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ICPA comes into being

Calcutta: Former Test cricketer Arun Lal on Tuesday formally announced the formation of Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA), saying it would represent the views and aspirations of the players — present and past. He also said that the new body will “under no circumstances, be in confrontation with anybody”.

“Collectively we can be a giant force, a platform for all the players to promote the game in a better way,” said Lal, also the IPCA secretary.

Apart from Arun, the body consists of Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi as president and seven founder-members. India captain Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Jawagal Srinath and former captain Ravi Shastri were present during the ICPA’s launch at a city hotel this evening. However, Pataudi arrived in the city after the launch.

Lal, however, insisted the ICPA is a non-confrontatory body and it was not formed to challenge the powers-that-be.

“Our objective is to open dialogue with everybody concerned to sort out contentious issues,” Lal said.

Shastri also echoed the same feeling, adding the next year’s World Cup provided “a perfect opportunity” to settle the controversial sponsorship issues with the International Cricket Council. He said the controversy took place mainly because of “lack of commission”.

“The most important thing is to have a two-way dialogue to present our views across the board. India has become a team since early 80s which can go all the way in the World Cup. So we need to resolve whatever controversial issues are there before the tournament so that no extra pressure is on the players’ minds,” Shastri felt.

Bishan Singh Bedi, who was supposed to have arrived Tuesday itself, will be there for Thursday’s fund-raiser.

When quizzed about the BCCI’s refusal to accept the ICPA till its members are elected, Lal said: “We have just formed today and in the process of formalising the body. May be it will take a month’s time to do so. But the little response we have had from the BCCI is very positive. And we believe ICPA will compliment and supplement the BCCI in all possible ways”.

He further stated the ICPA will interact with like-minded bodies and also aim at being part of the Federation of International Cricket Association (Fica).

Kumble said the current players have been involved in the body “to start off a nation-wide campaign for social causes”. Plans include schemes for insurance, widow-pension and general pension, in future.

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