HTLS 2020: ‘Sunil Gavaskar didn’t see his son for months,’ Kapil Dev reacts to Virat Kohli’s paternity leave

India’s first match of their tour of Australia is still a week away but the entire tour has already garnered headlines, the biggest of which being Virat Kohli’s paternity leave. The India captain will be playing the ODIs, T20Is and the first Test in Adelaide before returning to be with wife Anushka Sharma, who is due to give birth to the couple’s first child.

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Many former cricketers have supported Kohli’s call, even if that means he will not be around entirely in India’s defence of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Former India World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev, in conversation with senior sports writer and journalist Ayaz Memon on Day 2 of the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, weighed in on the issue, welcomed the move and said he is happy for Kohli for this new role he is about to don.

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“Don’t think we could afford to go and come back. That’s for sure. Sunil Gavaskar didn’t see his son for many months. It was a different thing. Look, things change. If I talk about Kohli, when his father died, he came back playing cricket the next day. Today he is taking a leave for his baby. It’s fine, you can afford it,” Kapil said while speaking via video conference at HTLS 2020.

Kapil highlighted how different things were during his playing days and that the facilities in modern-day cricket allows today’s players privileges he and his former teammates could never imagine.

“You can buy a plane and go back and come back again in three days. 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 in that he’s having a baby,” he said.

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