Bangalore, June 18: He changed the face of Indian cricket with his exploits with ball and bat and inspiring leadership. He was the pioneer in fast bowling for India -the land of spinners- He scalped a record 434 Test wickets and mind you most of them coming on a spinner-friendly Indian wickets.
His hurricane 175* against Zimbabwe and a stunner of a catch he took to dismiss Viv in the final ensured a path-breaking World Cup triumph in 1983. He was undoubtedly one of the best all-rounders in world cricket with over 9000 runs and no less than 687 wickets in international cricket to his credit. He was voted as India's Cricketer of the Century in 2002. His deeds with bat and cherry and as a captain during 1983-87 took Indian cricket to next level.
And this gentle giant from Haryana, called Kapil Dev, is now an untouchable because of his involvement with Indian Cricket League (ICL) the so-called rebel/breakaway league.
Now, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), a subsidiary of BCCI, has unceremoniously removed the portrait of Kapil at its stadium in Mohali. It is disgraceful on part of BCCI. Isn't it. Kapil, who was earlier sacked from NCA and other BCCI committees in an undignified way, dashed off an e-mail to PCA secretary M P Pandove urging him to return his memorabilia of his cricketing years. An angry and impulsive wrote he fears PCA may not like to preserve 'em any more.
It is shame that the Indian board decided to commemorate the silver jubilee of the 83 triumph only after the manager Man Singh cried foul in media. The Pawar's men were reluctant to felicitate the team as most of the players were associated with ICL and their crime is providing a platform for young talented players and nurture them.
While his team-mates from Mumbai enjoy the BCCI's patronisation with lucrative posts and hefty pay cheques, Kapil was sidelined for taking on the 'autocratic' establishment. All Kapil wants his his due- recognition, respect and reconciliation (revoking ban on ICL players).