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July 9, 2007
Kapil Dev has challenged the Indian board (BCCI) to remove him from his position as chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for associating with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The ICL was launched by the Essel Group a few months ago and intends to organise a Twenty20 tournament in October.
Kapil, who joined the ICL's executive board as its chairman and was sent a letter from the BCCI on the issue, told an Indian news channel, "I have already sent my reply to them. They can remove me from the NCA if they want to.
"They only wanted me to contribute to the game of cricket, and when I am doing so they cannot challenge me. If I can do something for the game and the young cricketers through the Indian Cricket League, I will not budge."
Kapil also reacted to the BCCI decision concerning pensions for players joining ICL. "I did not go to them asking for pension, and if they want to stop it, what can I do? Let them stop it."
Kapil, India's only World Cup-winning captain, didn't know what made the BCCI see a potential rival in the ICL. "Why do they see ICL as a parallel or rebel body? The BCCI is trying to promote the game in India and if somebody else is pumping in more money why is it a problem with them?
"This league can help the BCCI only. This can help Indian cricket and shape so many careers. What is BCCI's problem?"
Speaking to the same channel, Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the BCCI, made it clear that players like Kapil would have to make a choice. "We have decided not to recognise ICL in our Working Committee meeting as no state association was in its favour. We don't want to promote anybody who wants to be a parallel body. We have a policy and there will not be any re-think on this."
Kiran More, another former player to join the ICL, had resigned from his post as secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the day from the CLT20 game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings