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It's time to tee off!

VIJAY LOKAPALLY
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CHATLINE Cricketing icon, the genial Kapil Dev talks about his love for golf

MANY FACES Kapil Dev Photo V.V.Krishnan
MANY FACES Kapil Dev Photo V.V.Krishnan

H e was born to spend his life on the sports field. He is an athlete, a natural at that, pursuing cricket, football, golf, table tennis and squash, with the same flourish.

He is a successful businessman too, who is a lighting, studio equipment and property advisor to many companies. He handles finances as skilfully as he would snare a batsman; can invest with the canny judgement of a leader that he was when winning the World Cup in 1983.

Wearing many hats

He is also a doting father, a caring husband, a trusted friend, and a generous boss.

Kapil Dev emerges happy from the morning mist at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), which he calls his second home.

And, to think this was the man who left his home town Chandigarh and moved to New Delhi with wife Romi in 1984, for cricket!

His cricket assignments involved a lot of travelling, and it made better sense to move to a city with better access. “I was not happy leaving Chandigarh, but I had no choice, really.” But, it's a different story today. “I have some very fond memories of Chandigarh. It shall always remain close to my heart. It made me what I am. But, I am a Dilliwala now, having lived the best years of my life in this wonderful city.”

Another sport

As for moving towards golf, Kapil says he nurtures a desire to represent India in the sport. “DGC is my second home.

It is a pity there is no such club in Delhi for cricketers,” says Kapil, who became a DGC member 26 years ago. “The place has grown on me.”

Kapil is seen at the golf course more than a cricket field now.

“What can I do if the BCCI does not want me,” he sounds exasperated. “I would love to do cricket work, but I can't do full-time coaching. I can guide if I see a brilliant youngster, but I can't force myself to be a coach.”

Best foot forward

However, Kapil points out he did his BCCI stints as India coach, National Cricket Academy director, Pitches and Ground Committee chairman, to the “best” of his abilities.

As for now Kapil is enjoying his golf, his business assignments, and the leisurely walk around Khan Market in Delhi.

VIJAY LOKAPALLY

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