Kapil Dev 'was overcome by emotions' on first visit to Pak
Former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev, who has been one of the greatest all-rounders of the game, had been 'overcome by emotions' when he first visited Montgomery which is now Sahiwal in Pakistan, his ancestral home.
Dev, who made his Test debut against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1978 as a 19-year-old medium-pace bowler, revealed that his family had migrated from Montgomery which is now Sahiwal in Pakistan to India and on his first visit to the neighbouring country he had an emotional experience when he went as an Indian team member to the country in 1978.
Dev said that his mother Raj Kumari was born in Pakpattan, in the town of the Sufi saint Baba Farid and father Ram Lal Nikhanj was from Dipalpur not far from Pakpattan, adding that they lived in Shah Yakka nearby which is now in Okara district Pakistan, The Dawn reported.
Dev, who helped India win the World Cup in 1983, said that his four sisters were born there before partition and his two brothers in Fazilka, where they moved after the partition before moving on to Chandigarh, where he was born, grew up, got his education and learnt the game.
He said that one of his uncles did not go to India and remained in what is now Pakistan because he was in love with a Muslim girl whom he married and took their family name.
Dev revealed that he was picked to tour Pakistan with the Indian team and his mother told him to make sure to visit Shah Yakka village near Pakpattan where he did go escorted by Pakistan security men.
He added that he found the place where his family used to live and disclosed to the residents who he was and who his parents were. Dev said that it was a moving experience as the elders of Shah Yakka gathered and welcomed him and told him stories of his father and his brothers.
Dev said that the elders also remembered his mother and that his father was 'Shararti' of the lot and liked to go hunting.
The former skipper said that it was the most moving moment for him listening from the locals about his parents and the family. He added that he was overcome by emotions as they showered their hospitality on him, showing such warmth and love that they had for his parents and family.
(Posted on 22-08-2014)