Abhijit Kale interview June 2, 2004

'I still hope to play for India'

Having experienced a harrowing few months, the verdict is finally out on Abhijit Kale. The disciplinary committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India has ruled that he cannot play domestic cricket until the end of this year. Kale, though, hasn't given up hope and still harbours his chances of playing for India. He spoke to Wisden Cricinfo shortly after the ruling.

Abhijit Kale: 'This ban is a severe blow to my career' © Cricinfo

What is your reaction to the ban?
Actually I have not received the official copy of the judgement, so I cannot say too much. But I will be missing two months of the next Ranji Trophy season and that is disappointing.

If the itinerary is the same as last season, you will miss all the league matches ...
That is very disappointing. I was hoping I will be able to play from the start of this season. Because I have already missed the whole of last season. I was hoping to play this season from the start. This is definitely a severe blow to my career.

What about the apology letter that you submitted to the BCCI earlier?
From the start I have been saying that I have never offered any bribe to any selector. Yes ... I gave an apology letter, but that was only for trying to influence the selectors in their decision. There was no money involved.

Do you realistically think you have a chance of playing for India in the future?
I have not lost hope to make it to the national side. I've been playing for the last ten years and I have to work really hard now and try to get good scores in the domestic matches. But if you concentrate on the domestic season, there is definitely a chance to get back into the Indian team.

What about the Maharashtra Cricket Association?
The MCA is definitely supporting me. [The chairman of the MCA, Dynaeshwar Agashe, had termed the decision 'harsh']

Do you feel the selectors have been let off easily?
You should know better ...