Kolkata:Lambasting the BCCI for 'underutilising' his expertise in grooming spinners, legendary offie E A S Prasanna has said he joined the Indian Cricket League as he was assured a big role in developing slow bowlers.
"When (ICL chairman) Kapil Dev spoke to me he told me that the league wanted me to fulfil one of its prime objectives - developing good spinners. I found that my objective tallied with theirs. So, I liked the idea and joined the league," Prasanna said.
Prasanna, who formed a lethal spin quartret in the 1960s and 1970s along with B S Bedi and B S Chandrasekhar and S Venkatraghavan for India, has been made a member of the multi-million dollar ICL Executive Board.
Prasanna rued that his role in the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy was only token.
"Though I'm based in the same city, my services at the NCA were utilised only upto a bare minimum," said the 67-year-old former Test cricketer, who is attached to the NCA as a bowling consultant.
"For instance, this year, I did not get to spend any day with the NCA cadets in Bangalore. My duties with the NCA this season were limited to 10 days - five days in Kolkata and five more in Nagpur," he said.
Prasanna pointed out that despite the short stints, 85 to 90 per cent of the boys he worked with have made it to the state sides. Leggie Piyush Chawla is even playing for India.
"When everybody else shouted that he should be made to play domestic cricket for some more time, only I had contended that he needs to be utilised in the top level. And the results are for all to see," said Prasanna, who picked 189 wickets in 49 matches during a 16-year Test career.
"Despite showing results, they underutilised me. When I raised this issue, I was cold shouldered. So, I thought here is a platform (ICL) where I can dedicate myself to the job of developing spinnners for India," he said.
Asked how he could hope to succeed in his mission when most of the players in the ambit of the ICL were either over the hill or members of Ranji Trophy squads, Prasanna said "That's true. But then what you are talking of is only one step in the ladder. There are many more steps".
Famed for his mastery of flighted deliveries and an uncanny ability to outplot leading willowers even on batting-friendly tracks during his playing days, the offie said he would be given the opportunity in ICL to have long tenures with youngsters on the field.
"My job is not merely an administrative one. It involves mainly on-field work. Just wait and see".
Prasanna was apparently referring to the academy that the ICL has promsied to come up with in future.