Presently, the Indian national cricket team has the finest fast bowlers while some are ruling the world with their fast bowling. But, back in the 70s, India had a handful of fast bowlers who were nowhere in the competition with their peers. But the team got the gem in 1978 when the allrounder Kapil Dev broke into international scenes.
Kapil Dev guided India to great heights with fast bowling and batting. He went on to become an eminent allrounder, who notched 434 wickets in 131 Tests and 253 wickets in 225 ODIs. But he was pushed to pursue his cricket career as the fast bowler after an incident during his under-19 days.
They discouraged me, I took up the challenge: Kapil Dev
In the recent interaction, Kapil Dev recalled the incident where an official discouraged him when he said that he was a fast bowler. To prove the man wrong, he promised himself to become the best pacer in the country.
“The real change happened when I went for the under 19 camp. You know in the camps, sometimes officials come hard at you. So I had some argument with an official,” Kapil told former India opener and current women’s team coach WV Raman in a YouTube interview.
“He said ‘What do you do?’, I said ‘I’m a fast bowler’. ‘India never had a fast bowler,’ was his reply. So rather than encouraging, they discouraged me. I took up the challenge and said to myself, ‘One day I will become a fast bowler to show him, to prove him wrong’. I always liked to prove certain negative people wrong and that’s how the fast bowling started.”
Kapil Dev not only became a prominent allrounder but also a successful captain after leading the team India to their maiden World Cup 1983 title. He became the inspiration for many to pursue their career in cricket.