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Kapil calls Virat on-field Dalmiya


14th November 2017
It was a night of admission and the first world cup winning skipper of Indian cricket Kapil Dev made no bones in admitting that Jagmohan Dalmiya was his hero off the field and the greatest administrator any sport has seen in the last 50 years.
“There are two types of heroes-- one on the field and one off the field and I think if have to say what we cricketers are enjoying today is thanks to this man. Without him I think we would have been struggling. Already a lot of things have been said about him, I only want to say in last 50 years in the world, he was the best administrator in all sports,” a smiling Kapil Dev, drenched in gratitude, said.
“India before him used to used to struggle. We always looked up to England and Australia, and we used to say only if we could get wages like Australia and England get. That was the thought process. In 20 years, all these countries say, can we get wages like India and that is the change he brought,” he added.
“Sometimes for players it does not really matter when we are on the field, when we play the game. But it is important to get good money. Jagmohan Dalmiya understood that these cricketers have a career of only 10-15years. Everybody is not Sachin Tendulkar who can play for 24 years. Your prime time is maximum 10 years and can you make a life out of it? He saw it. He understood it. That tells a lot and that credit goes to my hero,” he continued.
He also talked about the undying goodness and patience in Jagmohan Dalmiya as a human being even while he was an administrator.“When I met him first, he did not make that much of impression on me. As I kept on meeting him, I think I realised that he was not the best of the speakers, but there was none better than him to understand word by word, full stop to a comma, what is right, what is wrong. Nobody has done better contracts than this man have done. That was his strength. The best part is that he kept everybody happy. We cricketers of that 80 batch, the first time we thought that the cricket board came close to the players. Otherwise the cricket Board was far away from the players and we were far away from the board. Before him, the attitude was might was right. Nobody could question cricket control board of India. But Jagmohan Dalmia said no to we needed to have dialogue. I think half of the battle was won for the players. Administration was ready to listen to you. He had given the opportunity. A lot of administrators had been there with the board, but for him love of the game and passion of the game brought the cricketers together.”
“I do not think we had the guts nor had any board president invited us for a cup of tea or coffee. They used to get orders and that is how it used to run. But he changed it for the better of the game. I do not know the inside stories into this part of this world. But I'm sure he was instrumental to bring the cricketers together and the person who can bring people together is a leader. In my mind he was the leader who got things done,” he added.
He then turned to Virat Kohli sitting right at the front row and said: “We had many great players and leaders , but now the baton is in your hands. I think you can take Indian team much ahead because you can. This nation looks up to you and we look up to you. Take the game where nobody can imagine. You are a hero and you are like Dalmia. You can change things. The thing you have done this year or last few years is bring fitness to the team which I can be proud of. It is required in Indian cricket. Every captain comes out with something new-- new thought process, new way of doing things. We as the cricketers can say you keep up the good work, we love you all.”


CAB MEDIA DESK
Arindam Basu