12 May, 2021

Kapil’s Devils

A cricketing hero has to exorcise the match-fixing demons that haunt him

Kapil’s Devils

It was in cricket’s glory days between the two world wars that the professional-as opposed to the gentleman or amateur-cricketer first became a regular feature in the English county championship. Those who controlled cricket and those who watched it were delighted when the pro had played long enough to transcend class barriers. And made enough money to retire on, perhaps with a pub to run in the countryside. The grand prize, as it were, for having played the Game.

Fifty years later and in a different part of the world, the hugely talented Kapil Dev Nikhanj evoked much the same reaction when, returning home after leading India to a heart-stopping win in the 1983 World Cup, he opened a hotel in Chandigarh. Here was one Indian player who would never have to go to his ‘betters’ cap-in-hand when his playing days were over, heroic exploits on the field forgotten. Nobody, naturally, deserved it more.

A decade-and-a-half later, Kapil struts the Delhi social circuit like a natural, calls his friends on his mobile from Australia just to tell them the latest ribald...

More from Manu Joseph

Latest Magazine

May 17, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section