Ex-players hit out at BCCI

BCCI's harsh treatment to former greats has prompted an angry backlash, with many saying Indian cricket's governing body is insecure about something.

updated: August 24, 2007 14:39 IST
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New Delhi:

The BCCI had told Kapil Dev that he couldn't swing it both ways, and would have to give up his benefits for joining the ICL.

And now, other former greats like Erapalli Prasanna are finding out just how serious the Board is about distancing itself from all current and former players, who join hands with the rival league.

But the BCCI's harsh treatment to former greats has prompted an angry backlash, with many saying Indian cricket's governing body is insecure about something that can only be good for the game.

Kapil Dev's sacking as the Chairman of the National Cricket Academy may not have come as a big surprise, but it's certainly started a domino effect of sorts.

Erapalli Prasanna, for one, has now been relieved of his duties as the spin-coach of Karnataka.

That after the BCCI sent a circular to all State Cricket Associations, urging them to debar all players, officials, umpires and scorers who join the ICL.

But ex-cricketers are not impressed and are unanimous in their criticism of the BCCI.

"I strongly condemn the BCCI's move to sack Kapil Dev. What gives them, a private body, the right to take this kind of a step? If an ex-player wants to do something good for the game, in whatever capacity, why should you stop him? This just shows their insecurity," said Navjot Singh Sidhu.

"Kapil and all they are not really for money, certainly not. Probably they are trying to do something for the game. But this is a parallel body, which probably BCCI does not approve. That is the problem," said Gundappa Viswanath.

On Wednesday, the ICC restated its hands off policy on the issue, saying the BCCI is free to resolve the conflict as it pleases.

So far the BCCI has chosen to completely disregard the ICL and any mode of communication between the two seems unlikely. Even board insiders like Karnataka State Association secretary Brajesh Patel admit this is a mistake.

"I think ICL got wrongly into a confrontation stand. They should have had a word with the BCCI and told them let's work together. To run this tournament we will pay BCCI so much, BCCI people could also have been on the board - it could have been a win-win situation," said Patel.

The picture is no different in Pakistan where the PCB has chosen to ban anyone who is associated with the ICL.

Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad says the issue has already become a flashpoint not just between the Indian players and their Board, but also between international players, the ICC and its member boards.

And a quick resolution is essential, if world cricket wants to avoid its second major crisis this year, after the Bob Woolmer murder-mystery.