The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pataudi, Shastri decline offer to chair NCA
- Kapil gets Vishy’s support
- ICL plans conditioning camp

Calcutta: Two former India captains — Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Ravi Shastri — have declined informal offers from the Sharad Pawar regime to head the Bangalore-located National Cricket Academy (NCA).

The offers were made well before Tuesday, when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sacked Kapil Dev as the NCA chairman.

Kapil is the very public face of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which hasn’t been recognised by the Establishment.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Shastri (interim cricket manager on the tour of Bangladesh three months ago) was approached first.

“Shastri said he just didn’t have the time. Apparently, the person who made the offer then proposed that the NCA meetings could be held to suit his convenience! As for Pataudi, he declined saying somebody younger should do the job,” one of the sources pointed out.

Pataudi, for the record, is 66.

Having removed Kapil, the BCCI must now step up its drive to get a replacement — NCA vice-chairman Ajay Shirke is in-charge for the time being.

It’s not insignificant, perhaps, that the BCCI is already struggling to get a full-time coach.

Kapil, by the way, isn’t the first NCA chairman to be sacked — predecessors Raj Singh Dungarpur and Sunil Gavaskar were also shown the door.

Raj Singh, the first chairman, was removed by Jagmohan Dalmiya in 2001. Five years later, Pawar did the same to Dalmiya-appointee Gavaskar.

Meanwhile, till late on Wednesday, nobody from the BCCI had formally communicated the SGM’s decision to Kapil.

“They didn’t have the courtesy to talk to me (before Tuesday)... It’s too much to expect a call now... The BCCI won’t change,” Kapil remarked when contacted in New Delhi.

Speaking exclusively, he added: “They’ve made their decision... As for me, I’m focused on the ICL... One of the first things we’re doing is to organise a conditioning camp in the next few weeks...”

The camp, one learns, could be in Chennai.

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