The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Apply first, says BCCI’s Shah

Calcutta: Despite being in existence for nearly four years, the Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA) hasn’t sought recognition from the Board.

“We can’t be guided by what individuals say' The players’ body must apply and, only then, can we take a decision,” informed Board secretary Niranjan Shah.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Monday evening, not many hours after Team India captain Rahul Dravid called for the ICPA’s recognition, he added: “The Board, in any case, regularly has a dialogue with the senior players. We work with them' So'”

Obviously, the change in guard (Jagmohan Dalmiya wasn’t bothered about the ICPA, not even in the lead-up to introducing central contracts), with Sharad Pawar now at the helm, hasn’t changed the Board’s stand.

Asked why the ICPA hadn’t sought recognition, vice-president (and spokesman) Arun Lal said: “That’s because we didn’t want the previous dispensation to say ‘no’' Perhaps, we will do so now.”

Lal, of course, was actively involved with the last players’ body as well ' the Association of Indian Cricketers.

Nobody remembers it, though, just as nobody remembers the body formed by some seniors in the mid-Seventies or thereabouts.

Dravid’s call has come at a time when the International Cricket Council has begun to move away from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica).

The Board, by the way, has consistently been anti Fica.

Getting back to the ICPA, it was formed when the Sourav Gangulys were caught in the high-voltage Players’ Terms dispute with the world body.

Many were of the view, then, that the enthusiasm would wane once the dispute got settled. That’s exactly how the ICPA-cookie has crumbled.

Except possibly a chosen few, nobody knows anything about its activities.

That’s a pity as the ICPA is headed by our most revered captain ' Mansur Ali Khan ‘Tiger’ Pataudi.

While Anil Kumble is also a vice-president, Dravid is one of the five founding members. Abbas Ali Baig, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav are the others.

The profile couldn’t be higher, but the Board hasn’t been impressed. The ask for the Dravids doesn’t seem easy.

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