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Don't treat ICL players as 'rebels'

Hitting out at BCCI for ostracising those associated with the Indian Cricket League, former India captain Kapil Dev on Wednesday said if the Board had the good of the game at heart, it should stop branding them as "rebels".

"Why are those playing in ICL being punished. They have not done anything wrong. Should we not feel proud when they play and score runs in the company of international cricketers?" Kapil, ICL's Executive Board Chairman said.

He said instead of trying to appreciate what ICL was doing, it was being branded as "a rebel league."

"What have we done to earn that name. Are we not promoting cricket. If Subhash Chandra (chairman of Zee group which owns ICL) has put in so much money into this with a vision to take cricket forward in this country, should anybody have a problem with that," Kapil asked.

"Don't we feel equally proud when (business tycoons) Vijay Mallya and Mr Ambani put money into cricket? Who is gaining in the end? It is the cricketers and those who love this sport," Kapil said.

Former England captain Tony Greig, who is doing commentary for the ICL's ongoing Twenty20 tournament here, also hit out at those trying to block opportunities of those playing in the league.

He even said the BCCI-backed Indian Premier League has "copied" the format of ICL for their upcoming Twenty20 event.

"This game does not belong to one or two individuals. Who has the right to ban a young cricketer who plays good cricket?" he said.

Kapil said a few individuals were trying to monopolise the game.

"I want to ask them one question. Haven't we given our blood and sweat for this game? Does cricket belong only to them?" he asked.

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