Chief selector says money the reason behind exodus August 22, 2007

'Big names won't be tempted by ICL' - Vengsarkar

Cricinfo staff

Dilip Vengsarkar: "I don't think the biggest names will be tempted simply because they're already getting plenty" © Getty Images

Dilip Vengsarkar, India's chief selector, identified lucrative financial rewards as the driving factor behind players joining the ICL, but was confident that big-name players would not be tempted because they are "already getting plenty" playing for India.

"Money, it appears, has been the main attraction," Vengsarkar told the Kolkata-based Telegraph. "They've made a choice... I don't think the biggest names will be tempted simply because they're already getting plenty. I doubt if they [those who have joined ICL] discussed things with either family or friends, though."

Vengsarkar said, however, that the current situation was very different from the time he and five other Indian players (Bishan Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Syed Kirmani) were approached by Kerry Packer's recruiters in 1978-79. "Then, we hardly got anything. There was just no money in international cricket."

However, Vengsarkar admitted he was not sure what decision he would have taken then. The offer came late and Packer had reconciled with the establishment before Vengsarkar could decide. "Frankly, I don't know what decision I would've taken... I was, at that point, very young [22]."

Meanwhile, Rohan Gavaskar has also confirmed an approach from the ICL, though he is yet to take a decision. "I've got an offer, yes, but haven't made up my mind," Gavaskar said.

Bengal, the team Gavaskar plays for, has already lost seven players - Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Deep Dasgupta, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Shibsagar Singh, Subhomoy Das, Subhojit Paul and Syed Akhlakh Ahmed - to the ICL.