Rahul Dravid, the Indian captain, has pushed for the recognition of the Indian Professional Cricketers' Association (IPCA), saying that such a body would be perfect to resolve player-related issues with the board in a smooth and professional manner.
"We have FICA working for players at the international level and we have the IPCA here. We are trying to get it recognised," Dravid told reporters in New Delhi. "We have taken up issues with the board and there has been healthy dialogue and we have put our points across. In the long run, a players' association will help in setting up a smooth process."
The IPCA was set up in September 2002, just before the ICC Champions Trophy, a tournament in which India's participation was threatened by the controversy over ambush marketing. The issue was finally resolved when the BCCI agreed to compensate the players for any losses suffered and the ICC made amendments to the clause to ease the restrictions.
Dravid also pointed out that many such issues, including sponsorship and contracts, crop up mainly during the off season, and the focus invariably shifts to the on-field action later. He added that they are better discussed directly with the board rather than through the media.
"We have always had discussions with the BCCI on various issues at regular levels. I would like to take up our concerns directly with the board and not through the media."
Arun Lal, a former India batsman and founder secretary of the IPCA, too agreed with Dravid's views about communicating directly with the board and was optimistic about the IPCA getting official recognition.
"Till now the board was inimical towards us and going by the situation we thought it best not to write any letter to the board regarding recognition," Lal told The Hindustan Times. "But now things are looking much brighter as far as recognition is concerned and we are hoping to get it in due course of time."