| Dilip Vengsarkar at a city hotel Sunday. Picture by Aranya Sen
Calcutta, Oct 27: Dilip Vengsarkar was a rookie when India’s first players’ body was formed in the mid-Seventies. More than a decade later, he was captain when the move to start the Association of Indian Cricketers (AIC) took firm shape.
Both bodies, as it turned out, went defunct all too soon. Predictably, then, Vengsarkar is a trifle sceptical about the newest venture: Indian Cricket Players’ Association, set to be launched here Tuesday with Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi as president.
[While Pataudi is unlikely to be present at the launch, he will be around during Thursday’s fund-raiser.]
“Going by experience, I know it’s not easy to run such bodies… From what I remember, both were forgotten once the issues, which prompted their formation, were sorted out,” Vengsarkar told The Telegraph Sunday afternoon.
Incidentally, Vengsarkar was vice-president in the Kapil Dev-headed AIC.
In the city to “spot talent” at the regional U-15 tournament, he added: “Frankly, the to-be-formed association shouldn’t be dependent on the stars only and, to survive, must be professionally managed.”
Moreover, in Vengsarkar’s opinion, the body should look to having all first-class cricketers as members.
“Otherwise, it will fade away should the present-day stars lose interest… Indeed, I quite agree with the Board that it must be fully representative,” he observed.
While Bishen Singh Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar took the lead in the mid-Seventies, the AIC came into being after the Board booked a clutch of top players for “unauthorised” appearances in North America after the 1989 tour of the West Indies.
The latest move, of course, gained momentum during the recent Player Terms row — bang in the middle of the Test series in England.
“I hope that controversy isn’t the only reason why the players have got involved… Also, at no time should the association be confrontationist. I’m not privy to how the Board will formally respond, but the players should be looking to complement it (the Board),” Vengsarkar pointed out.
The present lot has been speaking much the same language and, so, there shouldn’t be any jhamela. For the record, Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya has this to say: “The issue will first have to be discussed at the working committee-level…”
Meanwhile, part of the proceeds from the fund-raiser by the newest body will go to the New Delhi-headquartered Child Relief and You (CRY). The other beneficiary is expected to be The Telegraph Education Foundation.
Significantly, CRY is Sourav Ganguly’s choice. Wife Dona, who is associated with the organisation, apparently helped the captain take that decision.