HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014
Azad's ex-mates desert campaign against IPL
Khurram Habib, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012
First Published: 00:53 IST(24/5/2012)
Last Updated: 00:56 IST(24/5/2012)

Two days after a dharna led by Kirti Azad demanding that the cricket Board show accountability in the wake of the controversies in the IPL, the member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad finds himself alone.

The BCCI has reportedly removed the name of Azad, who also played seven Tests, from the list of one-time beneficiaries from the riches generated by the league.

Azad said he had not received any communication from the BCCI. "The question of accepting or refusing arises only when they get in touch with me.

The former national selector said he would continue his protest against the BCCI and the IPL.

"If they think they can stop me from raising my voice, they are wrong. The skeletons in the IPL have been coming out. I will continue to protest whenever I see any wrongdoing."

However, his former Delhi team mates appear to have deserted him. Those he had invited for the sit-in at the Ferozshah Kotla now say they have nothing to do with his campaign. Former India 'keeper Surinder Khanna said, "He is an old friend. We have been together for 40 years. So, when he invited me, I had to be there for the sake of friendship. My attending the dharna doesn't mean I believe in whatever he is saying. There are people who go to Anna Hazare's rallies, but not everyone agrees with his stand."

Former India left-arm spinner Maninder Singh said he was initially under a misconception. "I was under the impression the whole thing concerned the Cricket Improvement Committee (set up by the Delhi association to improve the game). But when I realised it is against the BCCI and the IPL, I said 'what the hell' and walked out. I think the BCCI is doing a great job."

The support from former India batsman, Gursharan Singh, who is now a coach, was only upto the dais.

"I was sitting there with Kirti, but the moment they started criticising the board and IPL, I got up and left. I think the IPL has given Indian youngsters a great chance to face bowlers like Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. In our days, we could never imagine that the West Indian greats would bowl at us in our domestic circuit."

(With inputs from  PTI)

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