Sandhu tipped Patil about facing Marshall in 1983 WC: Book

Mumbai, Jan 27 (PTI) It was Balwinder Sandhu''sreassuring words that helped Sandeep Patil become moreconfident about the prospect of facing dreaded late WestIndian quick Malcolm Marshall on the cricket pitch duringIndia''s triumphant World Cup campaign in 1983, according to asoon-to-be-launched book.

In his soon-to-be-launched book titled "The Devil''sPack", co-authored by his former Rashtriya Chemicals andFertilizers teammate Austin Coutinho, Sandhu has written abouthis 1983 Cup-winning mates, including triumphant captain KapilDev and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar.

"Emerging from a disturbed family life, a movie thatbombed and injury problems, Sandeep Patil did well to beselected for the World Cup of 1983. He had never faced theWest Indies pacemen and would keep asking whether he would beable to play them," an extract from the book says.

"How fast are they? Can you see the ball, facing them?"he would inquire. "Hey, Sandy!" I would tell him. "I''ve hookedMarshall for two boundaries in the Jamaica test. If I can dothat, you can do a lot better!".

"I couldn''t tell him that both my shots to the demonpace bowler were instinctive and that I saw the ball only atthe last moment. Marshall was a slippery customer and most ofhis deliveries just skidded past you.

"The reassurances and his inborn talent helped Patla dowell on that trip and our bond of friendship got furtherstrengthened post the World Cup campaign," Sandhu has written.

Sandhu has also chronicled the leg-pulling that went onduring the campaign between the two and their common love forwild life which was developed when they had visited Kenya.


"During the World Cup, one morning he came excitedly into my room and asked, "Ballu, have you read today''snewspaper?" "Which paper?" I asked. "Sandy, the papers hereare in English, not Marathi!" He was so taken aback that thefizz went out of him like an opened soda water bottle," theformer India new ball bowler has written.

"Sandy � or Patla as he is known to his teammates � usedto spend a lot of time at Masai Mara when he was in Kenyaeither as a player or coach. I have accompanied him on many ofhis trips to the wild life park and both of us have felt athome with the lions there. Both of us just love lions and canspend hours watching their majestic movements.

"After many such trips, we once went with our familiesto Masai Mara and our kids were surprised that the animalsjust sat aside and watched us as we drove through.

"Sandeep has come to Masai Mara so often," I explained,"that the lions now come out to watch him whenever he visits!"Everybody had a hearty laugh, including Patla himself.

"On another one of those safaris, our families were indifferent vans and there were other cricketers from Mumbaiaccompanying us. Seeing a bunch of cheetahs, Sandeep Patilasked the driver to close up on them so that he could takesome pictures on his handy-cam. However, his car got stuck inthe slush and we could see him waving out desperately to us.

"Scared that one of the cheetahs � who are brilliantsprinters - would have us for meal, some of us got out of thecar and somehow pushed Sandeep Patil''s van to safety. We hadendangered our lives to help Sandeep Patil, but during therescue act, Patla was busy taking video pictures from thesafety of the van and informing me that if a cheetah choosesto come after me, I would be his biggest kill of the season!"PTI SSR DK PM

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