Kapil questions Team India~~s commitment

Published: Sunday, March 25, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Launching a vicious attack on Team India, cricket icon Kapil Dev said a complete lack of commitment, drive and balance were behind the team's World Cup debacle.

Expressing utter disappointment with the team's showing, Kapil said, ''over-confidence caused the downfall of the Indian team in the tournament opener against Bangladesh.'' ''I think there was a lack of committment, drive and balance. I found them over-confident in the first match,'' Kapil said when asked about India's shocking performance.

''I know, fans are angry all over India. I am disappointed too.

On behalf of all cricketers, I say sorry to them. These things happen in sports. We need to find out the reasons. I think we need to work hard.

''They need to be criticised. But it is not right to burn their posters or tear their photographs or damage their houses. How can you so quickly forget the runs scored by Sourav, Sachin and Dravid all these years?'' Kapil said the cricketers deserved to be 'criticised', but appealed that the fans should not tread the territory of vandalism.

''When we fail in life, do we chop off our own hands or damage our homes?'' Kapil asked.

Kapil, however, refused to comment on the upper age limit for players.

''Who am I to say when Sourav (Ganguly) or Sachin (Tendulkar) should retire? It is their choice. So they will decide.'' Incidentally, one of the first persons to sign off was Kapil Dev, captain of the victorious Indian cricket team in the 1983 edition of the World Cup.

''All Indians want the Indian Cricket team to play well and win the cup for us and for themselves as well. Our good luck and prayers are there for them. That is all we can do for them,'' said Kapil.

When asked whether Dravid should be sacked as the skipper, he said, ''If you ask people now, perhaps everyone will say yes.

However, everyone were also saying that Dravid is a very good captain when India made a world record by winning 17 matches at a stretch while chasing.'' ''The problem is that you ask questions based on the latest happenings. However, I look at things from an overall perspective.

Let the team come back, then these things can be decided.'' Kapil also opposed any criticism against players' endorsement deals.

''I say stop their endorsements. Corporates only look for players who are performing. The companies do not look for players who have been dropped. Players also know that they need to perform. I urge everyone, not to look at players' pockets,'' he said.

''We should also not compare the amount earned by players today with that of what they did in earlier years,'' he added.

Brushing aside the country's obsession for Greg Chappell's ouster, Kapil replied, ''If somebody can help us, we should always take it. There is no point keeping yourself secluded from the whole world.'' The former all-rounder also expressed his shock at the murder of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer.

''Some bad men have sneaked into the game along with good men, it seems,'' Kapil said, adding, ''it will be shocking and shameful if it was finally proven that Woolmer was indeed murdered.''


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