WC 2003 - Kapil the Devil in SA as cheerleader number 1
Published: Monday, February 10, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Taking a punt on the Pigeon to bring the Wall down
Johannesburg: Cricket legend Kapil Dev has flown in to South Africa to cheer Saurav Ganguly's India to World Cup glory, a feat he himself achieved 20 years ago.Kapil's Devils stunned the rest of the cricket world when they ended the West Indian domination of the sport's showpiece by winning the final at Lord's in England in June, 1983.It remains one of the most memorable moments in Indian sport alongside the hockey team's World Cup triumph in 1975, the Davis Cup heroics of Leander Paes and the Test series win over world champions Australia at home two seasons ago.Kapil now hopes Ganguly's team can rekindle the magic of 1983 after India qualified for the semi-finals by winning seven of its eight matches in the tournament."They look good, the spirit is there, what is there for me to say?" Kapil told when asked what his advice to the Indian team will be."The best thing is to leave the boys alone and let them concentrate on the job at hand."My days are over. I am now the cheerleader number one."It is now their turn to take over. Let them enjoy the spotlight. They have done most of the hard work. All they have to do now is to play two matches well and the World Cup will be theirs."India, which was taking on New Zealand in its last Super Sixes match at Centurion on Friday, clash with Kenya in the second semi-final under the Durban lights on March 20.Reigning champion Australia plays the first semi-final at Port Elizabeth against either New Zealand or Sri Lanka.Kapil is in South Africa as a brand ambassador for the television channel beaming the World Cup live to millions of fans back home.