Beginning a new innings in his life, India’s favourite cricketing hero and World Cup winning captain of 1983, Kapil Dev was commissioned into the Indian army in the 150 TA (Infantry) battalion of the Punjab Regiment as an honorary lieutenant colonel.
Known as the Haryana Hurricane, this great Indian all rounder was born in Chandigarh in the year 1959. The young lanky pace bowler played for his state team of Haryana before making it to the Indian national team. The greatest moment of Kapil’s historic cricketing career would definitely be the win of the 1983 World Cup when the underdogs overcame all odds to beat the favourites West Indies and clinch the Prudential World Cup. Kapil Dev led India to its greatest cricketing glory, a moment that is still cherished by every Indian cricket fan. In his career, apart from playing for Haryana, Kapil also played for the counties of Northamptonshire and Worcestershire.
He also has now become the first Indian cricketer to be commissioned into the Indian Army. The honour was given to Kapil by the present chief of the Army, General Deepak Kapoor. The ceremony was held at the Army head quarters in the national capital. Kapil has now been commissioned in the 150 TA (Infantry) battalion of the Punjab Regiment and has been given the stature of a Lieutenant Colonel. The move was made by the Indian Army due to the several accomplishments that Kapil has had in his long playing career and also because he has been a role model for thousands of youngsters. The move is believed to attract talent into the Indian army as the Army has lately been facing a shortage of officers enrolling for it. Kapil Dev has been one of India’s greatest sporting icons and is sure to inspire many young people to take up the post of an army officer.
The Punjab da puttar went on to say, “This is my second innings. Earlier I fought for the country in my white uniform. Now, I will do the same in my olive green army uniform”. He also added that, I am today proud to wear an Army uniform and at this age to serve the country in this uniform is a proud moment for me” After receiving the medallions, in the customary style of an Army officer, Kapil gave a trademark salute.
In his glittering sporting career this is not the first time that Kapil Dev has won accolades and laurels. Ever since his debut for his state team of Haryana, Kapil went from strength to strength. From winning the 1983 World Cup, to being the leading wicket taker in test matches at one point of time, Kapil Dev has done it all. In the year 1980 Kapil was awarded the Arjuna Award and was given the Padma Shri two years later. He was the Wisden cricketer of the year for the year 1983 when India went on to lift the World Cup. He was also adjudged Wisden Indian cricketer of the century and he pipped two other legends, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar for this award. In the year 1991, Kapil was awarded the Padmabhushan.
Kapil Dev has been one of India’s greatest sporting icons and his commissioning in the army is another laurel for this great cricketer. Now, it is to be seen whether the move by the Indian army is successful in attracting more talent to it.
[Image Source: http://im.rediff.com/cricket/2008/sep/24kapil.jpg]