Ashok Malhotra

Kapil Dev: How was the childhood of India's first World Cup winning captain?

[caption id="attachment_61152" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Kapil Dev is India's first World Cup winning captain. Image Source: twitter Kapil Dev is India's first World Cup winning captain. Image Source: twitter[/caption]

Sabyasachi Bagchi, Kolkata: India’s very first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev turned 59 today. The whole world knows him for his remarkable achievements for the nation, but a very few people has seen him to grow up as a cricketer, his struggle and all his hard work to become a successful cricketer. Former Indian cricketer Ashok Malhotra is one of those who was there with Kapil from his childhood and saw the rise of World’s one of the best all-rounder of all time.

Malhotra went down memory lane to describe their very first day in cricket.” We both gave trial for our school team on the same day. I still remember he came to the school ground for the trials by topping the wall. He just hit the balls through all parts of the ground and left the ground after that. It was the very first impression of Kapil. He was just a daredevil cricketer and after he left the place all the spectators was looking for him and asked that where he has gone,” said Malhotra while talking to

“Earlier in his career, he only used to bat but as you know he is a god gifted player, later Kapil started bowling and became the best in the world too.”

From a very early age Kapil was a determind to do something in his career.” We had a trial for Harayana School. A total of 10 persons went there to give trials. Except Kapil all nine cricketers were selected for the inter-school tournament. Kapil was very angry with it, after we returned from playing the inter-school tournament, he bowled a brilliant bouncer to our school captain and broke his chin. Later he said that he was checking if the speed of his deliveries had increased or not,” told Malhotra.

His childhood friend also opened up about his practice method which was funny too.” In our early age we used to practice in hot and humid weather in the month of May and June. We used to get only a bucket of water during the session, Kapil used to say that please allow me to bat first and later I will ball to 8 to 10 batsmen at a stretch. He had done that for a reason, while bowling to those batsmen at a stretch, he got the much needed practice which helped him to perfect his line and length. Beside that after batting first he also got the first chance to use the water as well.”

Kapil’s call-up in the India camp was surprising as well.” Once he was playing for North Zone and he was expecting a call-up for the Indian time, but after not being picked for the side he was a bit demoralized. After two or three days, we came to know that Madan Lal’s club from England didn’t leave him and for that Kapil got a call-up in the India-camp. He batted and bowled brilliantly in the practice sessions there and everyone started saying that he is the brightest prospect for India in future. After that he played for North Zone in the Irani Cup where he took a lot of wickets and scored runs as well.”

Malhotra and Kapil are friends from the 1970s when they started playing together from the age of 12. They both shared lighter moments a lot together. Malhotra said,” Kapil had confidence that he will play at least one or two Test matches. A few days earlier I told him that, you said of playing a couple of Tests in his career and you ended your career after playing 131 Test matches.”

According to his childhood friend, Kapil was a very hard working and he always tried to improve himself every day.” Before going to England tour, Kapil went to Delhi for practice as he was unable to deliver a ball which comes inside after pitching. He used to bowl for four hours each day for 10 to 15 days until blood came out from his figure. Later Kapil got the reward for his practice as he bowled brilliantly in the England tour.”

Though they are very good friends, but Ashoke Malhotra still has some anger about his friend as he didn’t get the chance in the World Cup, despite of his good form.” We played ODIs in West Indies ahead of the World Cup. I did perform well but unfortunately was left out from the squad, it was an heartbreak for me as I expected to be in the team. After the World Cup West Indies toured in India and I scored 65 runs against them in Jamshedpur on that time. At a bulk period of time we didn’t talk to each other for some days as well. One day he called me in his room to ask why I have stopped talking to him. I went to his room and told in front of him that, you didn’t give me a chance in the World Cup squad, despite of my good form,” concluded Malhotra.

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