Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev, renowned for his outspoken nature, has recently expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in Indian cricket. As a former World Cup-winning captain and a highly respected figure in the sport, Kapil’s opinions carry weight and spark attention among cricket enthusiasts.
In a candid interview with The Week, Kapil Dev raised pertinent questions about the commitments of Indian cricketers and their priorities. The former skipper remarked on how injuries to key players have been detrimental to the team’s performance in major tournaments, and he hinted at a perceived lack of dedication towards representing the national side.
One player who came under Kapil’s scrutiny is the marquee pacer, Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah’s absence from the Indian team for nearly a year has raised concerns about his progress and fitness. With the ODI World Cup drawing nearer, Kapil expressed his disappointment, stating that investing time in nurturing a talent like Bumrah could be futile if he doesn’t recover in time for the prestigious event.
“What happened to Bumrah? He started working with so much belief, but if he’s not there (in World Cup semi-final/final)… we wasted time on him. Rishabh Pant… such a great cricketer. Had he been there, our Test cricket would’ve been better,” Kapil lamented.
Kapil Dev, while acknowledging the significance of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a lucrative tournament, criticized players for seemingly prioritizing the league over national duties. He highlighted the issue of players willing to play in the IPL even with minor injuries, yet choosing to sit out when it comes to representing the country. This discrepancy in commitment has raised eyebrows and concerns about the players’ sense of responsibility towards the national team.
“God is kind, it’s not as if I never got injured. But today, they are playing 10 months in a year. Give a benefit of doubt to that, but everybody has to look after themselves. IPL is a great thing, but IPL can spoil you also. Because, a little bit of injuries and you will play in IPL. A little bit of injuries, you won’t play for India. You would take a break. I’m being very open about it,” Kapil asserted.
Kapil Dev did not spare the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) either, holding them accountable for mismanagement of players’ workload. He emphasized the importance of the cricket board comprehending the right amount of cricket that players should play. Kapil highlighted the need for a well-defined calendar and strategic planning to safeguard players from unnecessary burnout and injuries.
The veteran all-rounder’s concerns resonate with many cricket fans and experts, as the workload of modern-day cricketers has increased significantly, with cricket being played year-round across multiple formats.
As cricket enthusiasts await Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the Indian team and hope for a balanced approach in players’ commitments, Kapil Dev’s candid remarks serve as a reminder that the players’ dedication to representing the nation must remain at the forefront of their careers.