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Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapil takes move in stride
- No commemoration of ’83 Cup win as Board wants to ‘look ahead’

Calcutta: In not wanting to honour Kapil Dev because of his involvement with the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the Board has decided against commemorating 25 years of India’s momentous World Cup win.

But if the Board comes across as petty, Kapil (who led by example in that tournament) definitely has a big heart.

“Frankly, I wouldn’t have minded had the Board decided to honour everybody except me… You can’t, after all, ignore such a big achievement… I didn’t win the World Cup alone… Mujhe nahin bulate to bhi theek tha,” Kapil told The Telegraph on Thursday evening.

Speaking on the sidelines of an ICL function to mark actor Mithun Chakraborty becoming a “co-owner” of the Kolkata Tigers (to be renamed Royal Bengal Tigers from the ICL’s second season) team, Kapil added: “Even if the Board isn’t doing anything, Sunil (Gavaskar) is organising a private function at Lord’s on June 25… It’s for the players and by the players and I’m looking forward to it…”

Gavaskar has booked the Long Room there for a “sit-down dinner.”

According to Kapil, Gavaskar sounded him out some weeks ago and the 14-member World Cup-winning squad could meet after a month or so to finalise what else needed to be done that day.

“Today, I don’t have any emotions… Am not thinking too much of June 25… But, yes, I’m bound to get emotional once all of us reassemble at Lord’s… It will be a special occasion,” Kapil remar- ked.

Asked why the Board, which felicitated Test captain Anil Kumble (for taking 600 wickets) earlier this week, wasn’t doing anything to remember the 1983 heroes, an office-bearer bluntly said: “That’s because we want to look ahead, not back… Why go back to the past?”

Astonishing, really.

The gentleman needs to be told that the 1983 World Cup win changed the face of Indian cricket. Encouraged Sachin Tendulkar to dump tennis… Elevated cricket to a status much beyond sport…

And more.

Kapil, by the way, isn’t the only member of that squad involved with the ICL. Three others — Sandeep Patil, Madanlal and Balwinder Singh Sandhu, all of whom featured in that memorable final against the West Indies — are also on the Board’s blacklist.

The Board can stop their pensions (the matter, expectedly, is in court), but can’t rewrite history.


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