Kapil Dev, the legendary cricketer and captain of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team, is known for speaking his mind. In a recent interview with The Week, he expressed his displeasure with the evolving state of Indian cricket, particularly the players’ commitment to the national team.
Kapil raised concerns about injuries to key players affecting India’s performance in major tournaments. He questioned the priorities of some players who seem more inclined towards the Indian Premier League (IPL) than representing the country.
Kapil Dev voiced his concerns about the commitment of Indian cricketers towards the national team. He highlighted that some players seem eager to participate in the IPL even with minor injuries, while they might prefer to sit out when representing the country.
In the interview, Kapil Dev specifically questioned the progression status of Jasprit Bumrah, a marquee pacer and a vital asset to the Indian team. Bumrah has been out of the national side for about a year due to injury. Kapil Dev pointed out that injuries to key players have notably impacted India’s team performance. He mentioned Rishabh Pant as a great cricketer whose absence affected India’s Test cricket.
“What happened to Bumrah? He started working with so much belief, but if he’s not there (in the World Cup semi-final/final). We wasted time on him. Rishabh Pant is such a great cricketer. Our Test cricket would’ve been better had he been there,” Kapil said.
While recognizing the value of the IPL as a lucrative and entertaining league, Kapil Dev expressed his discontent with players prioritizing the T20 league over their international commitments. He suggested that players might be more willing to risk playing in the IPL despite injuries while being cautious when representing the national team. This raises concerns about the balance between club and country in modern-day cricket.
“God is kind, and it’s not as if I never got injured. But today, they are playing 10 months in a year. Give the benefit of the doubt, but everybody has to look after themselves. IPL is a great thing, but IPL can spoil you, also. Because of a few injuries and you will play in IPL. If you have a little injury, you won’t play for India. You would take a break. I’m being very open about it,” said the legendary all-rounder.
Kapil Dev also criticized the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for poorly managing players’ workloads. He highlighted the need for a well-structured calendar that considers the physical demands of players and ensures adequate rest and recovery periods. Kapil’s comments underscore the importance of player welfare and the need for a more organized approach from cricket boards.
“If you have a small injury, you would play in IPL if it’s an important game. At this stage, the cricket board has to understand how much cricket they should play. That is the bottom line. If you have resources and money today, you don’t have three or five-year calendars. There’s something wrong with the cricket board there,” he further added.