Lt Col Kapil Dev readies for combat (Lead, Superseding earlier story)

February 20th, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) “I am feeling a complete Indian now,” said former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, as he underwent physical and arms training here Friday after joining the Territorial Army five months ago.
“It is emotional to wear this uniform. I like to serve my country and that’s the focus point,” he said.

Kapil Dev, who scripted history by leading the Indian team to victory in the 1983 World Cup, was commissioned into the 150 TA (Infantry) battalion of the Punjab Regiment. He has been participating in a three-day battle efficiency test that began Thursday.

“I will learn even a bit of weapons training. If you have shouldered the responsibility of being an army personnel then I will need to know how to handle weapons.

“I hope a moment of firing does not come because firing is not a great thing to do,” added the 50-year-old legendary skipper.

Kapil Dev is now an honorary lieutenant colonel. He received his badges of rank from the Indian Army chief Sep 24 last year.

“The training of the army at this age is tough. After 50 years, if you do something like this you are a bit scared. But if you are enthusiastic about it then you will just give your best.

“Why didn’t I do this 30 years back? I have fulfilled a dream now and I feel a complete Indian,” an elated Kapil Dev added.

Having inspired thousands of youngsters in the country to take up cricket, Kapil Dev now hopes to inspire them to don the olive green to protect the nation.

“The youngsters should think of joining the army and should give it a shot. There is a need for people from every field in the army. They can fulfil their dreams even if they serve the army,” said Kapil.

The Indian Army is currently facing a shortage of nearly 11,000 officers.

The Territorial Army is a citizens’ force that functions as a vital adjunct to the army.

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