The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pataudi favoured to head body

Calcutta: Former India captain Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi, a legend in his own right, is likely to head the players’ association, which could be registered before the month is out.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, “everybody involved” with the latest venture is “convinced” Pataudi will be the “most suitable” president.

Actually, nobody should hold a different view.

Apparently, the Big Four — captain Sourav Ganguly, vice-captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble — have already (informally) discussed the issue both among themselves and with Arun Lal, expected to be the secretary.

Lal, it may be recalled, held that post in the now-defunct Association of Indian Cricketers (AIC), formed in 1989.

Pataudi is currently in the UK and, so, wasn’t available for comment. He shouldn’t, however, have reservations as he willingly agreed to sit alongside Ravi Shastri and Lal on the “interim committee.”

It’s understood that the body may either be named the Indian Cricketers’ Association or the Cricketers’ Association of India. It could be registered right here in the city.

As it must start with a minimum of eight members, it’s certain that the Big Four will be among the founders. The other four will probably be former cricketers.

The Board, of course, has already conveyed that the office-bearers should be elected and not nominated but, as a source put it Thursday evening, elections can only be held after the association has come into being.

“Look, elections will come into the picture during the second stage. Stage I is getting the body off the blocks. In any case, how can elections take place before the enrolment of members' Doesn’t make sense,” the source pointed out.

He added: “If somebody somewhere is under the impression the association will be confrontationist in nature, then that assumption is totally misplaced. Indeed, the body will complement the Board, not undermine it.”

Incidentally, the association will be looking beyond the India players and get the strictly first-class cricketers on board too. The modalities will be worked out sooner rather than later.

While it’s only natural for the Board to be ‘interested’ in a players’ body, it shouldn’t be seen as trying to ‘influence’ its formation.

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