Legendary Indian cricketer and former captain Kapil Dev on Friday said the Indian Premier League (IPL) has strengthened Indian cricket but one should also focus on traditional formats – Tests and ODIs – instead of only concentrating on the developement of T20 while in conversation with senior sports writer and journalist Ayaz Memon on day 2 of the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
“Yes cricket has changed. People around the world only want to play IPL, BBL and tournaments like that. I’m a more positive person. I would say IPL has given us strength. What used to be county cricket, every player used to play there (in England) but today IPL is giving the same benefit to us as the players are coming and playing in India.This has urged the young generation further,” said Kapil Dev while speaking over video at the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
Talking about a few negatives the franchise T20 leagues have brought in as a by-product, Kapil said T20 cricket is enjoyable and has its own charm but it should not bring down the value of traditional cricket, which revolves around Test cricket.
“Don’t just think about T20 or IPL, you have to look after first class cricket, Tests and ODIs. Yes, money manking factor is there Should not forget out tradition. Tennis for example,l we still have Wimbledon played on grass. Focus on the art. How a Dravid or Gavaskar built their innings. I love watching sixes, I would have never imagined the kind of catches that are being taken today,” Kapil said.
India’s first World Cup-winning captain expressed his delight as cricket returned after a long gap because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Cricket is no fun without people shouting or whistling. It was wonderful to see players return to playing cricket after so long. Yes, some looked out of shape but that’s fine,” he added.
Kapil Dev was India’s first genuine fast bowler and all-rounder, who made a name for himself with his swing bowling and fearless batting down the order. He led the team from the front in the 1983 World Cup as India shocked favourites West Indies to become world champions.
Kapil Dev’s marvellous catch to dismiss Vivian Richards in the final put India on the road to a momentous victory against Clive Lloyd’s all-conquering team from the Caribbean. The 1983 World Cup win revolutionised cricket in the country as millions of youngsters took to the sport, which eventually led to India’s rise as one of the global powerhouses of the game.
Kapil ended his career as the (then) highest wicket-taker in Test cricket as he broke Richard Hadlee’s record in the twilight of his career. Post his retirement he had a brief stint as the coach of the Indian team, before becoming one of the leading voices in cricket commentary.
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