Kapil Dev's criticism of Sachin Tendulkar in Dubai has attracted sharp reactions from the Mumbai cricket fraternity.
"He (Sachin) got stuck with Bombay cricket. He didn't apply himself to ruthless international cricket. I think he should have spent more time with Vivian Richards than some of the Bombay guys who played just neat and straight cricket. He did not know how to make double hundreds, triple hundreds and 400 though he had the ability, and was stuck in the Mumbai school of cricket," Kapil Dev was quoted as saying yesterday by Khaleej Times in Dubai.
Ajit Wadekar, former India and Mumbai captain, felt Kapil's comments in a way displayed a dislike for Mumbai cricket and cricketers, which some cricketers from other regions had in earlier years. Wadekar said: "Yes, in a way, I can sense that dislike. I have been experiencing it since my University cricket days. A lot of Northern players disliked us. They enjoyed staying in Mumbai, but not playing against Mumbai.
"In the final analysis, Sachin scored the maximum runs and is a true legend, and where Mumbai cricket is concerned, - we always - everyone including Sachin and Sunil Gavaskar - played for the team and not for ourselves. That's why we won the Ranji Trophy 40 times. We knew how to win."
Former Mumbai captain Raju Kulkarni said: "I find Kapil's comments absurd. It's also very unfair to Sachin and Mumbai cricket. He's talking about centuries of a man who has scored 100 international tons. We were brought up with our seniors telling us that when you get a hundred, go on and get a double and a triple, but don't give your wicket away," said Kulkarni, who made his Test debut in 1986 when Kapil was leading India.
Kulkarni stressed on Mumbai's batting legacy with an example. "I was at a function recently where Sunil Gavaskar was talking to a group of ex-cricketers. When he saw Chandrakant Pandit (Mumbai coach) leaving the room, Sunil left the conversation and went up to Chandu. I overhead him telling Chandu that Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer should look to get 200 after his 100 and if he can't get 300, he should not get out. That's the kind of cricket upbringing we had."
Dilip Vengsarkar, presently, vice-president of Mumbai Cricket Association, which has produced the maximum number of quality batsmen for India, said: "That's his (Kapil's) opinion. What can one say?"