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June 27, 2008
The controversy over the removal of Kapil Dev's poster from the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium (PCA) has ended with the PCA restoring the poster to its original location after making "necessary repairs".
The restoration came after weeks of speculation whether the poster had been removed because Kapil joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The BCCI had stopped his pension - normally available to retired Indian players - and he was removed from his position as chairman of the National Cricket Academy.
The PCA, however, strongly denied that they had taken down the poster because of Kapil's association with the ICL
"The poster was damaged because of rain and accompanying high velocity winds and this necessitated its removal for repairs," MP Pandove, the PCA secretary, told PTI. "This is all a media-concocted story. Let the critics who are raking up the issue tell me whether any stadium in Haryana, the state Kapil represented in the domestic league, has a similar mural or has a dressing room named after him like we have at PCA Stadium, or has his memorabilia on display?"
"Navjot Singh Sidhu, the best player to have come out of Punjab, has no poster or his memorabilia here but nobody is pointing that out. It's very unfortunate that so much negative had been written and said about this issue."
After the removal of his poster, Kapil had written to the PCA requesting them to return his 'gifts and memorabilia'. "I came to know through media reports that the PCA has removed my portrait from the ground in Mohali for some unknown reasons," Kapil had written to Pandove. "Well, it's your decision and you are free to do whatever you want.
"I am concerned about the personal gifts and memorabilia from my cricketing years and also that of the 1983 World Cup, given by me to the PCA, which are kept at various places at the Mohali ground," Kapil said. "I apprehend now that the association may not like to preserve the memorabilia mentioned above any more. I will really be grateful if the same is returned to me so that I can preserve them."
Pandove, however, had said that the poster's removal was only temporary.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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