IND vs ENG: Former India captain Kapil Dev was in his “jovial best”, after he was inducted as a board member in the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) on Monday, as he in a lighter vein, invited Shikhar Dhawan for “playing golf” with him when asked what future did he see of the star opener after southpaw Ishan Kishan came up with a blistering 56 off 32 balls on Sunday.
“Well, all I will say to him is… come and play golf with me now,” is how Kapil answered to an Inside Sport question on what holds for Shikhar Dhawan’s future after left hander Ishan Kishan’s brilliant performance, but quickly added: “I am saying this jokingly. I don’t want to say much on cricket but on a serious note that’s something that I would not like to comment on.”
Kapil’s second joke was even more interesting. When asked what role he saw of himself in the PGTI, he said he never understood what role he had even in BCCI. “If you ask me what role I see of myself in PGTI when I say I still do not understand what role I had in the BCCI. I am joking. Which cricketer is not part of BCCI? We are all part of that whenever they need any cricketer’s services, every cricketer will be there.”
On a serious note Kapil said that he was looking ahead to making the young golfers earn a livelihood out of golf like cricketers earn from the game of cricket. “I joined PGTI with the hope to make the sport popular among the masses and see how youngsters can make a living out of it. If a Virat Kohli or Sachin Tendulkar can become richest by playing cricket why not a brilliant golfer can do the same.”
“As a sportsman, it’s my duty if I can help them in trying to promote the game. I feel sometimes they don’t get their dues. All the young boys who are starting, if we can bring more money into the game and let everybody come out there and make a life out of it that’s what I look for. Government is there to make sure you can carry on with your job. Not too much involvement in sports and I think it’s a responsibility of every common person. You look at cricket, the government’s involvement is not there. All the sports should be like that. We help the sports, that’s more important.”
Kapil played 131 Tests and 225 ODIs for the Indian cricket team. In the longest format of the game, the all-rounder amassed 5,248 runs and picked 434 wickets. Under his leadership, India lifted the 1983 World Cup after defeating West Indies in the final.