Thursday 12 July 2007

You can't take us for a ride, Kapil!

As BCCI and ICL put on the gloves, now it’s turn of Kapil Dev, a pawn in the war, to take the gullible follower of the game for a massive ride.

Caught in the crossfire between BCCI and ICL, Kapil has made it clear that he would head wherever moolah takes him, which is fair enough. If he decides to swap the chairman's chair at National Cricket Academy (NCA) with the more lucrative one at ICL's Executive Board, BCCI has no business to poke its bloody nose.

It's no secret that BCCI does not like competition and any possible threat to its vice-like monopoly has been nipped in the bud. It was hardly surprising that the Board refused permission to the Essel-group backed ICL and is now up to every dirty trick to deny the rebel league a venue. Former players and state associations have been told in clear terms to steer clear of ICL. Kiran More has already spurned Baroda Cricket Association secretary's post to join Kapil at ICL Board and now the former all-rounder is about to follow suit.

Have no illusion, ICL is Zee's deep pocket chief Subhash Chandra's sly, ambitious project to gain a toehold in organizing of cricket before he can take on BCCI and its misfit chief in their own game. BCCI, always quick on the uptake on issues other than cricket, is quick to sniff the hidden agenda and the first spanner it threw was to allot a one dayer to Chandigarh's Sector 16 Stadium -- last ODI there was held some 14 years back -- to pre-empt any ICL move to host the circus there.

Kapil, being the son of the soil, was entrusted to get the stadium for ICL and he must have thought it was just a matter of approaching the authorities before he can book the stadium. But the officials there told him that they simply can't afford to antagonise BCCI and that’s it.

UT Sports Director IS Sandhu said

Kapil brought up the topic (of having ICL matches at the Stadium) and we informed him of our intent; the Stadium has got an ODI after 14 years (the India-Australia match on October 8), and we don’t want to go against the BCCI. We will only be corresponding with the BCCI on cricketing matters.

As he remains defiant to BCCI diktat that you can’t be with BCCI and ICL at the same time, Kapil’s version as to why he is siding with ICL is naive to the point of being hilarious.

Kapil insists he wants to serve the game and the nation and that’s why he is with ICL. One understands his fascination with words like "the game of cricket" or "serving the nation" but sadly, Kapil is no more the same simpleton he was. Fame and fortune have transformed him into a 'show-me-the-money' guy, who can go any extent to milk his playing day reputation for money-mileage, which is again, I fear, fair enough. But what is grossly unfair is the trash about serving the game and the country. Nobody, even if you are country’s lone World Cup winning captain.


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