India news July 25, 2012

Kapil Dev returns to BCCI fold

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kapil Dev, the former India captain, has cut off his association with the unofficial Indian Cricket League, which is now defunct, opening the door to work again with the BCCI. He also stands to be awarded his benefit of Rs 1.5 crore ($270,000) and possibly his pension arrears.

"Mr Kapil Dev has informed the Board that he has resigned from the Essel Sports Private Limited/ICL," the BCCI said. "He has also stated in the letter that he has always supported the BCCI, and will continue to do so in the future.

"The BCCI acknowledges Mr Kapil Dev's immense contribution to Indian cricket, and looks forward to a fruitful association with him in the years to come."

Kapil spoke briefly to reporters after the meeting. "The BCCI is like a parent and we are like its children. I have contributed to the welfare of cricket and cricketers during my earlier association [with the BCCI] and aim to do so even now."

Speaking to the BCCI's website, Kapil was all praise for the Indian board and its president, N Srinivasan. "There can be misunderstandings at times, but as part of Indian cricket, I've always had respect for the organisation more than the individuals [that form it]. I love my cricket board and I'm so happy to be back here. I'm proud to be part of one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world.

"He [Srinivasan] is a wonderful administrator and has shown his worth. I was so delighted to hear from him. He's a man with endless passion for Indian cricket and that's what I admire the most about him. There are people who are only interested in name and fame, but few work sincerely for 25 to 30 years for the betterment of the game."

This ends a long and bitter battle between the board and Kapil, which began with the birth of the ICL in 2007 in the aftermath of India's disastrous World Cup campaign in the West Indies. The ICL, promoted by the Zee group, pre-empted the BCCI's own IPL and was promptly declared unofficial, its players barred from all forms of the game in India and eventually globally. Kapil himself was sacked as chairman of the National Cricket Academy and there followed a series of events, court cases and failed negotiations that led to the ICL's closure; the league's last competitive match was in November 2008.

Kapil spent the next five years on the margins of the game as a television talking head and a newspaper columnist, his relationship with the official side of Indian cricket remaining rocky. However, he held centrestage at the official silver jubilee celebration of India's 1983 World Cup win and, two years later, was inducted into the ICC's Hall of Fame.

In April 2008 the BCCI announced an amnesty scheme for all involved with the ICL, with a May 31 deadline to cut off all ties with the rebel league. On June 2 it announced an amnesty for 79 players, 11 former players and 11 officials. Kapil Dev was not on that list but his rehabilitation has now been completed.

The BCCI will tick July 2012 off as a month of restoration: first came the Indo-Pak cricket ties, then Kiran More was returned to the fold, and on Wednesday, it was time for reconciliation with the biggest fish of them all, Kapil Dev. A five-year cold war over the ICL has ended in a warm embrace of cordiality and bonhomie. The BCCI has kindly recognised Kapil's "immense" contribution to Indian cricket and Kapil has called the BCCI his "parent". Behind all this are two simple truths: one, that the BCCI's financial clout is very hard to resist, and two, fighting words from Kapil Dev are to be taken as seriously as crackpot news television. This is the same cricketer who had threatened to go on a hunger strike if the ICL's younger players were ignored by the BCCI.

The BCCI's first response to Kapil joining the ICL was to sack him as head of the National Cricket Academy and cut off his monthly pension. Devastating for a cricketer of small means, much less so to someone with Kapil's hefty financial earnings. Then the BCCI tried to snub him by not inviting him to a few functions and, as he was India's only World Cup-winning captain until 2011, that only made them look small. The master move came two months ago when the BCCI announced one-time benefits to former cricketers; Kapil was omitted, losing about Rs 1.5 crore ($270,000 approx). The BCCI's pound of flesh was in the form of written assurances of loyalty from former players who have had sterling careers for India. In an angry newspaper column, Kapil, though, drew himself up to his impressive height and said: "Not all cricketers are answerable to the board." On Wednesday, he put himself in the category of cricketers who are affordable.
Sharda Ugra

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    very very heartening news,what Sunil Gavaskar is to BCCI,the same is true for Kapil Dev. I have memories of his while career from the very first bowl that he bowled. A big hearted fellow, magnanimous. Watch his outswingers, you cannot compare with anyone in the world. Infact, he will revive the skill of bowling outswingers, somethinh which I have not seen in the likes of McGrath and in the current day Dale Sten or even the pigeon Anderson.Welcome. GIVE BACK PAAJI WHAT YOU CAN TO INDIA.

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    We don't need washim Akram, Waqar younis, Alen Donald, etc., to lead Indian bowling coach coz those guy where learned from Kapil. Indian cricket missed him a lots coz of stupid things...If u missed him now u can't get him again....As a captain & a player he is the one I respect more than Dhoni & Dadha....I'm sure even after 20 years he'll won same no of fans rather than the present cricketers...sorry for Dhoni, Sachi, Ganguly & others... He is the only bowler produced from India you can compare him with other legends like Wasim ,Ambrose, Donald,etc.,(not with speed with quality) I'm not even born when we he bought Worldcup for India but I ve seen his game a lot in youtube. Simply I say, I love him lot than any-other cricketer...:-) Once again Indian cricket missed him lot...we need him back

  • Premanand on July 28, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    Amidst all this all are forgetting the genuine efforts made by the BCCI president N Srinivasan and Sunil Gacaskar (Behind the scene) to work out a compromise. Kapil Dev is invaluable to Indian Cricket and BCCI truly recognised that. Even the letter content is such that it did not affect the ego of Kapil Dev or devalue him, and at the same time BCCI position as head of Cricket in India not compromised. An excellent move. Congrats to all the Indians & Special congrats to N Srinivasan for getting back future BCCI president

  • navneet on July 28, 2012, 2:34 GMT

    I would not blame Kapil Dev for making a U-turn. May be he has a better plan of helping Indian cricket by making this decision rather than sitting on the sidelines and not able to contribute to the nation. I won't be surprised if he will in time bring transparency and some respect to BCCI. Knowing Kapil for all these years, I am sure he must have thought about running his own cricket academy or coaching players some way or the other, but given BCCI's attitude it would only harm the players who would have joined his academy. It was a no win situation for him. A cricketer of his calibe, heart and fearless attitude can not sit out all his life without making a contribution to his nation and cricket. People can make a big deal about the money involved because that is all they can think of. Only time will tell. WELCOME BACK PAAJI! YOU ARE OUR HERO.

  • Harshal on July 27, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    one of the few players who have always put country first before personal gains.....during his playing days and even now.


  • srinivasan on July 27, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    BCCI should actual thank Kapil and Zee TV for giving this wonderful concept of ICL with which IPL had been created..

    By the way want to ask a one question ? Is because of our Players we were able to reach No 1 spot in Test cricket or Is it because of Gary kristen we were able to reach ?!?!? Gary is progressing fast in take the team which he is coaching to spot which he wants his team to be !!! Great work Garry !

  • John on July 27, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Amnesty is a loosely coined word by BCCI. Amnesty is granted for convicts. Joining a private cricket league is not a crime in any book. Almost all the best players(I am talking THE BEST) in the world joined several private leagues in search of money. Banning an organisation or the people in that origanisation and then taking them back is not amnesty, just lifting the BAN. Kapil was a true Indian in every way, he wears his heart on his sleeve which is why he gets emotional at times. IMO, he cannot be a coach, may be a mentor. He is not a good coach or manager. He can be used to identify young talents around the country and mentor them. Munaf, RP and the gang cannot be improved even by GOD. We need fresh talented bowlers now.

  • Kalinga on July 26, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Kapil paaji thanks a lot for making peace with BCCI. I believe now BCCI should bring paaji as a consultant to Indian Team keeping eyes on worlt20. According to me he is the best candidate to train Irfan, Yusuf, Jadeja, Ashwin as allrounders to fill paaji's slot which he left decades back :).

  • Aditya on July 26, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    This guy deserves every single accolade there is on offer. Kapil is a living legend in Indian cricket and should contribute further by coaching Indian bowlers - please Kapil, we need your experience like never ever before!

  • Dummy4 on July 26, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    good news for indian cricket. whatever it is , the problem is solved.

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