Kapil 'boosts' young cricketers with 'fine' tips

Written by: D Ram Raj
Published: Saturday, August 17, 2002, 13:55 [IST]
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Bangalore: "I think running between the wickets and fielding are as equally important as batting or bowling." And this couldn't have been said better by anyone else other than India's one and only Kapil Dev Nikhanj, a man who with his record- shattering haul of 434 wickets well and truly put India on the world cricketing map in his hey day. The fine tips of advice were given by Kapil to the young boys and girls of the Karnataka Institute of Cricket at the RBANMS High School ground, Ulsoor. Kapil spent nearly 30 minutes with the boys after promoting "Gully Cricket" a promotion by TV channel Set Max as a run up to the World Cup 2003.

"In my 20 or rather 16 years of cricket, I have never got run out even once. I'm saying this not get the claps from you, but to emphasise how important it is to have an open mind and concentrate while batting and especially while running between the wickets," the Indian legend said while explaining to the cricketers how to grip the bat while running between the wickets after playing the ball either to the leg side or off side.

"Even today, I see a number of Test cricketers making these basic mistakes which will cost the batsmen some three seconds which can prove very crucial when the decisions are referred to the third umpire. The distance between wicket to wicket is 22 yards, but given the margin of the crease the position from which the batsman is going to take off for a run, the distance covered for a run is approximately 16 yards and running that distance is very simple," he explained.

Kapil Dev also emphasised how important it was for a fielder to stop the ball in the proper fashion in order to save time and return the ball to either the wicket-keeper or the bowler to effect a run out. And his mantra to gain that small distance that could make a big difference was very simple. Attack the ball, stay focussed and return at the quickest opportunity.

"It was very nice to have someone of Kapil's stature come and give us such wonderful tips. What he said was very different and I'm sure it would be very effective when put into practice in a match," Karnataka women's cricket wicket-keeper and a second year pre-university student of Commerce at Jyoti Nivas College Karuna Jain told Thatscricket.com.

In fact, similar words of wisdom were showered on young cricketers at Malleshwaram, Jayanagar and J P Nagar by Kapil on his day long campaign.

Emphasising that he has no intention of taking up coaching of the Indian team - especially in the light of the One-day team's improved performances of late, Kapil later told reporters that it was up to the Board (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to unearth "fast bowling talent".

"It is one of the best awards any sprotsperson can get," was his prompt response when asked about the how he felt on being bestowed the Wisden Criceter-of-the- Century award.

"This is a very good idea... to bring children from the gullies and make them play cricket, I think is a very positive approach and weans them away from bad influences. I also love meeting the kids and enjoy the time out with them. On a serious note, if one of the young boys benefits from the small tips that I give them and turns out into a big time cricketer, that would be wonderful," he said.


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