The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘ICPA was not needed’
- Mohinder Amarnath feels India should not be playing cricket with Pakistan as long as border tensions persist

Calcutta: Mohinder Amarnath, a distinguished former Indian cricketer has no plans of joining the Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA), even though the association intends to include all those who have played Test cricket for the country in its ranks.

“I do not think another association was needed. They could well have renewed the old one (Association of Indian Cricketers),” Amarnath said, while interacting with newsmen at the Eden Gardens following a session with the East Zone Academy boys Tuesday.

Amarnath is one of the batting consultants at the National Cricket Academy and is currently in the city to fine-tune the skills of the trainees at the NCA’s eastern wing.

“I think the BCCI has done enough for the players. However, if the cricketers deserve anything more and the ICPA does it, I don’t have any problem,” Amarnath said.

He also did not rule out the possibility of being an active member of the old association in case it is revived. “Let’s see, how things go,” was his reply, when asked about his future course of action.

However, when it came to renewal of bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan, the former middle-order batsman said he didn’t feel the time is ripe.

“It’s not just a game, it also involves a lot of passion,” Amarnath, who negotiated the fiery pace of the Pakistanis in the early 80s with panache, said.

When asked whether it was right to mix politics with sports, he said: “Had cricket helped cool down the tension between the two countries, we would not have so many wars.

“So, as long as the tension persists in the border, we shouldn’t be playing them,” he added.

Talking about his coaching assignment with the NCA, Amarnath said: “This is my way of paying something back to the game, which has given me so much.”

He also felt that the NCA is a very good idea and should help aspiring players. “This is a very good trend, we didn’t have this in our playing days.”

He had worked with West Zone boys in Mumbai for a couple of days before coming to the city.

“Uniformity in coaching is not possible. The West Zone boys will have their distinctive style, while East Zone will have theirs. It is our duty to brush up their talents and make them fit for the occasion.”

Commenting on the East Zone trainees, he said: “They have potential. Let’s see, what can be done.”

He will be in the city for four days working with the East Zone trainees.

Amarnath, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, didn’t want to make a comparison with the current side that made the Cup final in South Africa.

“It’s very hard to compare teams of different generations. Both are great sides and that’s enough for me,” Jimmy, as he was fondly called by teammates, said.

Amarnath won the Man-of-the-Match awards in both the semi-final and the final against England and West Indies in the 1983 Prudential World Cup.

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