Much Like Jagmohan Dalmiya, Virat is Also Our Hero: Kapil Dev
India's first World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev on Tuesday compared current captain Virat Kohli with the late Jagmohan Dalmiya, terming them heroes on and off the field.
"Every captain comes out with something new and you have taken the fitness level to a new level. We, as cricketers, can say 'keep up the good work'. You have the ability to believe in yourself, you can achieve the ultimate," the legendary all-rounder said.
Dev delivered lecture in the inaugural Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conclave along with Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala, and the programme was also attended by both India and Sri Lanka team members and former captain Mohammed Azharuddin.
"We have two type of heroes – one is off the field and another on the field. If cricketers are enjoying today it's possible because of Dalmiya, without him we would have struggled."
Terming Dalmiya the best cricket administrator in all sports in the last 50 years, Dev said: "Earlier we would ask 'can we get wages like Australia, England. Now all this has changed and they are now saying can we get wages like India.
That has changed because of him."
A businessman known for his marketing acumen, Dalmiya was a key figure in bringing the 1987 and 1996 cricket World Cups to the sub-continent and took over as BCCI president for a second time after a gap of nearly a decade.
He passed away on 20 September 2015.
"It's important to have money on your side and Dalmiya understood that. Not everyone is Sachin Tendulkar, you only get to play 15-20 years at max and you are at your prime for eight to 10 years. He ensured that you make your life in that career, that credit goes to my hero.
Sumathipala remembered Dalmiya's support during the hard times when their ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was accused of chucking in 1995.
"He was born with leadership qualities and negotiation skills by understanding and hearing all parties and settle the dispute at the best interest of everyone.
"After we won the World Cup I was representing Sri Lanka at the ICC annual meeting in London where we had another issue to settle – the suspect action of Muralitharan. He helped us in addressing umpires and referees."
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