Kapil Dev on lockdown: 'You have to challenge yourself to accept this situation'

To stay focused, Kapil Dev, on a personal front, has taken up various tasks inside the house.

Being a sportsman, Kapil emphasised, has helped him stand up to situations.   -  Getty Images

Lockdown. One word that needs to be drilled into the minds of the citizens. “One word”, as former India captain and one of the game’s greatest all-rounders Kapil Dev observed, “that has become the lifeline for mankind. You are supposed to stay at home. So stay at home. It is the least one can do to help the competent and relevant authorities to fight this life-threatening virus.”

As Kapil elaborated, “It can be taken in a positive way. Lockdown or Stay at Home. You have to challenge yourself to accept this situation. You have the world inside your home – your family. You have means of entertaining yourself – books, TV, music. Best is the interaction you have with your family members.”

To stay focused, Kapil, on a personal front, has taken up various tasks at home. “I sweep the house, clean the garden. My little garden is now my golf course also. I am getting to spend so much time with my family. Something that I had missed in the last so many years. I give the cook a break and cook for everyone. I take turns to do the dishes. I had learnt all this while playing in England when Romi would join me.”

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Being a sportsman, Kapil emphasised, has helped him stand up to situations. “I always believe in being positive. In cricket you get out for zero after scoring a century in the preceding innings. You end up wicketless after having done your best in the previous spells. I have read and heard how the human race has fought and set examples when dealing with crisis. India’s strength lies in our culture – looking after each other and caring for elders. We have to look to help the seniors. I know we will win this battle by staying together and strengthening the hands of our government and doctors by staying indoors.”

This tough phase, believed Kapil, would make people more responsible. “People would remember the lessons in hygiene now. Hope they will learn to wash their hands, vow not to spin and urinate in public. We have to keep the surroundings clean. Wish we had learnt these lessons earlier but hope this generation will not make those mistakes. I was lucky I could pick lessons from my seniors in cricket and am thankful to them.”

Kapil Dev: "I always believe in being positive. In cricket you get out for zero after scoring a century in the preceding innings..."   -  Getty Images


Kapil picked Bishan Singh Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar for special mention. “Bedi taught me the joy and importance of being large-hearted. Life becomes simple when you display large heartedness. Sunil taught me to plan. He would keep planning. He was batting against me and had the spirit to advise me to come close to the wicket because he found it very difficult to pick my out-swinger. What a lesson I learnt from the artist. Also, my generation of cricketers did not criticise the youngsters.”

Reflecting on his colleagues from playing days, Kapil talked of how some of them would have been superstars in current times too.

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“Sunil would have been a sought-after batsman in T20. (Kris) Srikkanth started T20 in 1985 when he was smashing Imran Khan and Wasim Akram over cover and mid-off. We used to wonder what was this guy doing. Yashpal (Sharma), with his bottom hand shots over midwicket would have been a hit.

He could hit from cover to midwicket with such ease. Take (Navjot) Sidhu. Belter of the ball. Once, in the nets, he hit the ball in the air and Bedi ordered him to run six for that shot. Madan Lal had the game for T20. Bowlers like Bedi and (Srinivas) Venkataraghavan would have shackled the batsmen. (Erapalli) Prasanna would have beaten the batsmen with his art in the air. I have not forgotten Viswanath. He would have made a mockery of the field by picking gaps with ridiculous ease. I could go on and on.”

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