EARLY LIFE :
Kapil Dev Nikhanj was born on 6 January 1959 in Chandigarh, India. His father, Ram Lal Nikhanj, was from Dipalpur, Pakistan, and his mother, Raj Kumari, was born in Pakpattan, Pakistan. His four sisters were also born in Pakistan. At the time of the partition of India, his family moved to India and settled in Fazilka, Punjab. After being settled in India, his two brothers were born. His father was a famous timber merchant. Later, his family moved to Chandigarh, where Kapil was born, and Dev received his education from D.A.V school and joined cricketer Desh Prem Azad to receive cricket classes.
He was born into a Jat Family to Ram Lal Nikhanj and Raj Kumari Lajwanti.
He has two brothers, Ramesh (younger; lives in sector-9, Chandigarh), Bhushan (the elder; lives in sector-27, Chandigarh), and four sisters, Naresh, Manju, Neeru, and Pinky Gill.
He made his domestic cricket debut for Haryana against Punjab. In his debut match, he took 6 wickets and restricted Punjab to just 63 runs. During the 1977-78 domestic season, he took his first 10-wicket haul. On 16 October 1978, he made his International Test Cricket debut against Pakistan in Faisalabad. Although his performance was unimpressive, he startled the Pakistani batsman with his pace and bouncers.
In the third Test Match of the same tour, he scored the fastest Test half-century off just 33 balls. On 1 October 1978, Dev made his ODI debut against Pakistan. However, his ODI performance was not very good in the initial years. In January 1979, Dev scored his maiden Test century of 126 runs off just 124 balls against West Indies in Delhi.
He established himself as India’s first fast bowler after taking two 5-wicket hauls and ended a home series with 28 wickets against Australia. When Pakistan toured India in 1979, he became famous for his performance. He helped India win two test matches, scoring 69 runs in Wankhede Mumbai, and in the fifth test match, he took his first 10-wicket haul. During the series, Dev became the youngest cricketer, taking 100 test wickets and 1000 runs in 25 matches. When India toured Australia in 1980-81, Dev was injured due to a groin injury before the third test match. He was supposed to rest, but he willed to play, was inducted into the team, and startled Australian with his bowling 28/5. India won that match and drew the series at 1.
Before the World Cup 1982, India toured England, where Dev performed exceptionally well, scoring a century of 130 runs and a five-wicket haul in a losing cause. He finished 3 match series with 292 runs and a 10-wicket haul and won the Man of the series award. The same year, India lost to Pakistan. However, Dev and Mohinder Amarnath performed very well.
Before the World Cup in 1983, Kapil Dev was made India’s captain replacing Sunil Gavaskar during the tour of the West Indies in 1982. However, during the tour, India could secure only one victory in ODI. Throughout the world cup, India lost only two matches; one to Australia and another to West Indies. In a match against Zimbabwe, he saved India by scoring 175 runs off just 138 balls. This century came when the top-order batters of India did nothing. With Kirmani, he put a 126 runs partnership that was unbroken for the next 27 years. He was selected Man of the Match.
In Semi-final, India beat England by six wickets and faced West Indies in the final. In the final match, India got all-out at 183 runs, and Dev scored only 15 runs and took only one wicket. Still, due to the excellent bowling performance of Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath, India restricted West Indies to 140 runs and won its first World Cup. During the 8 matches of the World Cup, he scored 303 runs and took 12 wickets.
After World Cup, West Indies toured India; it defeated India in a 6-match Test series by 3-0 and won the ODI series by 5-0. India could not achieve a single victory. Under his captaincy, Team India reached the semi-final at the 1987 World Cup but lost to England before reaching the final. In 1994, he retired from Cricket.
PERSONAL LIFE :
He married Romi Bhatia, an entrepreneur, in 1980, and the couple has a daughter, Amiya Dev.
Dev made cameo roles in a number of movies, including Chain Khuli ki Main Khuli, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Dillagi… Yeh Dillagi, and Iqbal. Together with Shailendra Singh, he also released the song “One India, My India.”
Tony D’Souza’s 2016 Indian film Azhar, which he also directed, is on the match-fixing scandals of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Varun Badola portrayed Dev’s character in the movie. A biographical film on India’s first world cup victory in 1983 was directed by Indian filmmaker Kabir Khan and is named 83. Produced by Anurag Kashyap, the movie stars Ranveer Singh as Dev, and Kapil Dev makes a brief appearance as a spectator.