BCCI's stand to stop Sachin, Dinesh play in T20 baffles Mills
Kiwi cricket association chief Heath Mills is baffled by BCCI's decision not to allow Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik play in the NZPCA-ACA Masters T20 match because it features Hamish Marshall who had a contract with the rebel Indian Cricket League.
Mills, CEO of the New Zealand Players Cricket Association, said it was a silly decision by the Indian board not to allow the duo to play the match.
"We are surprised. Both teams were excited with the possibility of playing with two of the Indian players, Sachin and Dinesh. It would have been great for our game.
"Some of the bowlers were young (from the U-19 level) and looking forward to bowling to one of the greatest players (Sachin) who have played the game.
"We are really disappointed. The fans would have liked to see those two players in action in this country," said Mills.
Mills said he heard about the Indian board's decision this morning.
"I heard about it this morning at 8. Obviously during the week we had made the offer to the management and were happy to include two Indian players in the side to give them a hit in the middle. The team management seemed really keen with the idea and yesterday they confirmed two players would play and that they were allowed to do that. "Then, we woke up this morning with news that the BCCI did not want the two Indians to play in the match because Hamish Marshall was playing. As you would know, Marshall was an ICL player. However, his contract finished with the ICL last year so we did not think there would be any problem," said Mills.
Mills said he was disappointed with the BCCI's decision.
"To be honest we are really disappointed with the position of the BCCI. I understand the situation with the ICL, but given Hamish is no longer a player with ICL, cricket's the loser on this day.
"The fans as well as the players were looking forward to this game and obviously everyone misses out. It just seems a bit silly to me," Mills said.
"When I learnt about the BCCI's decision from Justin Vaughan, the CEO of New Zealand Cricket, I went back and tried to find a solution by explaining that Hamish is no longer an ICL player and we want him to play (in the match).
"I was hoping for a change in their position. But I understand I would have to speak to the right people in Mumbai and so we had to run with their decision last night," he added.
Mills said he had spoken to Gary Kirsten and knew that the Indian duo were really keen to play the game. "I didn't speak to Sachin but spoke to Gary Kirsten three or four times during the day. I know both players, including Sachin were very keen to play because they haven't had a hit so far.
"They were looking forward to playing in what was a competitive game of cricket against some pretty good bowlers and get a hit in the middle," he said.
Mills said the BCCI and the ICL should resolve the issues as the most exciting players were missing out on playing international cricket.
"I think we can't continue to have some of the best players excluded from international cricket. I understand the position of the BCCI. Down here we have got Shane Bond, Lou Vincent and Andre Adams. They can't play because of their allegiance to ICL. These are good players and it's sad that they are not playing international cricket.
"The BCCI and the ICC should come to a resolution to bring ICL to the fold and that would be fantastic for cricket worldwide. I just hope they are mindful of the impact on countries like New Zealand. I am sure there is a solution," said Mills.
Former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, who is here as the administrative manager of the tour, said, "This match is very insignificant. I don't have to react to this."