“I was a better athlete than all three put together”: Kapil Dev on his comparison with Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan and Ian Botham

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Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham, and Imran Khan. (Image Source: Twitter)
  • The 1983 World-Cup Winner reckoned he wasn't the greatest but made up for his shortcomings with his athleticism

  • Wouldn't say Imran Khan was the best athlete: Kapil Dev

During the 80s, cricket witnessed the reign of the golden quartet of all-rounders, namely, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, and Ian Botham.

The four turned out to be the greatest all-rounders produced by their respective countries. Now, the 1983 World Cup winner, Dev, has claimed about him being a better athlete than the other three combined.

Dev suggested that he wasn’t greatest when compared to the others but made up for his shortcomings by his relentless athleticism.

”I wouldn’t say I was the greatest, but I was a better athlete than all three put together,” Dev told WV Raman on ‘Inside Out’ podcast.

Out of the golden quartet, Dev reckoned Hadlee as the best bowler amongst the lot and tagged the New Zealander as a ‘computer’.

“The best bowling was Richard Hadlee’s – he was like a computer among the four of us,” the Haryana Hurricane said.

Further, he went on to detail about the various facets of Botham and Imran. The former Indian captain also went on to state that Imran was the most hardworking of the lot.

“Wouldn’t say Imran Khan was the best athlete or the most natural, but he was the most hardworking player we’ve seen. When he started out, he looked like an ordinary bowler, but then he became a very hardworking fast bowler and he learned by himself. And then he worked on his batting as well,” Kapil added.

While talking about former England all-rounder Botham, Dev suggested that he was a true match-winner.

“Ian Botham was a true all-rounder – in given conditions, he could win a match on his own. I wouldn’t say Hadlee was the best batsman. Botham could do damage to the opposition both with bat [and ball]. Imran could run through the [opposition] team, but his ability as a leader was far better. To control the Pakistan team, he had a challenge,” Dev concluded.

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Shubro is an ardent fan of sports, be it cricket, soccer, or tennis, he has an eye for all. Meticulous cricket writer by the day and an avid FIFA mobile player by the night, his life revolves around sports. The goal is to trott around the globe and to spread happiness through his goofy sense of humour. Write to him at mukherjeeshubro@gmail.com.