Former captain defiant as board considers sacking him as chairman of NCA August 3, 2007

Kapil claims BCCI is scared of Indian Cricket League

Cricinfo staff

Kapil Dev: "BCCI is like a king and I am its subject. If it wants to sack me from the NCA then I cannot stop it" © AFP

Kapil Dev called recent remarks made by Sharad Pawar, the Indian board president, about the Indian Cricket League (ICL), "shameful".

"If the board thinks that only the national XI can attract crowds, then it should stop conducting any domestic tournament," Kapil, who is the chairman of the ICL's executive board, told PTI.

When asked to comment on the unofficial ICL, which is being bankrolled by Zee Telefilms, India's largest listed media company, and carrying a prize of US$1 million, Pawar said that the competition would mainly feature players coming out of retirement. "Everyone wants to see official cricket, not the oldies. I see no reason for young players going there. Only those who play official cricket can represent India." Pawar also warned that promising young players would be ineligible for the Indian team if they played in the tournament.

Kapil said the BCCI should not be threatening players because they cannot perform on the field under fear. "The board is scared of the ICL. That is the only reason it is not willing to talk to us," Kapil said.

The BCCI will meet on August 21 to decide, among other matters, whether Kapil should continue as chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), now that he has joined hands with the ICL. Kapil, who had earlier been sent a letter by the BCCI on the matter, remains defiant. "BCCI is like a king and I am its subject. If it wants to sack me from the NCA then I cannot stop it."

The ICL will feature six teams playing Twenty20 matches. Each team will comprise four international players, two Indian players, and eight upcoming players. Brian Lara is the only confirmed player on the ICL list. Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have denied Kapil's claims that the two have been signed for the league. Among other big names Inzamam-ul Haq, Stephen Fleming, and Chris Cairns are reported to be negotiating deals with the ICL.