The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapil’s turn to do the talking
- 'Positive thinking' lectures across countryngive the legend 'a big kick'

Calcutta, Sept.13: Twentyfive years ago, when Kapil Dev made his India debut in Quetta, many insisted the somewhat gawky Jat was fit to be lectured on just about everything.

Today, style-icon Kapil is doing the talking — on “positive thinking” and more.

From IIMs to the corporate sector, schools and universities… The former captain and coach has quietly been scoring on a different wicket — pretty much like present Australia coach John Buchanan.

“Be positive” and “enjoy” were key elements of Kapil’s cricket. Understandably, in his lectures, that hasn’t changed.

“I’ll be satisfied if even one individual gets to wholly believe in positive thinking and makes the most of that…Generally, there’s a tendency to be negative when, in fact, we should be looking at what we can accomplish…” he told The Telegraph this afternoon, speaking on his cellphone.

Kapil’s own josh-filled attitude helped him to 5,248 Test runs (eight hundreds) and 434 wickets, besides 3,783 ODI runs (one hundred) and 253 wickets.

Initially reluctant to talk about his lectures, he acknowledged “getting a big kick” out of the exercise: “My commitments with Sony and Kinetic don’t leave much time for anything else… However, I try and accommodate the lectures… Yes, I’ve been enjoying the role of speaker.”

According to Kapil, the janata’s response during shoots for a TV programme encouraged him to formally dwell on “positive thinking.”

“Look, my message is simple: ‘Think you can do it’… Let that be the driving force...Moreover, don’t shy away from picking up the positive traits of others. You could be good, but somebody may well be better…So, learn from that person,” he pointed out.

Kapil added: “My theme doesn’t change with a change in audience…Be it at a university or with senior executives, I stick to the basics of being positive.”

While most see India’s only World Cup-winning captain as the No.1 example of being positive, he himself feels Nelson Mandela and Mohinder Amarnath rank higher than anybody.

“Despite decades in prison, Mandela never hated his tormentors… Rather, he focussed on the positive aspects of life and, currently, is admired both by Whites and Blacks… His approach should serve as an eye-opener.

“As for Mohinder, I think even he won’t remember the number of comebacks… He kept bouncing back and served Indian cricket splendidly… Had Mohinder not been positive, though, he would have faded out after being dropped for the very first time (following the 1969-70 home series versus Australia). Actually, he was a survivor for 20 years…”

Asked whether Team India 2003 needed a pro motivator, Kapil replied: “If it helps, why not' After all, hasn’t the world changed' But, yes, the boys must be exposed to the right person… Also, they have to be comfortable with the frequency of that interaction…”

Incidentally, “positive thinking” took centrestage during his recent closed-door session with the probables in Bangalore. “I didn’t just speak about cricket and, really, mujhe maaza aa gaya,” he quipped.

Kapil didn’t reveal where he was headed next — to an IIM or a gathering of dealers — but confirmed being committed to the lecture circuit.

Happy listening.

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