Mumbai: Nov 18, 2011
Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev refused to comment on the suspicion raised by Vinod Kambli on alleged "match-fixing" in the 1996 World Cup semi-final between India and Sri Lank but added that there are negative elements in the game.
"There are negative persons everywhere but we will be there with the right persons. This is a happy occasion and I don't have time for that question," he said at a function to unveil Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's bat, which he used during his match-winning innings against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup finals and was later bought in an auction by RK Global for Rs 72 lakh.
Kambli, who scored 1084 runs in 17 Tests and 2477 runs in 104 ODIs for India, said he was suspicious of then captain Mohammed Azharuddin's decision to field first in the semi-final which was eventually awarded to Sri Lanka because of crowd problem.
Dev recalled that when he had led the Indian team to its maiden World Cup victory, the cricket board did not have money to felicitate them but now even Dhoni's bat fetched Rs 72 lakhs.
"When we won the 1983 World Cup, the cricket board did not have money to even host a dinner for us. Today I am happy that our board is powerful on and off the field," he said.
"It was Rajbhai (Raj Singh Dungarpur) and Lata Mangeshkar who came forward to do a concert for us and raise funds so that each of the cricketers could get Rs 1 lakh each. And now the value of the bat with which our skipper hit a six itself is Rs 72 lakh. We can proudly say that our sports persons are amongst the richest in the world," he said.
Meanwhile, Suresh Raina, who was declared the brand ambassador of RK Global said that he wanted to work on improving his fitness.
"It is important to maintain my fitness. I am hitting the ball well now...hopefullly I will be the fittest in the team," he said.(PTI)