The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shastri speaks up for ICPA

Calcutta: Former India captain Ravi Shastri, who is also one of the founder members of the Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA), has reacted strongly to Ashok Malhotra’s latest barrage against the nascent body.

Malhotra, it may be recalled, had this to say on the day the ICPA announced free-of-cost medical insurance for the players: “The move is an eyewash and only taking the focus away from the right cause. It’s been some time since the ICPA was formed, and I bet nothing constructive has come up.”

Shastri, who got in touch with The Telegraph Sunday, responded thus:

“Having known Ashok for a long time, it was very disappointing for a fellow cricketer to hear the remarks he had made regarding the ICPA because it was like questioning the credibility of people like Tiger Pataudi, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and myself, just to name a few.

“But, obviously, his singing is music to the ears of the hierarchy of the BCCI. The first time he sang he was made coach of the A team to the West Indies out of the blue. Later, he was made coach of the Indian team in the absence of John Wright, which clearly suggests that when it comes to appointing high-standing positions, the democratic system of the BCCI goes out of the window.

“His continued singing makes me feel very worried for John who might be replaced in the middle of his tenure even though he has a valid contract.”

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