Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam: Kapil Dev clean bowls young cricketers with his outswingers

Former captain of India Kapil Dev interacting with the players of the two teams that have qualified for the APL finals at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Former captain of India Kapil Dev interacting with the players of the two teams that have qualified for the APL finals at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGMENT

What happens when budding cricketers meet a cricketer of yesteryears, who is a legend. They are awestruck by the very presence of him.

This is what happened when the cricketers from Coastal Riders (CR) and Bezawada Tigers (BT), met the captain of the 1983 World Cup winning team, Kapil Dev, here on Sunday.

The legend was here to participate as the chief guest for the finals of the first season of the Andhra Premier League (APL), which was to be played between CR and BT.

But due to incessant rain, the finals had to be postponed to Monday. But before leaving the city, Kapil, who was a tad disappointed, as a ball could not be bowled, met the cricketers of the both teams in the dressing room, and the cricketers made the best of it.

He made it a point to meet the cricketers and spend some time, said R.V.C.H. Prasad, governing body member of the APL.

The cricketers encircled him in the dressing room (students) and squatted on the floor like ‘shishyas’, to listen to him and Kapil, spoke to them, as if they were part of his 1983 team and not their guru.

He spoke about how to handle pressure on and off the field and when asked by a cricketer how he handled pressure during the 1983 World Cup, he said, “There is a big difference between pressure and pleasur’. For me the game and the matches were a pleasure and I did not allow pressure creep into me or my team members. We enjoyed every bit of the game and probably that is why we were successful..”

He urged the cricketers not to take pressure, as it could drain oneself both mentally and physically.

When one of the cricketers asked him, how did he manage without a coach and support staff, during the 1983 World Cup, he jocularly said “PR Mansingh was all in one.”

He went ahead to say that a coach is necessary and is an integral part of the team today, but a coach’s role is only 10%, the rest 90% depends on the player. “A coach can help you with finer points and keep you pepped up, but ultimately it is you who have to perform on the field,” he said.

Spending over an hour with the cricketers in a free and frank talk, he said, “Any big ticket game is a mind game, so it is better to free the mind of any kind of pressure before the game and just plan on how to play it on field.”

Kapil was all appreciative for Andhra Cricket Association and lauded them for coming out with a format to give the young players a platform to perform and showcase their skills.

He bowled the cricketers with his simplicity, honest talk and his magnetic personality.

Mesmerised by his session, a few of them took time to get over it and said, “He continues to be one among the tallest cricketers in the world and talking to him in such close proximity was an achievement for us. We are a motivated lot now.”


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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 10:22:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/visakhapatnam-kapil-dev-clean-bowls-young-cricketers-with-his-outswingers/article65653870.ece