The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapil catch for Zee league

Mumbai, May 14: India’s cricket bosses, get ready for a new band of Kapil’s Devils —and an “eye-opener” from the World Cup-winning captain.

Television czar Subhash Chandra today said Kapil Dev would head the executive board of Zee’s ICL, the professional cricket league he announced a month ago.

The four-member board of the Indian Cricket League will include former England skipper Tony Greig, Australian batsman Dean Jones and ex-stumper Kiran More.

“The game should be run by the people who have played it at the highest level and hence the choice of the members,” said Chandra, the chairman of Essel Group, which controls Zee.

Kapil, whose team stunned Clive Lloyd’s mighty West Indies 24 summers ago, said the league, expected to take off around October this year with a corpus of Rs 100 crore, would be an “eye-opener” for the Indian cricket board, BCCI.

“The board has done well, but perhaps as a cricketer, we have not given enough emphasis at the ground level, that is where the ICL may be an eye-opener for the board,” he said.

“If the competition is there, the results would be good. It will be beneficial to all. I don’t think the BCCI will not accept it because it will be helpful for them. Our work is to give opportunity to players. If the board doesn’t give them a chance, then it’s their decision.”

The former captain said it was a “great pleasure” to lead the executive board of the ICL, the first professional league in India. “I will try and utilise my experience of motivating and guiding players, both as captain and coach, to take the young talent to the pinnacle of success.”

Asked if he had sought the BCCI’s permission as he was the chairman of the national cricket academy board, he said: “I am not working for anybody. I don’t think that I need to ask them (BCCI) for this.”

The league will start with six teams and go up to 16 in three years. Each team will have four international players.

Greig said the league would not be in conflict with the Indian cricket board.

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