Kapil Dev Biography: Birth, Age, Career, Records, Awards, Books and More

Kapil Dev Age

On 25 June 1983, India lifted its first-ever Cricket World Cup title under the captaincy of Kapil Dev. India defeated West Indies in the final match by 43 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. As 83– a movie based on India’s first World Cup win– is releasing today, let us take a look at the cricket career of the Haryana Hurricane, Kapil Dev. 

Kapil Dev Biography: 38 years ago on  25 June 1983, India lifted its first-ever Cricket World Cup title, defeating West Indies in the final by 43 runs at the Lord’s Cricket Ground under the captaincy of Kapil Dev. As 83– a movie based on India’s first World Cup win– is releasing today, let us take a look at the cricket career of the Haryana Hurricane, Kapil Dev. 

Kapil Dev Biography

Kapil Dev is the greatest all-rounder India has ever produced. He is the only cricketer in the world to have scored all-rounder’s double of 4,000 Test runs and 400 Test wickets in Test (international match) cricket. 

BirthJanuary 6, 1959 (Chandigarh, India)
Age61 years
Full NameKapil Dev Ram Lal Nikhanj
NicknamePaaji, The Haryana Hurricane
ProfessionCricketer (All-rounder)
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
Batting Right-handed
WifeRomi Bhatia

Kapil Dev: Birth, Family, Early Life and Education

Kapil Dev was born on January 6, 1959, to Ram Lal Nikhanj (father) and Raj Kumari Ram Lal Nikhanj (mother) in Chandigarh, India. His father was a timber merchant while his mother was a housewife. Kapil Dev was born in Pakpattan, Pakistan (town of Sufi Saint Baba Farid) while his father belonged to Dipalpur, Pakistan. After the partition, the family moved to Chandigarh. Kapil Dev studied at D.A.V. School and in 1971 joined Desh Prem Azad (Indian cricketer and Cricket coach). 

Kapil Dev: Personal Life

In 1980, Kapil Dev married Romi Bhatia. On January 16, 1996, the couple gave birth to Amiya Dev. 

Kapil Dev: Cricket Career

Kapil Dev made his career debut in Cricket with Haryana against Punjab in November 1975. Haryana won the match and Kapil dev finished the season with 121 wickets in 30 matches. 

In the 1976-1977 season, he played against Jammu and Kashmir. Haryana qualified for the pre-quarterfinals but lost to Bombay in the quarter-finals. 

In the 1977–78 season, he played against services and scored 23 wickets in 4 matches. Dev was selected for the Irani Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Wills Trophy matches.

In the 1978–79 season, Kapil Dev stood out in the Irani Trophy match where he scored 62 runs at number 8 order. His performance in the finals of the Duleep Trophy was widely appreciated. He made a place in the North Zone squad for Deodhar Trophy and Wills Trophy and played his first Test Match in the season against Pakistan. 

In the 1979-80 season, he scored a maiden century (193) against Delhi. He captained Haryana for the first time against Uttar Pradesh and took five wickets to advance to the quarterfinals, but lost to Karnataka. 

In the 1990-1991 season Ranji Trophy, Chetan Sharma’s bowling and Amarjit Kaypee’s batting advanced Haryana to the semi-finals against Bengal, where Kapil Dev led the team to a score of 605 (Dev scored 141 taking 5 wickets).

The finals of this match against Bombay is still remembered as it had a number of international cricketers. Haryana team had Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Vijay Yadav while Bombay team had Sanjay Manjrekar, Vinod Kambli, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Chandrakant Pandit, Salil Ankola and Abey Kuruvilla. The finals were won by Haryana and the only Ranji Trophy Championship where Dev played. 

On October 16, 1978, Kapil Dev made his first Test Cricket debut against Pakistan. He took the wicket of Sadiq Mohammad with his trademark outswinger. He came to be known as an all-rounder after he scored India’s fastest Test half-century in only 33 balls during the 3rd Test Match at National Stadium, Karachi. Despite his record, India lost the match and series by 2-0. 

In a series, at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, he scored his maiden Test century (126 in 124 balls) against West Indies and took 17 wickets at 33 runs. In another series, he took 5-wicket against England, but England won the match. He finished the series with 16 wickets scoring 45 runs. He made his ODI cricket debut in the Pakistan tour. His performance didn’t improve and team India’s performance was not impressive at the 1979 Cricket World Cup. 

In the home series, Dev took 5 wickets against Australia. In the series, he took 28 wickets and scored 212 runs, including a half-century. This series established him as India’s premier fast bowler. In the 6-Test series against Pakistan, he helped India win at  Wankhede Stadium, Bombay (scoring 69 runs) and at Chepauk, Madras (Now Chennai), 10-wicket haul in the match (4/90 in the first innings and 7/56 in the second innings and scored 84 runs in 98 balls). He set a record while playing the series to become the youngest Test player to achieve the all-around double of 100 Wickets and 1000 Runs and in 25 matches. 

In 1980-81, during the Australia tour, despite injuries, Dev played on the final day and India won the match. He also scored his first fifty in ODI against New Zealand at Brisbane, Australia.

After a gloomy New Zealand tour, Dev played 1981-82 home series against England and India won the first test with his 5 wickets haul at Wankhede Stadium, Bombay and won Man of the Series. In 1982, at Lord’s, in a series against England, he bagged Man of the Series despite the fact that India lost the match. He scored 292 runs and took 10 wickets. 

After an unimpressive tour against Pakistan, Kapil Dev replaced Sunil Gavaskar as the Captian of the Indian Cricket Team. 

During his West Indies tour, Gavaskar (90) and Dev (72) led India to set a huge score of 282 against 2 wickets in just 47 overs. Indian won the match against West Indies. 

Kapil Dev Net Worth

In the 1983 Cricket World Cup match, Yashpal Sharma scored 89 Runs while  Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri took 3 wickets each. This led to West Indies first ever defeat in World Cup. India won against Zimbabwe and lost the next two matches to Australia and West Indies. Thus, to advance to the semi-finals, India needs to win against Australia and Zimbabwe. 

Kapil Dev World Cup

On June 18, 1983, at  Nevill Ground against Zimbabwe, Dev holds a world record that stood for 27 years. He finished not out with 126 runs playing for the 9th wicket. Indian won the match by 31 runs. 

India advanced towards the semi-finals and played against England. India won against England and advanced to the Finals against West Indies. West Indies was hoping for a hat-trick of World Cup titles. When Viv Richards was at strike, he hit the ball aggressively that Kapil Dev caught at deep square leg after running back for over 20 yards. This is one of the finest catches in World Cup history and was also a turning point in the 1983 World Cup Final. West Indies team was bowled out for 140 runs while India scored 183 runs. 

After the World Cup, India hosted a Test and ODI series with West Indies and lost by 3-0 and 5-0 respectively. After this, Gavaskar replaced Dev as the captain in 1984. 

In March 1985, Kapil Dev was reappointed and India won a Test series against England in the year 1986. He captained the Indian cricket team in the 1987 World Cup. India advanced to the semi-finals but lost to England.  Kapil Dev retired in the year 1994. 

After his resignation as India’s National Cricket Coach, Kapil Dev returned to Cricket again as a bowling consultant. In October 2006, he was nominated as the chairperson of the National Cricket Academy for 2 years. 

In May 2007, he joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as the chairman of the executive board. ICL was founded by Zee TV. In June 2007, BCCI revoked the pensions of all the players who joined ICL, including Kapil Dev. On August 21, 2007, Kapil Dev was removed from the post of chairmanship of the National Cricket Academy. This was a day after he addressed a formal press conference of the newly formed ICL. On July 25, 2012, he resigned from ICL and continued extending his support to BCCI. 

Kapil Dev: Coach

Post-retirement, Kapil Dev was appointed as coach of the Indian National Cricket Team in the year 1999. During his term as a coach, India won only a test match at home against New Zealand and witnessed two series losses against Australia and South Africa. 

Manoj Prabhakar alleged Kapil Dev of Match-fixing, following which he resigned as the National Coach. The charges against him were later dismissed. He was succeeded by India’s first foreign coach, John Wright, a New Zealand batsman. 

After his resignation as India’s National Cricket Coach, Kapil Dev returned to Cricket again as a bowling consultant. In October 2006, he was nominated as the chairperson of the National Cricket Academy for 2 years. 

Kapil Dev: Career apart from Cricket

On September 24, 2008, Kapil Dev joined the Indian Territorial Army. Chief of the Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor, commissioned him as a  Lieutenant Colonel. Dev joined the army as an honorary officer. 

In 2019, Kapil Dev was appointed as the first chancellor of the Sports University of Haryana. 

Kapil Dev World Record

Test Cricket

1- In 1994, he broke the record held by Sir Richard Hadlee, becoming the highest Test wicket-taker in the world. Later in 1999,  Courtney Walsh broke Kapil Dev’s record. 

2- The only player in the world to have achieved all-rounder’s double of 4,000 Test runs and 400 Test wickets.

3- Most innings in a career– 184 Not Out. 

4- Youngest Cricketer to take 100 wickets (21 years old), 200 wickets (24 years old) and 300 wickets (27 years old). 

5- The only captain to take 9 wicket haul in test innings (9/83).

ODI Cricket

1- During 1978 to 1994, highest wicket-taker in ODI Cricket. 

2- On March 22, 1985, peak rating (631), highest ever achieved after a World Series final against Pakistan in Australia. 

3- Highest ODI score batting in number 6 order in World Cup history– 175 Not Out. 

4- The most number of balls in an ODI inning when batting at number six position in ODI history. The record was tied with Neil McCallum– 138 balls. 

Kapil Dev: Awards and Honours

1- Arjuna Award (1979-80)

2- Padma Shri (1982)

3- Wisden Cricketer of the Year (1983)

4- Padma Bhushan (1991)

5- Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century (2002)

6- ICC Cricket Hall of Fame (2010)

7- The 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India by NDTV (2013)

8-  CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award (2013)

9- Honoured with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Territorial Army in 2008. 

Kapil Dev: Books

Kapil Dev has so far written 4 books. These are:

1- By God’s Decree (1985; Autobiography)

2- Cricket My Style (1987; Autobiography)

3- Straight from the Heart (2004; Autobiography)

4- We, The Sikhs (2019)

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