Congratulations for the record but what now? Former India selector Anshuman Gaekwad recalls retirement talks with Kapil Dev
Anshuman Gekwad went on to recall the conversation with Kapil Dev after the 1994 Test in Ahmedabad, in which they had to know the retirement plans of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain.Updated: Jul 15, 2020 09:15 IST
Former India captain Kapil Dev is regarded as one of the legends of the game. Under his guidance, India went on beat the mighty West Indies in 1983 to win the World Cup. He was also regarded as one of the best all-rounders of all time. In a Test match against Sri Lanka in 1994, Kapil Dev dismissed Hashan Tillakaratne to pick up his 432nd wicket, surpassing New Zealand great Richard Hadlee’s world record for the most number of wickets in Test cricket, which is now held by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan.
But by the time the moment came, Kapil was not in the best of his forms. Former India selector Anshuman Gaekwad, in a recent interview, recalled that he, along with another selector and former India batsman Gundappa Vishwanath went to Kapil Dev after he broke Hadlee’s record to discuss his retirement plans.
On being asked about the BCCI’s age restriction over selector and coaches, Gaekwad told Sportskeeda in a Facebook Live interview: “It’s like any player playing for India. Whether it’s Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, or Tendulkar, anyone, you should be able to perform your duties. Don’t become a liability. If you become one, you have no business to be there.”
He then went on to recall the conversation with Kapil Dev after the 1994 Test in Ahmedabad.
“When Kapil broke Richard Hadlee’s record in Ahmedabad, we had carried him for a while, we had gone pretty slow. But then Vishy and I went and talked to him. We said, ‘Congratulations, you have broken the record, but tell us: Now what?’ So that nobody feels embarrassed. These are the interactions you have to have,” Gaekwad said.
As it turned out, Kapil played only one Test match after that in Hamilton against New Zealand a month later before calling it quits with 434 scalps to his name. Later that year in October 1994, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain announced his retirement from both forms of the game.
Speaking on the role of a selector, the former India coach further elaborated: “Your experience as a player and as a selector, your foresight is very important. You can’t just go by stats or domestic performances. A selector must know whether this XYZ has scored or got a lot of wickets and whether he will be successful at that level.”
“This level can be understood only by those who have gone there - the pressure you have to take and the performances you have to give,” he further added.