Kapil Dev Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Kapil Dev, who lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup for India for the first time, wants India to not depend on one player and urged every player in the squad to and give their best to help get their hands on the trophy.

Speaking to Gulf News from San Jose in America where he is launching the coffee table book We the Sikhs along with Dubai-based entrepreneur Ajay Sethi, Kapil said: “Skipper Virat Kohli is in great form, but you should not depend on one player. Everybody should contribute to a win. I wish Kohli all the best to continue to do well. A captain in form will rejuvenate the entire team and look up to the captain. He [Kohli] is a great player but he has to take the team with him.”

Kapil reacting to the Indian squad, which was announced on Sunday, said: “All I want is for everyone who got selected to do well. I wish them all the luck to do well because I want them to play well and that is what I am hoping for.”

Kapil Dev with the World Cup at Lords
File photo: Captain Kapil Dev with the World Cup at Lords in 1983. Image Credit: Supplied

When Kapil, who has the honour of winning the World Cup in England, was asked about what is it needed to win in England, he said: “To win in England you do need a stroke of luck, and play as a team. I hope they go all the way.”

Kapil is happy that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, over whose selection there was so much of discussion, is in the squad. “We all know about Dhoni, who is like a book. There is no need to say anything about him. I feel there cannot be a better player than him in the squad. He has served the country so nicely and he has done so much for himself and for the country. His contribution is unmatchable.”

To a query whether the World Cup being held immediately after the Indian Premier League will be beneficial or counterproductive for the Indian players, Kapil said: “I don’t know about it but we will come to know about it once the World Cup commences. The players are in touch and being in touch with bat and ball is always good before a big event, but I only hope they don’t get any injuries from the IPL and carry it into the World Cup.”

Kapil Dev 3
Kapil Dev during the launch of the book We The Sikhs along with Dubai-based entrepreneur Ajay Sethi in America. Image Credit: SJG

Kapil, who is on a world tour and has launched the book in California and San Diego, will proceed to Vancouver, East Coast, Toronto, New York and London. “There are lot of Sikhs in this part of the world. I am overwhelmed by the love and affection they have shown. They love life and are fantastic people in totality,” said Kapil, who met cricketers living in these parts too, which included Rajinder Singh Ghai. “Ghai was a fine fast bowler from Punjab and had organised the book launch function. We will be in England during the World Cup and launch the book there during the tournament,” said Kapil, who feels that England could be a strong opponent.

“To beat England, India will have to play as a team. Once again I like to say that they should not depend on one player but play as a team to win the World Cup.”