Wednesday, September 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Kapil Dev quits as coach

NEW DELHI, Sept 12 (UNI) — Enmeshed in controversy for months over his alleged involvement in match-fixing, Indian cricketing legend Kapil Dev today resigned as the national cricket coach and was replaced by his predecessor Anshuman Gaekwad.

Kapil revealed that he had sent his resignation to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President A.C. Muthiah who accepted it. The resignation letter was faxed to Mr Muthiah in Chennai at around 2.30 p.m. this afternoon. The world’s second highest wicket-taker had about a year of contract left as the coach.

Kapil, who has been in the eye of storm ever since he was dragged into the match-fixing controversy by ex-teammate Manoj Prabhakar on April 24, said, “I have sent in the resignation letter to the BCCI President.” He refused to elaborate.

Accepting Kapil’s resignation and announcing the appointment of Gaekwad as the coach for the ICC knockout tournament to be held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi from October 3 to 15, Mr Muthiah said: “Kapil Dev has resigned on his own and Gaekwad will take his place.”

“All the cricket activities will go on as scheduled,” he added.

Kapil had taken over as the coach from Gaekwad in September last year for a two-year term.

Though the content of the letter were not known, BCCI sources said Kapil had expressed his deep anguish over “lack of open support from the board following the accusations of match fixing”.

Sources said Kapil was at pains to understand the double meaning statements of the BCCI President who was entrusted with the job of deciding his future. Muthiah has been making contradictory statement about him, sources said.

The resignation of country’s best all-rounder comes a day after he was directed by the board to proceed to Chennai to train the probables.

Last evening, Kapil received a fax message from BCCI Secretary J.Y. Lele, asking him to train the 24 probables of the Indian team for ICC tournament.

Earlier, Kapil had indicated that after his present two-year term as coach expiring in September 2001, he would completely dissociate himself from the game.

In case Gaekwad accepts the offer he will accompany the Indian team on its tour to Nairobi. The national cricket selectors are to meet in Chennai on September 20 to finalise the 14-strong squad.

Arguably the country’s best all-rounder got embroiled in the controversy on August 24 when Prabhakar charged him with offering him Rs 25 lakh bribe to underperform in a match against Pakistan during the Singer Cup tournament in Sri Lanka.

Prabhakar named Navjot Singh Sidhu (his roommate), Prashant Vaidya and Nayan Mongia as witnesses to the incident and claimed that he had informed about the happenings to the then manager Ajit Wadekar and captain Mohammed Azharuddin. Commentators Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar were also told about the incident the next day. Only Shastri corroborated the statement of Prabhakar saying that the former all-rounder did come to him next day and informed him about the offer.

Subsequently, Prabhakar also produced a secretly taped video-recording in which he made several people talk about the particular incident and the allegations against Kapil, Azharuddin, Jadeja, Ajay Sharma and Mongia.

The matter was referred to the CBI for investigation which recently questioned Kapil for more than two hours on various allegations. He was also questioned by the income tax, which had raided his official and residential premises on July 20 and 21, on a couple of occasions.

Text of letter

“Now I know that the report will be submitted only later this month and, unfortunately, I cannot wait till that happens as the camp for our boys (ICC Knockout Cup probables) begins in two days and I would not like to start a job I will not finish. It is in the interest of a game that I truly love that I wish to opt out of the job at this stage”, Kapil stated in his letter.

“I would have resigned at the very onset of the controversies. But I am sure certainly of what I have done, and more definitely of what I have not done. I was waiting to be cleared by the investigating agencies before I gave in my resignation as I did not wish it to look like some kind of admission of any guilt”.

“My special regards and best wishes to the energetic Mr Lele. He will have to look for a new whipping boy now.”


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