India cricket legend Kapil Dev on 'road to recovery' after heart surgery

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Kapil Dev, captain of the 1983 World Cup winning Indian cricket team holds up the actual cup won in 1983 at Lord's
Kapil Dev, captain of the 1983 World Cup winning Indian cricket team holds up the actual cup won in 1983 at Lord's
FRANTZESCO KANGARIS / AFP

Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev said on Friday he was "well on the road to recovery" after undergoing emergency cardiac surgery in New Delhi.

The 61-year-old, who led India to their first World Cup title in 1983, was rushed to a hospital in the capital after complaining of chest pain.

"Kapil Dev suffered a heart attack. He was evaluated and an emergency coronary angioplasty was performed in the middle of night," said a hospital statement carried by the Press Trust of India.

"Kapil Dev is stable now and he is expected to get discharged in a couple of days."

In a brief statement on Instagram and Twitter, Dev thanked fans for their outpouring of support, but did not offer specifics on what had happened.

"Thank you everyone for all the love and concern. I am overwhelmed with the good wishes and well on the road to recovery," he said.

The news had triggered a flurry of comments on social media from cricketers and fans, with current Indian captain Virat Kohli wishing the once-feared all-rounder a speedy recovery.

"Please join me in sending prayers, strength and good wishes," said Madan Lal, a bowler in the 1983 "Kapil's Devils" side that stunned the West Indies in the World Cup final at Lord's.

Dev took 687 Test and one-day wickets and scored nearly 9 000 runs during a 16-year international career.

After retiring in 1994, he became a national team coach and selector. In 2002, Dev was named "Indian Cricketer of the Century" by Wisden.

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