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When Kapil ran for the catch, I knew my time was up: Richards

December 09, 2010 18:28 IST

They were masters of the game, fierce competitors but even years after leaving the game, Sir Vivian Richards, Imran Khan, Arjuna Ranatunga and Kapil Dev can still make you sit back and enjoy their conversation filled with anecdotes as they took a trip down the memory lane during the World Cup promotional event organised by ESPN.

Whether it was Richards' feeling about Kapil Dev's stunning catch to dismiss him in the 1983 World Cup final or Imran Khan's rib-tickling take on Javed Miandad, it was an enriching experience as the stars of yesteryears spoke about their experience of winning the game's most coveted trophy.

"I still don't know from where did he (Kapil) come to take that catch. When Kapil was running back waving to nearest fielder to get out of his way, I knew my time was over," was how Richards recollected about a catch that turned out to be one of the best in the history of World Cup.

When Kapil was asked about it, he chuckled, "When Viv is around, we don't normally talk about that catch."

"The best part about that dismissal was Madan Lal's urge to bowl that particular over. Maddipa (that's how Madan Lal is referred in cricketing community) literally snatched the ball from my hands and went on to bowl that over. When someone has so much confidence, you give in.

Kapil Dev with the 1983 World Cup trophy"But when Richards played that shot, my heart was in my mouth. I was probably telling Yashpal, who came running from fine leg to leave it as it was mine. It was about reflexes," Kapil said.

However the trio of Imran, Kapil and Ranatunga agreed that Richards was undoubtedly the most destructive player during their time.

"There were a lot of great batsmen during our times but they would merely look to survive against fast bowling. But Richards use to think about destroying the best of attacks.

"I remember when I was at my quickest, I use to look straight at the batsmen. It was a psychological ploy but it never worked against Richards. In case of Viv, he gave an impression that he was not scared," Imran, the most articulate of the quartet, said.

All the four, however agreed in unison that a captain's duty is to lead from the front. "If you perform, you command respect from your colleagues," Kapil and Imran spoke in the same vein.

When Imran was asked about Javed Miandad, he had the house in splits. "I saw Javed when he was 18 and he is still the same. The process of evolution has bypassed him!" he said.

But the deep respect came out when he spoke about his fighting qualities. "Javed was a street fighter. You always knew that in pressure situations, he would give more than hundred percent."

About Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran said, "I saw him batting against Wasim [Akram] and Waqar [Younis] at the nets a year before and told him that he would play the World Cup. I don't think after Viv, anyone had that extra time at his disposal to play real quickies. Inzy had that.

"As far as his running between the wickets were concerned, I retired after World Cup so couldn't guide him properly," Imran brought the house down.

Ranatunga recollected having started mind games even before the start of the 1996 World Cup.

"Before the start of the World Cup, I made a statement in the media that Waugh brothers and Shane Warne are over-rated cricketers. The ploy worked as it didn't go down well with the Aussies and they were speaking a lot about it during World Cup as we focussed on the game," the former Lankan captain said.


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