BCCI trying to intimidate players: Kapil

Published: Saturday, August 4, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kapil Dev with Kiran More

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New Delhi: The powerful BCCI and the newly-formed ICL are set to be on the collision course with former captain Kapil Dev today coming out openly against the board, alleging that it was threatening the players with life bans if they joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Kapil Dev, who led India to its only World Cup title win so far, also wondered about the people who have started suspecting his commitment to cricket.

The former all-rounder who is the Chairman of the ICL's Executive Board said he was surprised at BCCI's attitude towards the proposed league, adding that such an atitude ''was unfair''.

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah had warned yesterday that any Cricketer who joins the ICL will be banned for life from playing for India.

''BCCI's stand is meant to scare the players who want to joint the ICL,'' he told CNN-IBN, adding ''I am disappointed. They are trying to scare players when people of the country want to play cricket. It is not fair for the BCCI Secretary to say like that,'' ''Maybe, he has his own reasons but that's not the way to react,'' he said ''Saying something like that is a very shallow statement from the secretary of our Board, whom we respect a lot.

If you scare people they will never play to win. They will never fight.'' Kapil was also very harsh in his response to BCCI president Shard Pawar's reported comments that the he (Kapil) ''busy with other activities'' and had little time for National Cricket Academy (NCA) of which he is the Chairman.

''He is a senior politician and has an important Ministry. Does he have time for cricket? I can also say about him what he said about me,'' Kapil remarked.

Kapil made light of the view that ICL will be reduced to a ''veterans' tournament'' as most of the big names joining it have already retired.

''Do you mean to say that Brian Lara and (Sanath) Jayasuriya, such players whose name is floating around, they are all finished, he asked ''They still have some substance, they still have enough to say something to the youngsters. I would want to share the dressing room with these players. If they are around, youngsters can learn,'' he said.

Asked if ICL was trying to rope in some current superstars, Kapil replied ''you need big commitments and a big effort from the young boys. We want to make susperstars and are not looking for superstars.'' ''We are looking for tomorrow's Sachin Tendulkars, Rahul Dravids Sourav Gangulys and Anil Kumbles'', he added.


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