World Cup winning captains Kapil Dev, Steve Smith and Clive Lloyd
World Cup winning captains Kapil Dev (from left), Steve Waugh and Clive Lloyd pose with Ajay Sethi of Channel 2 Group during the ICC World Cup last year. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Kapil Dev, India’s first World Cup-winning captain in 1983, has appealed to everyone in the UAE to remain safe during the month of Ramadan during these tough times.

Speaking to Gulf News, he said: “I want all my friends and family, not only in the UAE but all over the Gulf region, to utilise the holy month of Ramadan to remain safe. This is a very tough time for all of us since the coronavirus is all over the world. So please try and stay home as much as possible since we know that is the only way to keep away from this dreaded virus.” 
Dev believes that this is the time to thank everyone, who are working for the safety of people around the world. “I know that all of you may want to meet with your friends, especially during Ramadan nights; but this time try and sit with your family and celebrate the holy month. Be convinced that all your wishes will be granted. Be with your family as much as possible as we do not get this opportunity always,” added Dev, who sports a new look after shaving off his hair and growing a beard.

Kapil Dev's new look

As Director of the Dubai based Channel 2 Group, Dev frequently visits the UAE for meetings with Ajay Sethi, chairman of this group. Dev has also authored “We the Sikhs,” a coffee table book in collaboration with Sethi, which was launched last April.

“Everyone should do something creative during this phase to remain positive,” he suggested. “This is a tough time and let us hope this will pass as quickly as possible. I wish everyone lots of luck on my behalf. This is also the time to use your mind intelligently to handle the situation. We are all in different situations, so I cannot suggest my ways, but all I would like to say is to think positively during this time. Think of all the good things you can do to better yourself,” said Dev.

One of the greatest allrounders of the game, Dev is known for his ability to fight against all odds, but he has always been grateful for what he has achieved. Even the title of his autobiography “By God’s Decree,” published in 1985, has gratitude as the theme. “This is the time to thank everyone - doctors, nurses and compounders, the policemen, and even those who deliver essentials like gas and those working in small grocery stores. I thank each one of them from the bottom of my heart. “

Though Dev is still hailed as hero by millions, he said: “Remember, our heroes keep changing most of the time, but those whom I mentioned today are the real heroes. The amount of work they have been doing - risking everything is beyond comparison. Frankly, I do not know how to show my gratitude to all of them. It is they who are now keeping us safe at home. I also respect and thank the government that is putting all efforts to keep us safe,” he added.