NEW DELHI: Former Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev, who led India’s 1983 Cricket World Cup victory, has been appointed as the new President of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
This transition marks a significant phase in Dev’s sporting career, as he moves from being a celebrated cricketer to taking a leading role in another sport he is passionate about, golf.At the age of 65, Dev, previously serving as the Vice President, has been unanimously selected to succeed H R Srinivasan as President of the PGTI.
Before venturing into golf, Kapil Dev had a distinguished cricket career, representing India from 1978 to 1994. Known as one of the greatest all-rounders, he played 131 Test matches and 225 One Day Internationals (ODIs), leading India to its first World Cup win in 1983.
His unbeaten 175 in the World Cup is celebrated as one of cricket’s finest innings. Dev amassed 5,248 runs and took 434 wickets in Tests, holding the world record for the most Test wickets at one time, and scored 3,783 runs and took 253 wickets in ODIs.
Dev’s association with golf is not new; he has been an avid golfer, achieving a handicap close to scratch at one point. His involvement with the PGTI, both as a board member and vice president, has been longstanding.
Upon accepting the presidency, Dev expressed his honour and commitment to the role. “It is an honour to become the President of PGTI, an organization with which I have now been associated for quite a few years. It is a players body, and I am great friends with all of them and with whom I often play,” Kapil said, as quoted by PTI.
Golf has been a significant part of Dev’s life for over three decades, a sport he turned to following his illustrious cricket career. He even aspired to represent India in golf at the Asian Games during a time when it was restricted to amateurs.
“I have been a vice-President and I am on the Board, so it’s an honour to be chosen by the players to be the President. I promise to do my best as I always have. What gives me even greater pleasure is that I will be able to spend more time with my golfing friends and play a little more,” he added.
His connections with India’s top golfers, including Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, and Shiv Kapur, among others, are expected to bolster his efforts in promoting golf across the country.
One of Dev’s notable contributions to the PGTI includes the introduction of the Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational at the DLF Golf and Country Club, which boasts a substantial prize purse. His celebrity status and enthusiasm for golf have also seen him participating in prestigious events, including Dunhill Links, alongside global stars.