No regrets over playing in ICL - Gavaskar
Indian batsman Rohan Gavaskar has said he has no regrets over playing the ICL. Having returned to the official fold after accepting the BCCI's amnesty offer, Gavaskar, 33, is keen on making a comeback into the Bengal Ranji team he once captained.
"Not at all, I don't regret my decision," Gavaskar was quoted as saying in the Times of India. "I decided to join the ICL at that time because I wanted to play against quality international players. There were lots of good international cricketers who played in the ICL.
"There was almost the entire Pakistan team and also those like Shane Bond, Craig Macmillan, Brian Lara and Lance Klusener. When I joined the ICL, I knew the Indian team's doors were shut to me."
Gavaskar, who represented India in 11 ODIs and scored 151 runs at 18.87, joined the ICL in its inaugural year in 2007. After playing for the Royal Bengal Tigers in the two ICL seasons, he was among the 79 cricketers who parted ways with the rebel league earlier this year with the BCCI offering a pardon.
Gavaskar found a place among Bengal's Ranji Trophy probables recently and said he was also determined to do well with Tata Sports Club (TSC) in the ongoing BCCI Corporate Cup. "It certainly feels good to be back in the official fold," he said. "But I always found the 'rebel' tag a bit harsh as at the end of the day you were not doing anything but to play cricket.
"Now I have been included in Bengal's Ranji probables list and am pretty confident of making it to the final squad. And my record for Bengal is also impressive. This [the BCCI Corporate Trophy] is a very important tournament for me. It's my first official event after returning from the ICL, so I want to perform well here."
He has not emulated the feats of his father, Sunil, but said he wanted to make the most of whatever opportunity came his way. "Not just in cricket, in life you need luck," he said. "You think this could happen or that could happen but there is no point in looking back and wondering whether I was lucky or unlucky. It doesn't serve any purpose. The clever thing would be to concentrate on the future."
Gavaskar faces immediate disappointment, though, with the weather threatening TSC's opening fixture against All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board in Dharamsala on Tuesday.
"If we can't play a single match [at Dharamasala], we will be missing out on valuable practice ahead of the Ranji season. But it's the start of the season and no player will want to risk an injury."