BCCI is not against Kapil: Shukla
As the controversy over Kapil Dev's omission from the list of IPL beneficiaries raged on, the BCCI today said it has nothing against the legendary all-rounder and he was ignored for the cash award because of a "technical issue".
While the BCCI made one-time payment to former Indian cricketers from the IPL surplus, Kapil's omission created a flutter and the Board had surprisingly not given any reason for ignoring the former Indian captain.
Since the BCCI never released the full list of the beneficiaries, there was confusion on whether the former captain's name figured in it or not. But IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla today finally put the records straight by saying that Kapil Dev was not eligible for the monetary benefit.
"As far as Kapil Dev is concerned, BCCI is not against him. We have not got anything against Kapil but there is a technical issue. He has not accepted the amnesty proposal (by the BCCI). Technically, he is out of this benefit ambit. Otherwise, BCCI has nothing against him," Shukla told PTI in an interview here today.
Asked whether BCCI will consider his name if he seeks amnesty, Shukla said, "It's a hypothetical question. If he gives it, the BCCI working committee will definitely consider it."
Kapil, on his part, had left it on the BCCI saying that they are the "boss" and it's their call to provide him the one-time monetary benefit or not.
The 1983-World Cup winning captain was not invited by the BCCI for the functions at the four IPL venues where it honoured former cricketers with cheques for their services to Indian cricket. Kapil played 131 Tests and 225 One-day internationals for India and is rated among one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game. He is entitled to get 1.5 crore from the BCCI as per the scheme.
On why some other cricketers like Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath, Gundappa Vishwnath and Syed Kirmani were not considered for the benefit, Shukla said, "Those who have been already alloted benefit matches, they cannot be part of this scheme. They cannot be given the same advantage again."
Shukla was unhappy with the negative publicity being given to this scheme merely because some players were not considered.
"The reason behind giving one-time benefit to players was that not many players were able to hold their benefit matches. Firstly, it's a cumbersome job to organise a match nowadays. No team is free to be available for the benefit matches. "It was a very important decision as far as the BCCI is concerned. Roughly, Rs 90-100 crore are being distributed to players and their widows. Players were happy because they never thought that something like that would happen to them," Shukla said.
"No sports organisation in the world has done it before. We are also giving pensions to our players. We feel upset when we come to know that unnecessary controversy has been created despite doing so much for the former players. In place of appreciating this gesture, they have been criticising us. "People are not looking at the positive aspect and are only seeing the negative aspect. They are after the BCCI. Instead of helping the BCCI, you want to kill the organisation," he added.
On former cricketer Kirti Azad's hunger strike in protest against the irregularities in the IPL, Shukla said that anyone make allegations. "It's a sweeping remark made by Kirti Azad that there is no transparency in the organisation of the IPL. Anyone can make this allegation. I don't want to speak against Kirti because he is my parliamentarian colleague."
"I can only say how scrapping of IPL will benefit anyone. IPL is so big, you'll find domestic cricketers participating in it who come from humble background and are gaining prominence. Why do you want to deprive them of such opportunity? "Just handful of people are demanding that IPL should be scrapped, how can it be scrapped? You go by the public opinion, they want the IPL to continue. Scrapping IPL is against the wish of the people of the country," he said.