The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pataudi stand augurs well for ICPA

Calcutta: Whatever his role, getting priorities right hasn’t been a problem for Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. If somebody had a doubt, the former India captain cleared it Tuesday, when he spoke in his latest avatar — as the Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA) president.

Pataudi’s candid remark that the ICPA won’t join the Player Terms row (which remains unresolved even after nine months) has surprised some, but this stand may actually ensure it doesn’t go the way of previous ‘experiments’.

Both earlier bodies, in the mid-Seventies and the late Nineties, quickly sank without a trace.

Pataudi wasn’t aware of this history bit when he accepted the presidentship — “Good God, don’t tell me,” he told The Telegraph — but, having lent his name to the newest venture, is committed to see it grow before stepping aside when he completes two years.

Of course, it’s the Terms dispute which encouraged the players to come together on a platform. Yet, it would have been foolish for the ICPA to identify itself closely with such a controversial issue.

In any case, the Jagmohan Dalmiya-headed Board alone is best equipped to take on the International Cricket Council, the Terms’ author.

Had the Terms row — which threatened last September’s Champions Trophy and this year’s World Cup — been the focus, it’s unlikely the ICPA would have continued much beyond whenever the dispute actually got resolved.

Indeed, from last October itself (when the ICPA was formed), Pataudi has consistently been speaking about focussing strictly on the first class cricketers as opposed to the ones who have graduated to the India cap.

It’s a pragmatic approach. Besides, it will help the ICPA reach out to a wide ‘constituency’. The membership drive, after all, will be targeting the Ranadeb Boses not so much the Zaheer Khans.

Pataudi has also been consistent in maintaining the ICPA isn’t confrontational and that it seeks to complement the Board.

Again, a sensible line.

Meanwhile, the ICPA (now a registered body) has Anil Kumble and Arun Lal as vice-presidents. The other five founder-members are: Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Abbas Ali Baig and Ravi Shastri.

The idea of having a secretary/spokesman has been dropped and the talking will all be done by Pataudi.

Don’t think anybody will complain.

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