When Keppler Wessels Was Accused of Striking Kapil Dev
When Keppler Wessels was accused of Striking Kapil Dev, such a skirmish on the India friendship tour to South Africa in 1992-93. India’s friendship tour of South Africa degenerated into a public slanging match after angry exchanges on the field during the second one-day international match on 9th December 1992 at Port Elizabeth.
Amrit Mathur, India’s tour manager accused the home captain Kepler Wessels of deliberately striking Kapil Dev with his bat. South African team manager Mike Procter said the Indians were guilty of bad sportsmanship. And Ali Bacher, managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, rebuked Mathur for prejudging the case against Wessels. Round two takes place this evening in Johannesburg when match referee Clive Lloyd delivers his report to Dr. Bacher on incidents that soured South Africa’s second Consecutive six-wicket win in the seven-match series.
It all began when India, dismissed for a paltry 147 on a substandard pitch, was fighting to get back into the game. Kapil Dev fifth over found Peter Kirstenthe non-striker straying out of his crease. Three times before on this tour the bowler has warned the same batsman for the same infringement this time Kapil Dev did not hesitate he whipped off the bails and successfully appealed.
The local umpire Cyril Mitchley gave Peter Kirsten out, but the batsman stayed for some time arguing with fielders and the umpire, maintaining he had not been given a warning. Therefore, two balls later, Wessels’s bat appeared to collide heavily with Kapil Dev’s shins, and the Indian needed treatment before he could continue.
Match referee Clive Lloyd fined Peter Kirsten €240 but the case against Wessels who claimed the clash was not deliberate, was “not proven”. Clive Lloyd complained that South African television had not been able to supply him with the relevant replays.
Pravin Amre, who had started with a debut Test hundred on that tour, told Mumbai Mirror about the background of that incident. Peter Kirsten did it in the previous two games as well. We had told him but he didn’t change. We actually had a team meeting about it before that game and it was decided that if he does it again we will run him out. Kapil was initially reluctant to do it but agreed that it was unfair to play on the part of the batsman.”