The Indian cricket legend was in conversation with sports broadcaster and entrepreneur Charu Sharma on day two of the festival.
Kapil Dev played as he always does — from the heart with no holds barred — and was adored for doing the same by those in the gallery once again. This time, the captain of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team was playing to the gallery on day two of Goafest 2022, in conversation with sports broadcaster and entrepreneur Charu Sharma.
He quipped, “When I used to play, people used to ask me not to talk. Now I can’t play, I can only talk. They used to pay for us to play. Now they pay for us to speak.”
On the subject of winning and losing in sport and learning from losses, Dev underlined that we as people need to stop obsessing about individual performances and think of the team.
He reflected, “When India loses, we ask, ‘How much did Kohli score?’ How does that matter? If we lost, we lost. The only thing is to give it your best. There should be no shortage on your effort and that makes all the difference. I always say I don’t need talented people, I need committed people. A talented person will leave it (the job) for tomorrow. A committed person never will.”
Change in Sports
“With the technology available today, there is no way one could miss watching a match today, unlike in 1983 when his match-winning 175 not out versus Zimbabwe could not be recorded”, said Dev.
He added “The biggest change has come in technology. In the early ’80s, we had only Doordarshan which showed 1hr of sport a week. Today you don’t have to go anywhere. Youngsters have access to any game from where they are.”
Posed a question from the audience on why other sports don’t enjoy the popularity of cricket in India, the former Indian cricketer shot back: “Stop watching cricket. Start watching other sports. That’s how other sports will grow.”
Who is a Leader?
The hallmark of a leader, according to the celebrated cricketer, is the ability to assess one’s team and deliver.
He added, “I would consider someone a leader; if he doesn’t have the ammunition, but goes on to win.”
Dev cited the examples of MS Dhoni and Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan Captain, who led his team to a World Cup win.
He concluded the session saying, “When you are playing as a team, don’t think about individual performance. In your office, the office boy who gives you your tea on time, is as much an important part of the team.”