It has been five years since an acrimonious exchange had ensued between the Indian cricket board and one of India’s greatest cricketers Kapil Dev over the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The difference in stance had led to a ban to the legendary cricketer, who captained India to its first World Cup triumph in 1983.
On Saturday, the relationship between the two parties finally came a full circle as the BCCI awarded Dev with the CK Nayudu Lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Indian cricket at the Board’s annual awards ceremony here.
While the fences were mended last year after Dev had resigned from his post in the rebel cricket league, a public confirmation of the union was finally seen on Saturday. Sitting next to the BCCI N Srinivasan through the duration of the event, the scene was a far cry from 2007 when the cricket legend was ostracised and barred from all activities.
Selected by a three-member jury headed by Srinivasan, Dev joined the Late Eknath Solkar, Bapu Nadkarni and Farokh Engineer among others, in the list of legends who have won the award. Among those present for the event were the New Zealand-bound Indian team and former players Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Ajit Wadekar.
The 20th Indian cricketer to be conferred the award, Dev was misty-eyed as he accepted the prize. “When you play, it is the passion for the game that drives you to work hard and not awards. But it is also pleasurable when you are recognised for your work,” said Kapil. “We have all had our highs and lows, but it is with spirit that we played the game, hopefully the younger generation will take this tradition forward,” he added.