If Kapil Dev’s letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to say that he is no more associated with the firm which funded the rebel Indian Cricket League is viewed as the prodigal son returning home, so be it.
But in no way should the BCCI feel that they have won a battle. This is no time for gloating. It’s a time to rejoice over the fact that India’s greatest all-rounder, who gave the country its first cricket World Cup triumph in 1983, has made himself available to serve Indian cricket again.
It must be remembered that Kapil was part of a league that helped in the emergence of the Indian Premier League. The redoubtable Lalit Modi was inspired by its concept before the first edition of the IPL rolled out in 2008.
Kapil doesn’t need the Board’s money to survive, but the establishment now must reward him with the one-time payment that they have distributed to their retired cricketers, as well as his pension.
It won’t be a great idea to appoint Kapil as coach because his one stint was disastrous, and with due respect to his skills as a cricketer, sporting outfits won’t start winning just because the coach stresses on the importance of enjoying one’s cricket. That’s exactly what Kapil did when he was in charge of the team. However, he should be called in regularly to speak to bowlers at the National Cricket Academy and he’ll be great when it comes to working at the grassroots level. His very presence will help youngsters emerge in large numbers for talent-spotting schemes.
It is a pity that the BCCI didn’t use the great opportunity of calling Kapil on stage when it felicitated the 2011 World Cup-winning team in Mumbai in June last year. That’s a photograph which will warm the cockles of the heart for several Indian fans. It’s never too late!