Talking to mediapersons here, Kapil Dev commented, ''BCCI must change its mind set in accepting ICL, as we (ICL) aim to promote cricket in India. It should not treat us as an untouchable baby of Indian Cricket.''
''The ICL is a thought which gives a chance to every budding cricketer coming from non-cricketing areas like Jharkhand. We want to promote the accessiblity of cricketers from undeveloped areas to International arena,'' he added.
Kapil Dev was in the city to sign an agreement with Ahmedabad Municipal Cororation for utilising its Sardar Patel Stadium for ICL Championship-2009 and for the next 10 years while in return ICL will upgrade the stadium at a cost of Rs 10 crore.
Expressing his displeasure over BCCI's decision to bar ICL cricketers from selection in national side as well as for the first-class cricket, Kapil Devil questioned, ''Are we living in an era of Gulami, when some cricketers are Goras (Britishers/White) and others are untouchable Indians?''
He also said, ''Personal differences should be put aside and responsibilities to promote cricket and benefitting cricketers should be jointly considered and pursued.'' ''We all are working for cricket and cricketers and nobody is a rebel. We all are Indians and should be treated at par,'' Kapil claimed.
T20 poses no threat to Test cricket: When asked, Kapil Dev opined that the 20-20 cricket, also known as blitz cricket, would not kill the charms of Test match as in past it survived the threat posed by the one-day cricket.
''Similar doubts were also raised in late 70s and 80s when ODIs were introduced and promoted on a large scale, but Test cricket survived,'' he said.
''In fact, the ultra-abridged version of cricket has changed the mind set of players and people to go for results rather than just playing the timid cricket. You compare the Test match statistics of two decades ago and now, the present scenario is definitely producing more results in all form of the game,'' the former all rounder said.
Responding to the addition of the entertaining factor, particularly inclusion of cheer girls in cricket, Kapil opined that such elements have been added into the game as they bring more people and more money to the game. However, the survival of such elements depend on their acceptance by the spectators. ''They (spectators) have the final say on existence and survival of such elements in cricket,'' the ICL chairman added.
The former captain elated over the success of Indian sportspersons in recently concluded Beijing Olympics 2008 said, ''It was really heart warming to see the response and money given to those successful sportspersons by the states and Central Government and corporate bodies.''
''I am advocating that the other disciplines of sports should also be given similar importance and financial supports in India like cricket,'' Kapil Dev said.