj Prabhakar, Kapil Dev’s strike partner on the field, had revealed that Kapil Dev offered him 25 lacs to underperform in a match in Sri Lanka in 1994.

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Kapil couldn’t take the barrage of hard-hitting questions and resorted to emotional tactics. He cried, hoping to gain the sympathies of every Indian. It was a stage-managed stunt and even paid off to a large extent. People sided with his story because he was the first Indian captain to win the World Cup for a cricket-crazy country! Howzzat for a reason? He won India a lot of matches and brought laurels to the nation. He had achieved a cult status and had become beyond reproach.

He was loud and defensive. He threatened to ‘commit suicide if the charges were proven.’ He exploited the nationalistic sentiments of people by claiming that he has ‘selflessly played for India.’ Such dramatics and tense demeanor, somehow, reflected guilt. Till this day, there is an air of suspicion over his numerous misconducts.

BCCI set up an enquiry commission and the verdict was a shocker! One by one, every Kapil Dev critic was removed from everything that had anything to do with the game.  Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Ajay Sharma and Manoj Prabhakar, all were banned from cricket. Kapil Dev himself was cleared of all charges, no questions asked. The enquiry commission was eyewash and served only one purpose – To protect the integrity of Kapil Dev, the symbol of Indian cricket! Blemish on Kapil would have reflected badly upon Indian cricket, something that was unacceptable to the BCCI. Righteousness has never been BCCI’s virtue.

The icon had fallen. Whether Kapil was involved in match-fixing or not, he was definitely guilty of being unable to clear the air.

Sachin thought Kapil Dev was a terrible cricket coach

No wonder, the ‘Palmolive da jawab nahi’ star did not last long with the Indian team. He served for only 10 months, leaving behind a bad taste in the mouth.

According to Sachin Tendulkar, ‘Kapil Dev never bothered to give his inputs in the team meetings. He was never even there.’ A man who takes his responsibility casually is an ordinary human, not special. His bowling exploits have blinded us; we refuse to see the filth, the anomaly in his character.

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He consciously took up the job of a coach, knowing full well the responsibilities it entails. Indian cricket needed a mentor, a guide with tons of experience to steer them towards great heights. Instead, he chose to keep himself busy with golf and other things.

Kapil Dev was in a position to play a crucial role in formulating team strategy. There could not have been a better person than Kapil to come up with ideas and strategies during the challenging Australian tour. He left the running of the team at the hands of the captain. When the captain needed guidance, Kapil was not there.

Gluttony: Lapping up millions as IPL commentator and ogling at cheer leaders!

Kapil Dev does commentary like he is reading the news off a teleprompter. E simply alters the pitch while saying boring words to make it sound like he gives a damn about the proceedings. His narrative reminds me of a funeral-like atmosphere. He is good at taking away the seriousness of the game and reducing it to entertainment value.

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He is always short of words and comes across as a man who knows very little about the game. He has been a great bowler for India but as a human being, he falls short. His observations in a game are amateurish.

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