Kapil Dev asks if Pawar has time for cricket August 5, 2007

Chandra dismisses BCCI's threat to ban players

Cricinfo staff

Subhash Chandra, the chairman the Essel Group, has dismissed the Indian board's threat to ban players for life if they join the Indian Cricket League (ICL) by saying that the BCCI is a private body and does not have the right to issue such directives to the players.

"The ICL will be a reality and the people will come to watch the matches," Chandra, whose Essel Group is backing the ICL, told PTI.

The BCCI secretary, Niranjan Shah, had earlier said that players who take part in the ICL will never be eligible to play for India. Such players, Shah said, will also be banned from domestic cricket in the country.

Kapil Dev said he was disappointed with the board's stance and that it wasn't fair for Shah to say things like that. "They are trying to scare players when people of the country want to play cricket," said Kapil, who is the chairman of the ICL's executive board. Kapil is also the chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), an appointment that the BCCI is planning to reconsider in its meeting on August 21.

When Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, was asked if Indian cricket might be better served by Kapil Dev developing young cricketers through the NCA rather than through the ICL, Pawar said, "He seems to be very busy elsewhere." Kapil responded to these remarks by asking if Pawar, a senior minister in the Indian government, had time for cricket. "He is spending time looking after an important Ministry and country but does he have the time for cricket? I can also say about him what he said about me," Kapil said.

The ICL, which is scheduled for September, 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.