Kapil Dev

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Dec 1984: Dropped from Eden G test vs. England

The Times of India, May 20 2016

Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar has clarified that the widely reported and believed theory of him playing a key role in dropping Kapil Dev for the fourth Test against England at the Eden Gardens in December 1984 is wrong and he had no role in the axing of the all-rounder despite being the captain of the side that lost the series 1-2. Kapil Dev had been dismissed while trying to play an extravagant stroke off Pat Pocock on Day Five in the third Test at the Kotla, when the hosts were fighting to save the Test. India went on to lose that Test and the result allowed England, considered underdogs, to script a fairytale series win. In a move aimed at disciplining the all-rounder for playing that stroke, the selectors dropped Kapil for the following Test at the Eden Gardens. It was believed then that Gavaskar was unhappy with Kapil's `careless attitude' and was instrumental in the move to sideline Kapil. However, reacting to a graphic in TOI titled `United In Dislike' on May 17, Gavaskar, in an email communication, stated, “Firstly , the captain of the Indian cricket team has never had and even today has no vote in the selection committee meetings. He is just a co-opted member of the committee. To therefore state that I dropped Kapil Dev is totally wrong.“ Gavaskar also stressed that the decision to drop Kapil was taken before he had joined the meeting which had commenced 20 minutes before. The former Indian opener also shared a column written by the late Hanumant Singh, the former India batsman, who was a selector then, about Gavaskar not mooting the idea to drop Kapil. “No captain is foolish enough to suggest dropping his best player and matchwinner from the team and whatever else I may be, I am not foolish to do that,“ Gavaskar stated.

Gavaskar also revealed that he could soon disclose the name of the selector who wanted Kapil axed. “At some stage in the future, I may reveal the name of the selector who not only wanted Kapil dropped but also wanted his match fee suspended.“

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