Kapil Dev and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Wednesday, cemented their recent efforts to bury the differences and come on a common platform for the improvement of the game and its image.
Kapil, who led India to the 1983 World Cup triumph, a feat repeated by M.S. Dhoni in 2011, wrote to the Board to stress his disassociation with Essel Sports, which had organised the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The Board had termed the ICL a rebel series and punished Kapil by removing him from the chairmanship of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). His monthly pension from the Board too had been stopped following his support to the ICL.
The BCCI, in a statement, said: “The BCCI has received a letter from Mr. Kapil Dev, former India captain. Mr. Kapil Dev has informed the Board that he has resigned from the Essel Sports Private Limited/ ICL. Hel has stated in the letter that he has always supported the BCCI, and will continue to do so in the future.”
The Board President, N. Srinivasan, said: “The BCCI acknowledges Mr. Kapil Dev’s immense contribution to Indian cricket and looks forward to a fruitful association with him in the years to come.”
The stage for the compromise between Kapil and the Board had been set during the Board’s Working Committee meeting here last week. Kapil had met Mr. Srinivasan and their fruitful meeting had cleared the decks for Kapil’s return to mainstream cricket.
The Board will be giving Kapil the one-time benefit of Rs. 1.5 crores and monthly gratis of Rs. 35,000. BCCI sources said he would also be given arrears for the last five years. In May, the Board’s list of one-time benefit scheme did not include Kapil since he had not sought amnesty offered in 2009 for players and officials associated with the ICL. Kiran More and many others had applied for the amnesty.
Kapil’s response to the development was guarded. “I have always wanted to be associated with the game. Whenever the BCCI gave me the opportunity, I did my best. I have also supported the Board whenever it has done well. I had congratulated Mr. Srinivasan for the wonderful gesture of helping the needy cricketers with the one-time benefit. It is not that I just criticise the BCCI. It is the parent body. It runs cricket very efficiently and I am happy all the differences have been buried.”
On his five-year exile from mainstream cricket, Kapil said, “It was a learning process. Sometimes you learn a lot from such experiences. I never had a fight with the parent body (BCCI). We can always sort out things sitting across the table. Even India and Pakistan can sort out their differences. It is important for cricket. I have always been proud of playing for the country and my association, the BCCI.”
Would he accept any role in the future to be connected with cricket and Board? “I am always available for giving my services in whatever capacity I can,” he said.
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi welcomed Kapil’s comeback to the BCCI fold. “I am happy that Kapil has sorted out the problems with the BCCI and acknowledged it is the parent body for the game. BCCI is the parent body and we have to give it due respect. This is magnificent news.”
Former India all-rounder Madan Lal also expressed his delight over the development. “He is back to where he belongs. He has played for the country. Sometimes, people do not agree with certain things, but everything can be sorted out by sitting across the table.”