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Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev: For making Indian cricket a powerhouse

'It will be difficult to match their contribution to India'

August 18, 2008

Kiran More, one of India's best wicketkeepers, on the cricketing legends.

Kapil got off to a great start in international cricket and just carried on. He became the youngest captain and led India with great distinction. We still celebrate the 1983 World Cup victory where he played a stellar role as captain and put Indian cricket on the world map.

That World Cup win attracted a lot of new fans to Indian cricket; so many youngsters took to cricket after that. That triumph is still fresh in our minds because we have not won another World Cup.

After that win, the Board of Control for Cricket in India took up cricket seriously and set up many academies throughout the country because so many youngsters were taking up cricket.

We should thank Kapil for winning that World Cup because it changed Indian cricket, and that is one of the reasons we have become such a powerful cricketing nation.

One must never forget his contribution as a player. He mostly bowled on slow Indian wickets. Despite that, he took so many wickets in conditions that were not helpful to fast bowlers. Kapil also had a record to his name for the most number of wickets in Test cricket.

His success inspired so many bowlers like Chetan Sharma, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad who believed that even Indian fast bowlers could match the best in the world.

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Sunil Gavaskar has done fantastic things for Indian cricket. The service he has given India has been outstanding. He was the first person to break the 10,000-run barrier in Test cricket.

Indian cricket came up during his time when we won the series in the West Indies and England. During his years as an opener, he was rated the best batsman in world cricket. He also served Mumbai cricket with great distinction.

I have not seen any opening batsman like Sunil Gavaskar. He is the number one and will always remain the number one in world cricket.

Both Gavaskar and Kapil have contributed a lot to Indian cricket. They are still doing their bit for cricket by being on the board of different committees. I played with both of them and I have some very good memories, which I will cherish forever. It will be difficult to match their contribution to India and to cricket.

Kiran More, who played 49 Tests and 94 one-dayers for India, also served as chairman of the national selection committee from 2002 to 2006. He spoke to Harish Kotian. Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport UK/Getty Images

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