File Photo
File Photo

Mumbai: Different times have different benchmarks. India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has reacted to Virat Kohli’s paternity leave pointing out that during his playing days, it was impossible for players to wield such clout.

“Don’t think we could afford to go and come back,” he said via video conference.

“Sunil Gavaskar didn’t see his son for many months. It was a different thing. If I talk about Kohli, when his father died, he came back playing cricket the next day. Today he is taking leave for his baby. It’s fine, you can afford it,” he said.

When Sunil Gavaskar’s son was born he was in New Zealand for a series in 1976. He wanted to come to India for a short break as India’s next cricketing engagement was in the West Indies after two weeks. However, the BCCI didn’t grant him permission and asked him to fly with the rest of the team to the Caribbean.

Gavaskar’s frustration would blow up in the infamous Jamaica Test when the West Indies hurled bouncers and occasional beamers, sending five Indians to hospital. “I want to go home and see my son,” he reportedly said while batting that day.

“I feel happy and proud that today sportsmen have reached a level where they can do this. I’m happy for Virat. He’s coming back to see his family. I understand you have passion but the biggest passion is that he’s having a baby,” Kapil Dev added.

India captain Virat Kohli will miss three of the four Tests on this winter's tour of Australia to be at his pregnant wife's bedside.

The 32-year-old, one of the world's leading batsmen, will return home after the first Test starting on 17 December.

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