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'It's time BCCI woke up to players? body'

Rahul Dravid said the cricketers were trying to get the ICPA officially recognised, writes Deepika Sharma.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 15:12 IST

With just a few days left before the Indian team leaves for the Caribbean, skipper Rahul Dravid on Monday refused to say more on the controversial player burnout issue. However, he made it clear that he felt the need for an official players' association to be recognised by the BCCI, in order to properly deal with various player-related issues. He agreed that that it was time the Board recognised the Indian Cricket Players Association (ICPA).

Dravid said the cricketers had been in intense discussions with the BCCI and were trying to get the ICPA officially recognised. "There is FICA at the international level and we have the ICPA in India," Dravid said. "We are in the process of getting it recognised," he added.

Dravid also emphasised the need for such an association by saying that a players' association would help solve convoluted issues easily. "A players' association will help us solve our issues smoothly on a regular basis," he said. "We are trying to put our point across to the BCCI and the discussions are progressing amicably."

However, Dravid was swift to point that issues like player burnout, contracts, sponsorships etc, come to the fore only when there is no cricket happening and tend to die down once the season is in full swing. "After the off-season, all these issues will automatically take a backseat and the focus will shift towards the game," he said.

He exuded confidence and was hopeful of winning a series outside the sub-continent against a major nation after a long gap of 20 years, the win against the depleted and hapless Zimbabweans last year not withstanding.

In town for some commercial deals, Dravid said the West Indies tour would not be easy. "Any international tour is a big challenge for us," he said. "We have not won a series in the Caribbean for 30 long years and I hope this time we are able to fulfill the potential we have," he added.

He was also effusive in his praise for the youngsters in the team and said it would be a dream come true for them to play in the Caribbean isles. "One has always heard about the exquisite grounds in West Indies through radio and television, and every youngster dreams of playing on such grounds one day," he said. "Youngsters like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and S Sreesanth are extremely passionate about the game and will give their hundred per cent," he signed off.