Kapil Dev(Full Name:Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj), regarded as the greatest Indian all-rounder and one of the best all-rounders in the history of cricket, was born on 6th of January, 1959 in Chandigarh, India. He represented India and Haryana at national and state level respectively. He also played for Northamptonshire and Worcestershire during his career. He is known for being the only cricketer to have scored more than 5000 runs and picked over four hundred wickets. His greatest achievement was leading an underdog Indian to glory in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Kapil Dev entered the scene of professional cricket with his debut for his state team Haryana in first-class cricket. His debut match was against Punjab in the Ranji Trophy in 1975-76. He impressed by picking 6 wickets for 39 runs in this match. He started bowling as a spinner in this match and later switched to fast medium bowling. He batted right-arm and bowled right-arm fast medium pace. He was a middle-order batsman with tremendous power and was known for power hitting. His ability to bowl and bat fast racked to the national team. He made his debut for the Indian national cricket team during the 1978-79 series against Pakistan. In his debut appearance, he picked seven wickets in the series. He was nicknamed as ‘Haryana Hurricane’.
Kapil Dev was the sixth child in his family. His parents were Ram Lal Nikhanj and Raj Kumari Lajwanti, who had moved from Rawalpindi to Chandigarh during the Partition. His father ran a construction and timber business. Right from a young age he was interested in games than academics. He gained attention at a higher level when he was just thirteen years old. He asked to fill up a spot in one of Chandigarh sector teams. His performances led to repeated call ups. This attracted selectors from the state level and was picked in the state team. At his time, he was the only true fast bowler India possessed. Throughout his career, he played with aggression and matchless passion. He was filled with energy and self reliant even when he was young. Kapil Dev regards his father as his role model and idolised G. R. Vishwanath when growing up. G. R. Vishwanath was a match winner in those days and is regarded as one of the greatest Indian batsmen. The Indian team never lost a match whenever Vishwanath scored a century.
There were many highlights during his career: leading the Indian to victory in 1983 World Cup, his match saving knock of 175 not out including 22 boundaries against Zimbabwe, becoming the youngest player to score two thousand runs and pick two hundred wickets. At the end of his international test career, he boasted a record 434 wickets including 23 five-fors (which was later broken by Courtney Walsh) and 5000 runs with the bat. In one day internationals, he managed to score 3783 runs and pick 253 wickets which consisted of one hundred and one five wicket haul. His first class record is equally impressive with the numbers of 10,800 runs including sixteen centuries and 815 wickets. He was declared as the Indian cricketer of the century by Wisden magazine in 2002. Since his retirement, he has been involved in cricket administration and broadcasting roles.