The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Surely, each of us is entitled to an opinion, says a senior
- Virender Sehwag gets support on comments; Anger at ‘spineless’ ICPA

Kingston: Even if everybody in Team India may not have been impressed by Virender Sehwag’s perfectly harmless views on former captain Sourav Ganguly, conveyed through a recent interview to a news agency back home, the Board’s over-reaction has certainly won him support.

There’s also anger at the “spineless” Indian Cricket Players’ Association (ICPA) which remains “silent” on issues concerning the fraternity. Captain Rahul Dravid is one of its founding members and wants the Board to extend recognition.

“Veeru (Sehwag) didn’t say anything controversial... He spoke the truth... Surely, each of us is entitled to an opinion and that could be about our most successful (Test) captain,” one of the seniors on tour told The Telegraph.

Speaking at the team hotel (Hilton) here, he added: “One can understand why Sourav keeps quiet... Imagine what would happen to him if he himself uttered something! I feel sorry for Sourav...”

The senior tore into the ICPA, which doesn’t seem to have done anything of note since it came into being in late 2002. He said: “It’s spineless... It should take a very public stand on issues such as burnout... What’s the point in staying silent' Is holding an occasional fund-raising dinner enough'”


Apparently, many feel much the same way. Strangely, till the other day, the Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi-headed ICPA hadn’t even moved the Board for recognition.

Returning to Sehwag, Board secretary Niranjan Shah ticked him off (officially described as advice wrapped in warning) for, among other things, saying “sometimes we miss him (Sourav).”

The vice-captain had also commented: “He supported me a lot... He backed players like Yuvraj Singh... He’s still playing first-class cricket and, hopefully, will get a chance again... Most of the times India won when he got a (one-day) hundred...”

Sourav, whose last ODI appearance was eight months ago, has 22 hundreds.

The Board, it may be recalled, gagged Harbhajan Singh (last September) when he backed Sourav in his row with coach Greg Chappell. Then, in February, Yuvraj was warned not to speak about Sourav and matters of selection.

It’s to be seen whether Sehwag stays the last in this unusual list.

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