The man who helped India make a mark in international cricket by lifting the first World Cup for the country, Kapil Dev celebrated his 61st birthday on Monday. The legendary cricket who is remembered for his 1983 World Cup heroics was flourished with praises and best wishes on the occasion. Former teammates including Bishan Singh Bedi and current Indian team players took to social media to wish the veteran.
India's 2002 Natwest series hero, Mohammad Kaif tweeted, "Many more happy returns of the day @therealkapildev Paaji. Thank you for inspiring a whole generation of youngsters," while former batsman VVS Laxman wrote, "Wishing you a day filled with happiness and a life filled with joy. A very happy birthday @therealkapildev Paaji." ICC also paid a tribute to India's World Cup hero as it posted:
#OnThisDay in 1959, former India skipper Kapil Dev was born.— ICC (@ICC) January 6, 2020
With his inspired leadership, he took India to their maiden @cricketworldcup triumph in 1983 🏆
Happy birthday! 🎂 pic.twitter.com/SsukFpDmBk
Birthday Greetings for the Greatest Indian All Rounder till date..GodBless Kaps now & Always..Love All Always.! pic.twitter.com/ykRxA0hpvT— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) January 5, 2020
Happy birthday to @therealkapildev.. Sir, thank you for all your contributions that made Indian cricket what it is today. Have a great year ahead.— IamKedar (@JadhavKedar) January 6, 2020
Who else, @therealkapildev paaji was just one name any kid who wanted to bowl fast. Happy birthday to the legend who inspired many generations to take up fast bowling. Privileged to have shared commentary box with him. #Kapildev pic.twitter.com/jFnvAIehhn— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) January 6, 2020
Happy Birthday to one of the legends of Indian cricket @therealkapildev Sir. Have a blessed year ahead.— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) January 6, 2020
After losing the fourth wicket in the match, Kapil Dev recollected how he was upset for a moment but his unplanned arrival turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Team India in that tournament. Once he was set at the crease, Dev decided to just make the most of the opportunity and enjoy himself out there as he had nothing to lose as such.
In another interview, Dev's teammate and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar called his innings of 175* as the 'innings which was of the highest class that did not just win India the match, but changed the face of Indian cricket forever.' It was a bold claim considering that the innings was never broadcasted on television.