Kapil Dev Age, Height, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More
Bio/Wiki Full NameKapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj Nickname(s)Haryana Hurricane, KD Profession(s)Cricketer, Businessman Physical Stats & More Height (approx.)in centimeters- 183 cm in meters- 1.83 m in feet inches- 6’ Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 80 kg in pounds- 176 lbs Eye ColourDark Brown Hair ColourSalt & Pepper Cricket International DebutODI- 1 October 1978 against Pakistan at Quetta Test- 16-21 October 1978 against Pakistan at Faisalabad International RetirementODI- 17 October 1994 against West Indies at Faridabad Test- 19-23 March 1994 against New Zealand at Hamilton Jersey NumberN/A (during his time, the culture of Jersey Number was not there) Domestic/State Team(s)• Haryana • Northamptonshire • Worcestershire Coach/MentorDesh Prem Azad Batting StyleRight-handed Bowling StyleRight-arm fast-medium Favourite ShotHook & Drive Favourite BallOut-swing & In-swing Yorker Records (main ones)Test Cricket • In 1994, Kapil Dev broke Richard Hadlee's record of the highest Test wicket-taker in the world, which was later broken by Courtney Walsh in 1999 • Only player to have more than 5000 test runs (5248) and 400 wickets (434). • Most innings in a career (184) without being run out • Youngest test cricketer to take 100 (21 years, 25 days), 200 (24 years) and 300 wickets (27 years, 2 days) • Only test captain to take a 9 wicket haul in a test innings ODI Cricket • Highest wicket-taker till his retriement in 1994 (253 wickets) • Highets ever Peak rating (631; on 22 March 1985 • Highest ODI score when batting at number 6 position or lower; as well in World Cup history(175*) • Most number of balls in an ODI innings when batting at number six position in ODI history (138, tied with Neil McCallum) Awards, Honours, Achievements 1979-80: Arjuna Award
Some Lesser Known Facts About Kapil Dev
Does Kapil Dev smoke?: No
Does Kapil Dev drink alcohol?: Yes
Kapil Dev Celebrating With A Bottle Of Champagne
He was born into a modest business family. His father, Ram Lal Nikhanj, was a builder and timber contractor in Chandigarh.
Kapil Dev’s Childhood Photo
After India’s partition, his parents had migrated from Montgomery, which is now Sahiwal in Pakistan, to Fazilka in Punjab (India).
After spending some years in Fazilka, later, his family moved to Chandigarh.
Kapil Dev did his schooling from the DAV School in Chandigarh, and it was there that he had developed an interest in Cricket.
Kapil Dev’s School DAV Sector 8 C Chandigarh
Former sports in charge of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8-C, V.P. Paul, says-
He would listen to the commentary endlessly during school hours also. Kapil was a triple jumper and even won medals at the junior level in school.”
In 1971, he joined Desh Prem Azad to learn the basics of cricket.
Quite interestingly, Kapil Dev did not play his first game of cricket till the age of 13.
His entry into cricket happened by accident. One Sunday, the Sector 16 team of Chandigarh was one player short, and Kapil was roped in. His elder brother, Bhushan Nikhanj, who is 3 years older to Kapil, gave him the biggest encouragement.
Recalling the first meeting with Kapil Dev, Desh Prem Azad (Kapil Dev’s mentor), had said-
I had rejected Kapil at the first instance on his looks.”
When Ram Lal Nikhanj (Kapil’s father) spoke to Azad and assured him about Kapil, the lad was taken for coaching. Thus began a long unbroken partnership.
Kapil Dev (2nd from left) With His Coach Desh Prem Azad (2nd from right)
In early days, Kapil used to play in weekend matches. During the late 1960s and 1970s, matches between Pal Club and King Crown Club were the most keenly contested. The losers had to treat the winners to channa-puri at a popular Sector 27 restaurant in Chandigarh.
A Rare Photo Of Kapil Dev (standing extreme left) In His Youth
In November 1975, still two months short of his 17th birthday, Kapil Dev made his first-class debut playing for his home state Haryana against Punjab; where he got 6 wickets for just 39 runs. However, the same year, his father passed away; without seeing his son to conquer the world of Cricket.
Then came a minor heartbreak, when Kapil was not selected to play in the final eleven of the Combined Universities team to play against Tony Greg’s English side at Nagpur.
He played for Haryana for a long time (17 years) from 1975 to 1992.
Kapil Dev made his international debut in 1978 against Pakistan, and a new star had been born.
Soon, he modified his action on the advice of Sunil Gavaskar and started bowling from closer to the stumps to make his already lethal outswingers even more effective.
Kapil Dev’s Bowling Action
There was another Sunil in Kapil Dev’s life, Sunil Bhatia, who introduced him to Romi Bhatia, now his wife.
Kapil Dev With Romi Bhatia
In 1979, during the India-West Indies Test match in Delhi, Kapil had invited Romi to watch the game. While Romi was sitting in the stands, Kapil scored his first century flicking Norbert Philips for a six to jump from 94 to 100.; making him the only batsman in the history of Cricket to reach his first century with a six.
In 1980, Kapil proposed to Romi while travelling on a local train in Bombay. The two went on to get married; with the eldest brother Ramesh Nikhanj giving the nod saying-
If you have selected girl, why do you need my approval?”
He took his first wicket in the form of Sadiq Mohammad of Pakistan.
In The Eighties, Kapil Dev, along with Ian Botham, Sir Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan vied for the top all-rounder’s spot.
Four of the greatest all-rounders- Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, and Richard Hadlee
Kapil Dev was just over 21 when he became the youngest player ever to have completed the double of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs in Test cricket.
Dr Ravinder Chadha, Kapil’s first Ranji captain, while narrating an incident, said- it was Haryana versus Punjab in the 1981 or 1982. Rajinder Ghai had got Kapil Dev out; however, the umpire ruled not out, and he went on to score 193. At the end of the day, Ghai asked the umpire why he had given Kapil not out. The umpire replied,
Sabhi Log Kapil Ko Dekhne Aiyee Hain, Tumhe Nahin.”
In his long career of 184 innings, he was never run out.
In the 1983 World Cup, Kapil Dev scored 303 runs, took 12 wickets and 7 catches.
In 1983 World Cup, when India was at the brink to be ousted from the quarter-final, he scored brilliant 175 runs against Zimbabwe and saved India from being ousted from the World Cup; an inning, which is still counted as the finest played by anyone in ODIs.
Kapil Dev’s 175 Runs Against Zimbabwe In The 1983 World Cup
In the 1983 World Cup final against West Indies, Sir Viv Richards hit a skier, which should have gone for four; however, Kapil at mid-wicket ran backwards about 25 yards to hold the catch, a turning point of the game.
Under the captaincy of Kapil Dev, India went on to defeat West Indies, one of the all-time great teams, to lift the cup in the finals of the 1983 World Cup. Photographs of Kapil holding aloft the cup on the famous Lord’s Balcony will remain etched in the memory of several generations of cricket fans.
Soon after the 1983 World Cup, West Indies toured India, and in a revenge mode, it thrashed India 3-0 in the six Test series and they also won all the five ODIs. However, it was in this series that Kapil gave his best bowling performance of 9 for 83 at Ahmedabad.
In the eighties, he also became a hot choice in the world of TV commercials. His Palmolive Shaving Cream’s commercial became so popular that his one-liner, “Palmolive Da Jawaab Nahin” had earned him a household name.
In 1990, during a Test match at the Lord’s, he hit 4 sixes to off-spinner Eddie Hemmings and saved a follow on.
Throughout his career, he never missed a Test because of injury or fitness reasons.
In 1994, after retirement from cricket, he took up Golf and was the only Asian founding member of Laureus Foundation.
Kapil Dev Playing Golf
Kapil Dev is also good at Football, and in the eighties, he played a football match with Shah Rukh Khan, who was then the captain of his college’s Football Team.
Kapil Dev Playing Football With Shah Rukh Khan
After his retirement, Kapil Dev ventured into the world of business. Besides owning two restaurants- “Kaptain’s Retreat” in Chandigarh and Patna, he has many other business ventures.
Kapil Dev’s Restaurant Kaptain’s Retreat in Chandigarh
Somewhere around 1985, Kapil launched Dev Features, a syndicated agency, and after initial failures in business, Kapil said-
I bought an office of my own (in Delhi’s central Bengali Market area) after having worked from my home. Business grew and I took the decision to venture into something more.”
Kapil Dev In His Office
Kapil formed Dev Musco in 1994 and entered the floodlighting business. The idea of this business came while Kapil was on a trip to the US where he came across floodlit grounds at school and colleges. He says-
It was an eye opener really. Kids playing under floodlights. It was fascinating. It made me dream of setting up a similar infrastructure.”
Kapil’s company, Dev Musco, began with providing floodlights at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali and went on to provide floodlights in football, hockey, and golf.
Kapil Dev’s Company Dev Musco Lighting Pvt Ltd
Kapil Dev has also been in the property business including the acquisition of a complex in Noida.
In 1999, he was appointed as the coach of the Indian National Cricket Team and held the post only for 10 months from October 1999 to August 2000.
In 2002, Kapil Dev was voted as India’s Cricketer of the Century.
Kapil Dev’s Family Celebrating After He Was Awarded Indian Cricketer Of The Century
He shares a good friendship with Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan. When Imran Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018, Kapil Dev was one of the few Indians who had been invited to his swearing-in ceremony. However, later Kapil Dev had declined the invitation.
Kapil Dev With Imran Khan
He has made cameo appearances in the Bollywood films including “Dillagi… Yeh Dillagi”, “Iqbal,” “Chain Khuli Ki Main Khuli,” and “Mujhse Shadi Karogi.”
Kapil Dev has written 3 autobiographies: “By God’s Decree” (1985), “Cricket My Style” (1987), and “Straight From The Heart” (2004).
Kapil Dev’s Autobiography
In May 2017, Kapil Dev unveiled his wax statue at New Delhi’s Madame Tussauds Museum.
Kapil Dev Posing With His Wax Statue At New Delhi’s Madame Tussauds
In 2019, a biopic on his life titled “83” was announced; having Ranveer Singh in the lead role.
Ranveer Singh With The Poster of Kapil Dev’s Biopic 83
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