Kapil, Imran, Border, Ranatunga & Lloyd on same dias

The five stars of the world cricket -- Clive Lloyd (1975-79), Kapil Dev (1983), Allan Border (1987), Imran Khan (1992) and Arjuna Ranatunga (1996) -- had their share of funs and some intriguing debates on the sidelines of a promotional programme here today.

Pakistan's inspirational skipper Imran said that there would be depression in the aftermath of the semifinal clash at Mohali in two days time.

"There is aggression but soon there will be depression -- Ek mulk mein (in one country). Mujhe pata hai aap sab ko khauf hai ke kuch ho na jaye (I know you all are scared). But I suggest you to enjoy the moment," was Imran's suggestion to the billions of fans in both the sides of the border.

The legendary Pakistani predicted a Sri Lanka-Pakistan final but Kapil Dev was quick to dismiss that.

"One can dream, there is nothing wrong in that. We all dream. It should be a good cricket," was Kapil's answer, as Imran quipped: "...but be careful of dreamers because they are the ones who achieve great things."

The floor became more riveting when the discussion swung towards the all-time great captains.

The World Cup-winning Indian skipper had words of appreciation for former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga and Imran for uplifting two sides from nowhere.

"They were the babies of cricket, very timid. He (Ranatunga) was the first guy who came out and gave Sri Lanka the confidence to stand up and fight and not to get bother. Ranatunga stood for his team," Kapil said.

Kapil said he also has high regards for Imran for handling Sarfaraz Nawaz and Javed Miandad, two temperamental but immensely talented cricketers.

"I also have enormous respect for Imran Khan for handling those Pakistani guys. They were very strong headed people and Imran really pulled the team together. A lot of people were raising finger on Pakistan but he was the one who genuinely put the team together.

"When you have people like Sarfaraz Nawaz, Javed Miandad, handling the team was never easy. It's easy to talk looking from outside. The team respects him till today," Kapil said.

On Lloyd, Kapil said, "When I went to the West Indies I realised what it (captaincy) was. They have several countries putting into one side. It's easy to sit here and talk. All the people respect Lloyd. He did a marvellous thing as a captain putting all the teams together for the champion units in 1975 and 1979."

He also praised Border, saying he produced the most ruthless Australian side.
"Australia I can always say they are a sporting country. They are ruthless and they can produce those type of cricketers," Kapil said.

Border rated Lloyd in his good books saying, "He has a fantastic record in World Cups."
Lloyd was quick to add: "It's very difficult to answer. You have to see over the years record. You have to see what they have done in a period. Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ranatunga, Allan Border they all are really good as captains."

Imran also was all-praise for Lloyd saying the West Indian great captained the greatest team in cricketing history and termed Kapil a giant-killer for beating the class of 1983.
"We had lost to them in the semis. They had four match winning bowlers -- Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Malcom Marshall and Joel Garner. And, not to mention Sir Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd arguably the best one-day batsmen ever."

"Kapil Dev is really a giant killer. The 1983 Indian team defeated a team which was unbeatable," Imran said.

On Ranatunga, Imran said, "He changed Sri Lanka cricket. From having that inferiority complex to giving confidence into the team, he gave that to Sri Lankan cricket."
"And one captain, who is not here is Ian Chappell. I greatly admire him."

Ranatunga said he was being lucky and learnt the tricks of the trade from former greats.
"When I was leading the U-12 side, CL (Clive Llyod) won it for the West Indies in 1975. Then when Kapil and Imran won, I told myself if India can, Pakistan can why can't we win the World Cup. So I feel that I am the luckiest out of the lot. I have learnt from all of them -- both good and bad tactics."

Ranatunga said he was happy not to be playing cricket at a time when support staff crowded the dressing room.

"I am too happy that I am not playing in these era where there are so many people in the dressing room. We used to have just one manager and coach. But now there are about 10 guys in the dressing room with so many support staff crowding the dressing room. They can make a big mess."

There were also high praises for Shahid Afridi for building the Pakistani team from shambles.

"Hats off to Afridi for handling that team that was going through so much. He handled by playing fabulous cricket. This young boy really worked very, very hard to bring the team here," Kapil said.

Imran said Afridi was the surprise package of the World Cup.
"Afridi has suprised all of us. He gelled the team together by leading from the front. He is the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup and that has given him confidence."

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