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Pataudi: ICPA won’t be an exclusive club

Calcutta: The president of the newly-formed Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA), Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi doesn’t think that the association will be an exclusive club representing the interests of only the country’s top players.

“It will involve the state units and we’ll look after the welfare of players from all over the country,” Pataudi said on Wednesday.

Reiterating what ICPA secretary Arun Lal said at it’s formal launch on Tuesday, Pataudi made it clear that the association was not keen on a confrontation with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“I’ll speak to the BCCI brass very soon on the issues,” he said. “The players have to travel around for most part of the year. Basically, we want to do the talking on their behalf.”

Pataudi, however, admitted that running the association wouldn’t be a very easy task. “We all have to work together to ensure that,” the president said.

Justifying the raison d’être of forming the ICPA, Pataudi said: “All the top cricketing nations have their respective associations. So it was about time we had ours.”

The ICPA president said he had just returned to India and it would take some time before he got down to sort out the nitty-gritty of the association. “I’ll sit down with the others today and tomorrow and sort out the finer details.”

The former India captain was all praise for Sourav Ganguly. “He’s doing a wonderful job, I hopes he keeps it up,” Pataudi said.

When told that Sourav’s aggressive on-field attitude is at times compared to his, Pataudi said: “I’m honoured to hear so.”

Pataudi said the Indian team was currently one of the best in the business. “I’m really pleased that the fitness level of the team has gone up by leaps and bounds,” he said. “If this can be carried along, we can have a good chance in the World Cup.”

BCCI stand on ICPA dinner

BCCI secretary S.K. Nair said he had been invited by the ICPA for Thursday’s fund-raising dinner.

“Arun Lal called me up once. But it’s entirely the decision of the BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya whether we’ll go or not.”

Meanwhile, Dalmiya said on Wednesday that it was premature to say whether he would hold discussions with the ICPA.

Asked what the BCCI’s stance would be if the ICPA made a formal offer for talks, Dalmiya said: “We will cross that bridge when we reach it.”

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