ICL players dreaming of national colours

Indian youngsters in the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League are once again living in hope of finding a pride place in the national team.

updated: October 18, 2008 17:18 IST
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Indian youngsters in the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League are once again living in hope of finding a pride place in the national team following a recent meeting between Subhash Chandra and International Cricket Council President David Morgan.

They feel there is a lot of players who deserved to be a part of Team India and are optimistic that the ICL will soon get the affiliation from the game's governing body, especially after Sri Lanka Cricket allowed its players with the ICL links to play in their domestic competition.

All-rounder Amit Uniyal, who is representing the 'Chandigarh Lions' in the ongoing ICL, said many ICL players deserved a place in the national team.

"Some of the ICL players should have played for India as they deserve the honour. If the dispute between the ICL and the BCCI sorted out, it would be a great step forward for the Indian cricket," said Uniyal, who came to the media limelight from obscurity through the ICL.

"The Sri Lankan board have withdrawn ban on cricketers involved with the ICL and hopefully it will happen here also," an optimistic Unial added.

The former Punjab cricketer had taken 89 wickets in 28 first class matches before joining the rebel league but does not regret his decision at all.

Morgan and Subhash Chandra met in London on October 7 to discuss the Twenty20 venture's demand for recognition.

"When I was playing in the Ranji Trophy for Punjab, I was not getting enough chances to prove myself. But here in ICL, I am getting plenty of opportunities to perform which have made me happy," the 26-year-cricketer Uniyal said.

The left-arm medium pacer also insisted that ICL was more professional that the BCCI's domestic leagues.

"I am quite satisfied after joining the ICL, where there is much more professionalism than the domestic cricket. We are also sharing the dressing rooms with the international cricketers which is quite a learning experience for me and other young players in the side," Uniyal said.

Former India cricketer Reetinder Sodhi also said the ICL was becoming a formidable platform for country's young talents and the league could play it's bit in preparing professional cricketers for the international level.

"The ICL has contributed a lot to the young cricketers like R Satish, Ali Murtaza and Sumit Kalia. Every youngster is getting plenty of opportunities and learning a lot from here," said Sodhi, who featured in 18 One Day Internationals.

The 27-year-old former Punjab all-rounder first got the recognition in August 1996 after superb all-round display as the skipper to win the Under-15 World Cup final against Pakistan at Lord's.

Less than four months later, Sodhi made his first-class debut against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy at the age of 16 years.

"I have learned a lot from the former international players, who are participating in the ICL, especially about how to be mentally tough out on the ground," Sodhi, who played last ODI in way back 2000, added.