New Delhi: Cricket legend Kapil Dev on Wednesday brushed aside speculation he wanted to become India's coach again, saying he was not mentally prepared for the job. "It is not on my mind," the former world bowling record holder said. "I am not ready for it."
Speculation about Kapil's future in Indian cricket grew when he ended a self-imposed exile from the game on Tuesday by acceding to a request from Test seamer Ashish Nehra to help out with his bowling action. The hour-long session with Nehra's Delhi Ranji Trophy team at the Ferozeshah Kotla Ground surprised even the Delhi coach, former Test spinner Bishan Bedi. "I didn't know he was going to come," Bedi said. "But it was nice to see him interact with the boys. He motivated them with his advice and guidance." Last year, Kapil resigned as India coach and vowed never to set foot on a cricket field again after being accused of match-fixing by former team-mate Manoj Prabhakar. Kapil was later absolved of any wrongdoing by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), but preferred to pursue his growing passion with golf instead of returning to cricket. "If some youngster asks me for help, how can I say no?" Kapil said after meeting Nehra on Tuesday. "When a person says he's giving up studying, it doesn't mean he's saying he'll never read again." The sudden change in Kapil's stance triggered speculation the 42-year-old wanted to return to the game, possibly as India's coach. "Indian cricket is full of surprises, there could be another in store," an observer said. Kapil, however, rejected the notion, saying he was not interested in working with the Indian cricket Board because it had not backed him during the match-fixing crisis. "They (the Board) did not believe me when I said I was innocent," Kapil said. "They investigated me and when they found nothing, at least I should have got an apology," Kapil said. "They did not have the decency to talk to me, let alone write a letter of apology." Since Jagmohan Dalmiya's election as president of the Indian board last month, there have been indications a major overhaul of Indian cricket is on the cards. One of Dalmiya's first tasks was to pull up current coach John Wright of New Zealand for the national team's dismal performance. Dalmiya wrote to Wright, currently with the Indian team on the South African tour, seeking reasons why the team was down to eighth out of 10 in the Test rankings - above only minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Dalmiya, former chief of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has also summoned the national selectors for a brain-storming session in New Delhi on Thursday. It has not gone unnoticed that Dalmiya appointed the other Indian great, Sunil Gavaskar, as head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) soon after he took over. Kapil, one of the game's finest all-rounder's, took 434 wickets and scored 5,248 runs in 131 Tests before retiring in 1994. The highlight of his career was leading India to victory in the 1983 World Cup in England. Kapil was Test cricket's highest wicket-taker till West Indian Courtney Walsh overtook him two seasons ago.