All You Need to Know About Kapil Dev: India’s Legendary Cricketer

He is a name that needs no introduction. The man who led India to its first-ever World Cup victory in 1983, Kapil Dev Nikhanj, better known as Kapil Dev, is a legend in his own right. 

Born on 6th January 1959 in Chandigarh, Kapil Dev started playing cricket at a very young age and went on to represent India at the international level for 16 years. In his illustrious career, he has many Records and achievements to his name. 

He is also the only player in the history of cricket to have taken more than 400 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs in Tests. 

Kapil Dev was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2010 and was also named by Wisden as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002. 

He was India’s national cricket coach from 1999 till 2000. After his retirement from cricket, he remained active in sports administration for a few years but later took up golf as his main occupation. 

He has also been working as a television commentator and analyst occasionally. Kapil Dev was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award, in 2020.

Story of Kapil Dev

Early Life and Career

Kapil Dev was born on 6th January 1959 in Chandigarh to Ram Lal Nikhanj, a Sindhi watchman with the Khalsa College campus and his wife Raj Devi Nikhanj. He started playing tennis-ball cricket at an early age of 10 and was coached by Desh Prem Azad, who went on to become his first captain when he played for India Under-19s. 

Kapil Dev made his first-class debut for Haryana against Punjab at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi on November 9, 1975. In 1978-79 Ranji Trophy season, he took 32 wickets at an average of 18.75 which earned him a call-up to Irani Trophy match against Rest of India where he scalped 5 wickets for 61 runs.  

He made his Test debut against Pakistan at Faisalabad on 16 October 1978 where he picked up 2 wickets for 34 runs in the first innings but could not make any impact with the bat as he got out for just 4 runs in both innings. 

However, he proved to be quite handy with the bat lower down the order as his career progressed. His best bowling performance came against England at Lord’s in 1980 where he picked up 7 wickets for 56 runs which helped India register a historic victory by 43 runs.

He became the then fastest bowler to reach 100 Test wickets when he achieved the feat against Sri Lanka at New Delhi in 1982-83 season and finished the season as leading wicket-taker with 59 dismissals to his name. 

Kapil Dev had one of the most memorable performances of his career when he picked up 4 wickets for 29 runs against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells during 1983 World Cup which helped India qualify for semi-finals while chasing down a stiff target of 266 runs set by Zimbabwe. 

He followed it up with inspirational batting performances in both semi-final (16 not out off 14 balls) and final (31 not out off 25 balls) against England which helped India lift their maiden World Cup title by 43runs after being asked to chase down 274 runs set by England batted first. 

His all-round performance throughout the tournament earned him Player of the Tournament award along with Man of The Match award in both semi-final and final matches respectively.   


There are very few players who have left such an indelible mark on the game of cricket like Kapil Dev has. A true legend of the game, he will always be remembered as one of India’s greatest ever players and captains. 

Even though he has been away from cricket for more than two decades now, his records and achievements continue to inspire cricketers all over the world even today!

That’s all! You can also check out Pusarla V Sindhu – A Champion Badminton Player and Divya Dhayal – Indian Archery Champion.

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