When Anshuman Gaikwad asked Kapil Dev to call it a day | Cricket News

MUMBAI: As a coach, it’s never easy to tell a superstar cricketer that his time is up. On Saturday night at an event here, the former India flyhalf and current BCCI Apex Council member Gaekwad of Anshuman recalled how, as a manager, he managed to convince the legendary Kapil Dev to call him a day in 1994.
“You can’t let such a big player down. We allowed him to play the Test series against Sri Lanka, and he broke the world record (for being the highest wicket taker) in the Ahmedabad test. We thought he would announce his retirement after breaking the world record. However, that evening, in a press conference, he declared that he would play for another two years.
“The next day a seemingly harassed Vishy (head coach Gundappa Viswanth) said to me, ‘Look at the newspaper headlines. Kapil says he will play for another 2 years,’” Gaekwad recalled, before giving more details about the incident.
“The same evening, there was a meeting of the selection committee. (Jagmohan) Dalmiya was the secretary of BCCI. So we sat down and decided it was time for Kapil to quit (international cricket). I suggested to Dalmiya that as selection committee chairman and senior, Vishy should talk to him. It also makes it easier. However, Vishy insisted. that I must accompany him.
“At tea time, we approached Kapil in the locker room. Now, knowing that Vishy was a shy guy and didn’t want to get into an argument. He wasn’t a straight guy, who would tell you that you were doing something bad thing on your face. He would spin in circles while talking to someone. So, I took the initiative.”
Gaekwad was frank in his conversation with Kapil.
“I said to Kapil: ‘Kaps, we need to talk to you.’ I said to him: ‘The coaches feel that you have to stop now, and you know it too. We’ll give you a farewell game, your choice, but now you have to call it a day. Kapil reacted very well. He said: ‘Thank you very much. I really appreciate what you told me. Sometimes you have to do this stuff, which I did,” the 69-year-old revealed.
Gaekwad was speaking at a reception hosted by Ageas Federal Life Insurance where he and former Indian conductor Umesh Kulkarni were congratulated by former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar and former Indian skipper Karsan Ghavri at Lokmanya Seva Sangh , at Vileparle on Saturday evening. Both were gifted checks worth Rs 50,000 each. The feature was moderated by veteran journalist Dwarkanath Sanzgiri.
Suspicious phone call
Gaekwad also recalled when, as the coach of the Indian team, he faced a match-fixing threat from a bookmaker just before the Nidahas Cup final in Sri Lanka in July 1998.
“At 10:30 p.m., I received a call in my room. The caller said, “You lose the game tomorrow.” When I asked the caller for his ID, he said he was from Mumbai. “Don’t worry about my name. Everything is settled,” he said. Just for ‘fun’, I said, ‘Come on, let’s fix the game even better!’
Of course, Gaekwad informed the senior players on his side about that ‘shady’ phone call the night before.
“The next day during the team meeting, I discussed this call with the senior team members, skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. “Why are you thinking about all these things? this final. Don’t listen and don’t believe all this,” Azhar told me.
“I said to the players, ‘This could also be a hoax. We don’t have to believe it, but we have to be careful. We took our own precautions and I was very careful,” he revealed.
In the end, India beat Sri Lanka by six points to win the tournament.

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