New Delhi. There are many dressing room stories in Indian cricket, which are very interesting. The interaction of the players, their quarrels, ragging, fun-jokes, many special things related to the life of the players are related to the dressing room. But what happened in the Indian dressing room on April 17, 1986, is the most memorable. It was a day before the famous India vs Pakistan final of the Australia Asia Cup 1987 at Dubai’s Sharjah Stadium. Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim stepped into the Indian dressing room and made an offer to the players, but as soon as Kapil Dev entered the dressing room, he showed Dawood Ibrahim the way out. Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar had mentioned about this incident during a program a long time ago. Kapil Dev also later confirmed this incident.
According to Dilip Vengsarkar, Dawood Ibrahim came to our dressing room before the match. Bollywood comedian Mehmood was also with him. Dawood came to the dressing room and told the players that if they beat Pakistan in the match tomorrow, he will give each player a Toyota car. All the cricketers were looking at each other when Indian captain Kapil Dev arrived in the dressing room after the pre-match press conference. Kapil Dev came to the dressing room and said that he has to talk to the players. Kapil Dev did not like the presence of any outsider in the dressing room, so he tells Mehmood to go out. After this he looks at Dawood Ibrahim and says to him – Come on out.
Although, Kapil Dev never completely denied this incident, but in the interview given to India Today, the former Indian captain told a slightly different story. Kapil Dev had said, “Yes, I remember during a match in Sharjah a gentleman came to our dressing room and wanted to talk to the players, but I asked him to leave the dressing room immediately because outsiders were not allowed to go.” was not allowed. He listened to me and then went out of the dressing room without saying anything. Later someone told me that he is a smuggler from Bombay and his name is Dawood Ibrahim. Nothing had happened before this.
Kapil Dev had said that he was not aware of Toyota cars being offered to the players. He said, “To my knowledge no such proposal had come then. If Dilip is saying now, he must know more than me.” Vengsarkar had said at a function in Jalgaon, “Dawood had said that if you guys win the tournament, I will give each of you a Toyota car. The offer was declined by the team.”
Former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele also mentioned this incident in his book ‘I Was There – Memoirs of a Cricket Administrator’. He wrote in one of the chapters about the offer of a Toyota car, “If the Indian team becomes champions here, I will present a Toyota car to each member of the team, including officials, at their doorstep in India.”
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 14, 2023, 09:44 IST