Bangalore: Kapil Dev, India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain, has said that the BCCI cannot question Indian cricketers who are not employed by or contracted to it on matters that the board considers contradictory to its policies. His comments come in the wake of his exclusion from the BCCI's list of former players who received a one-time benefit payment out of the profits of the IPL playoffs. It is believed Kapil was excluded because he had not accepted the amnesty offered by the BCCI following his involvement in the ICL - the now-defunct Twenty20 league that was not recognised by the ICC or the Indian board.
"It [the BCCI] should realise that only those cricketers -- present or former -- who are contracted to it and are paid salaries, like selectors or coaches, are accountable to it," Kapil wrote in a national daily. "Not all cricketers are answerable to the board.
"You can't deny that player his due, which he is being given for the services rendered during his playing days. If you are taking money from the board -- like the late Tiger Pataudi and Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, to be on the IPL board -- then the board or any organisation has a right to question you. But a Dilip Vengsarkar, [he] is not answerable because he is not holding any post today where he is drawing money from the board."
He took up the ICL post, Kapil said, with a view to promoting cricket. "If they don't want to recognise my game, I would like to say thank you and move on. Yes, I was connected with the ICL - if someone gives me a job, I would love to do it, especially when it is for the promotion of the game and when I am not an employee of any other institution.
"There is one common thing in what the board [the BCCI] does and what I did, and that is promoting the game. If by doing that I have hurt someone, what can I do? All I can say is that I have no intention of hurting anyone, but it is too bad if it has been taken that way."
The BCCI has also excluded Kirti Azad, Kapil's team-mate during the 1983 World Cup, from its list of beneficiaries. This was after Azad, a member of the Indian parliament, had spoken out against the IPL and the controversies surrounding the tournament. The board should have "reached out to Azad", Kapil said, instead of ostracising him. "It should have heard his [Azad's] views and sorted out the issue.
"He was an India player and is now an MP. Ideally, the BCCI should have ensured he becomes a voice for it in parliament. It is the duty of the board, as patron of the cricketing fraternity, to find out why he spoke against it [the IPL] and resolve the issue. I am proud to see cricketers entering parliament -- Kirti, Azhar [Azharuddin], [Navjot] Sidhu and Sachin. The board should ensure they become its backbone where national policy is being made."