Gillespie blames BCCI for polarising cricket world

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Jason Gillespie has expressed disappointment at the polarisation brought about by the BCCI in the cricket world.

Updated: December 13, 2008 16:16 IST
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Former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie has expressed disappointment at the polarisation brought about by the BCCI in the cricket world that sees ICL players being ostracised from international cricket.

The discrimination against the Indian Cricket League (ICL) players was so deep that they were not allowed even in a club match, Gillespie said recalling how his Ahmedabad Rockets teammate and former India player Reetinder Sodhi was ill-treated when he went to watch a club game.

"He (Sodhi) can't even go and watch a match. He got escorted away from a club match because he's ICL," he said.

"They can't play anywhere. The only place they can play cricket is in the street or in their own backyard. They just can't play anywhere," he was quoted as saying by the 'Australian'.

The 71-Test veteran also lamented that exceptional fielders like 21-year-old Bhima Rao will never come to any use to his country, which has turned its back on talented players.

"He's one of the best fielders I've seen, in any cricket. I just find it incredibly disappointing that a lot of these kids will never get the opportunity to play for their country. It's ended their first-class careers," he said.

Gillespie felt the youngsters, who were suited to play in national colours, were heartbroken knowing their anonymous future in international cricket.

"They're massively disappointed. These kids, their goal is, like any other kid, they want to play for India. They're just so willing to learn and they hang on your every word. Some of these players are good enough to play for India."

The pacer said the discrimination had started to grip those in Australia as well as Cricket Australia banned his Ahmedabad teammates Ryan Campbell and Murray Goodwin from playing in the annual Lilac Hill picnic match in WA last month.

"That is ridiculous. That is just silly. On what basis? I think Cricket Australia, they value the relationship with the BCCI far too much."

The paceman, who hopes to accept an invitation from Australia's bowling coach Troy Cooley to instruct bowlers at the Centre of Excellence, said the ball was in Cricket Australia's court.

"Will (the ban) get extended to coaches and support staff? Who knows. I can't imagine CA wanting to stop me doing some coaching."

But Gillespie is not too sure how CA might react in his case especially after they asked a support staff member to chose between his state and ICL.

"There was a support staff (member) from one of the states in Australia who basically got told to pick between ICL and state cricket," he said.

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