Sunil Gavaskar reveals the incident when he had a heated exchange with Kapil Dev
The two shared a healthy on-field relationship and have maintained that over the years.
Updated - Aug 6, 2018 6:22 pm
Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are two legends who lay a strong foundation for Indian cricket and inspired an entire generation that fell in love with the sport. While one was once the highest run-getter for the country in Test cricket, the other was once the highest wicket-taker in the longest format. The two stalwarts also made invaluable contribution together to win India their first World Cup in 1983. But things were not always rosy between Gavaskar and Kapil.
The original Little Master, the first man on this planet to score 10,000 runs in Tests, on August 5 on the occasion of Friendship Day that there was no ill-feeling ever between him and Kapil, unlike the popular belief. He said that while they were close friends back in the day, they have a healthy relationship even now.
Maybe the board wanted to divide us
“We are very good friends. We were good friends back then as well. Maybe the board wanted to divide us, maybe the media also wanted the same,” Gavaskar said while talking to India Today.
The former captain, who was known for his deft batting technique, also shared details of the only time he found himself in the middle of a heated exchange with Dev.
“But we were once involved in an angry exchange and that was in 1979 while playing against Pakistan. I was batting on 166 and then I played a shot towards backward point off Imran Khan. I wanted to take a single but Kapil Dev declined from the non-striker’s end and then I got out on the very next delivery,” Gavaskar said.
“So I was very angry when I returned to the dressing room. Kapil would have played the bouncer better than me had we taken the single and our partnership would have grown. Tea was taken 10-15 minutes after my dismissal and in the break I yelled at him. As far as I remember, that’s the only instance of an angry exchange between two of us,” he added.
The biggest controversy featuring the two former greats was in 1984 when Kapil was purposefully overlooked for a Test against England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata (Calcutta then). It was alleged that Gavaskar, who was the captain, played an instrumental role in dropping him from the team for his poor performance with the bat in the previous Test in Delhi. The crowd was so angry and it protested so strongly against Gavaskar that the latter had vowed to not play at the venue ever again.
However, it is water under the bridge and the two legends share a great bond that has lasted the test of time.
“I was not technically correct, but we had no one to teach. In Mumbai, there were a lot of teachers. When we played cricket, there were no turf wickets in Chandigarh, what was there is passion. There is nobody in this country who does not want to be Sunil Gavaskar. For Sunil, was he the best in the game? No, he was best for the game,” Kapil Dev said at an event.
While Gavaskar played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs for India, Kapil finished with 131 Tests and 225 ODIs.