The Indian Cricket League (ICL) suffered a setback to what was probably their first official move to book a venue for their inaugural tournament, scheduled to kick-off later this year.
ICL executive board chairman Kapil Dev met the local UT administration in connection with this on Wednesday, but the state officials chose to side with the BCCI, who have issued a diktat that anyone who shows favour to the ICL would do so at the risk of antagonising the Board.
The administration officials told Kapil they were hosting the India-Australia ODI on October 8 and working in tandem with the Board for the upgradation of cricket in the city. So they said they would not do anything that could jeopardise their chances or that of local players and would continue to correspond with BCCI on all cricketing matters in future as well.
That puts an end to the possibility of the ICL kicking off in the city, at least for now. It's indeed quite a big setback for ICL as the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium suited them perfectly and, as HT had first reported, they had approached the administration for this earlier as well.
In a media interaction, Kapil didn't hesitate to admit that he would have been happy if the ICL matches could be held in the city along with other international fixtures. He, however, refused to get further drawn into the verbal battle with the BCCI over his joining the ICL.
Yet, he stuck to his stand that he was very much within his rights to join the ICL and spoke of the "irrationality" on the part of the BCCI in penalising players who joined the ICL. However, the tone of his defiance had mellowed from the earlier, strident pitch.
He even climbed down from the high moral stand (he has steadfastly maintained that he took the decision for the promotion of cricket) that he had taken on his joining the ICL. "Everyone wants to better his life…so why should I be singled out for making money as long as I am earning it through fair and ethical means," he asked.
"I am done with my cricket (as a player) and now this private company offers me a job. Don't I have the right to work?" he said, before adding in the same breath, "I am a worker and whoever gives me work, I will work for him."
But again, he didn't fail to attach a rider to his working with someone. "I want to give something back to the game. So whoever stops me from doing that is being unethical," he said.
Bindra to speak to Kapil
PTI adds that the BCCI has asked its former president IS Bindra to speak to Kapil on the issue of his joining the ICL. "The Board had authorised IS Bindra to talk to Kapil Dev to know his stance," BCCI joint secretary MP Pandove said.