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Kapil Dev

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Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj is better known as Kapil Dev.

Kapil Dev was born to Ram Lal Nikhanj and his wife Raj Kumari on the 6th of January 1959 at Chandigarh, India.. His father was a building and timber contractor. Basically from Rawalpindi, his parents had migrated to India during the partition in 1947. He went to the DAV School and later attended St. Edward’s School in Shimla. He started playing cricket as a school boy and was selected to play for Haryana in domestic cricket.

 

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Career

He debuted for Haryana in November 1975 in a match against Punjab. He scalped six wickets and restricted the opposition to just 63 runs and thus helped Haryana to win. He played against Jammu & Kashmir in the 1976-77 seasons and took 8 wickets and made 36 runs in one match. The same year he achieved figures of 7/20 against Bengal. In 1978-79 seasons he took his maiden 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket in a match against Services. His outstanding performance ensured that he got selected for the Irani Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Wills Trophy matches. He proved his all-round ability by showing his mettle not just with the ball but also with the bat. During the 1979-80 seasons he scored his maiden century, when he scored 193 runs against Delhi. He made his test debut against Pakistan in October 1978 though it was only after a few more matches that his impact began to be felt.

In 1979, playing against a visiting West Indies team, Dev made his maiden century scoring 126 runs in just 124 balls. His bowling performance was also consistent as he took 17 wickets in the series. The cricketer was getting better with every match he played. He picked his first 5-wicket haul against England in Edgbaston in 1979.

During Australian cricket team's tour of India in 1979–80, Kapil Dev established himself as India's premier fast bowler by taking taking two five-wicket hauls and a total of 28 wickets in the whole series. His popularity soared when he led India to 2 victories in the 6-test home series against Pakistan. Kapil Dev performed spectacularly with both bat and ball. He took a ten wicket haul and scored two half centuries in the series finishing the series with 32 wickets and 278 runs.

He was made captain during the 1982-83 season and led his team in the 1983 World Cup. India were underdogs in the tournament but under Kapil Dev's charismatic leadership the team punched much above its weight and went to win the world cup by defeating the mighty West Indies in the finals. After his stellar performance, he was retained as captain for the 1987 World Cup 1987. India played well initially and reached the semi-finals where they lost to England. Kapil Dev left captaincy after this. He played his last World Cup in 1992 under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin. As a senior bowler he mentored new talents like Javagal Srinath and Manoj Prabhakar. He retired in 1994 as the highest wicket taker for that time, with a haul of 434 wickets. He became the coach of the Indian team in 1999 but his stint as a coach was not successful. He resigned in 2000 following some controversy.

 

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Personal life

He was introduced to Romi Bhatia by a common friend in 1979 and proposed to her in 1980.The couple married in 1980 and had a daughter, Amiya Dev, on 16 January 1996.

After retirement from cricket in 1994, Kapil Dev took up golf. Kapil was the only Asian founding member of Laureus Foundation in 2000. Ian Botham and Viv Richards were the other two cricketers on the founding member council of 40. Steve Waugh was added to the Academy members in 2006 when it was expanded from 40 to 42. He has written three autobiographical works. By God's Decree came out in 1985 and Cricket my style in 1987. He released his most recent autobiography, titled Straight from the Heart in 2004 (ISBN 1-4039-2227-6). He pledged his organs during an event organized by Delhi Urological Society on January 31, 2014 at the Airport Authority of India, Officers Club, New Delhi.

 

Awards

1979–80:– Arjuna Award

1982:– Padma Shri

1983:– Wisden Cricketer of the Year

1991:– Padma Bhushan

2002:– Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century

2010:– ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

2013:– The 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India by NDTV

2013:– CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award(announced)

 

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