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Raviraj Patil pleased with ICL decision

Raviraj Patil bid adieu to the cricket associations of Maharashtra as well as Baroda to join the Indian Cricket League (ICL) because he felt his selection to the state teams was being unfairly blocked.

"After playing for India U-17, if I did not get to play for the state then what's the point in staying with them," said an agitated Patil.

In an interview to HT, the middle-order batsman of the Mumbai Champs, said: "Having played for India in the U-17 Asia Cup (in 2004) I was certain to make the grade for the Maharashtra Ranji squad."

Unfortunately for the 20-year-old Pune-based cricketer, that never came to past. "I don't know what was on their (the officials') mind; they just did not want me. I was the only guy from Maharashtra to play in the Under-17 India team in that tournament and yet they refused to recognise my achievements.

"It was strange, but instead of keeping in-form players they decided to go in for greenhorns. At least that's what I was made to feel at that time."

However, Patil persisted and continued to play in local matches and U-19 tournaments.

That was when former India wicketkeeper and Baroda Cricket Association secretary Kiran More invited him to play for Baroda. Frustrated with the situation back home, Patil readily took the offer only to discover that there were more disappointments in store for him.

"Once there, I was told to play in the local leagues. Apparently, they had made a rule that year which stated that every new player coming from a different state needed to play in Baroda's local leagues for one year to qualify for selection to the Ranji squad. I have a feeling it was only done to discourage me. Next year, when it was time to press for inclusion, I was told that the rule was extended to another year.

I really blew my lid after that," he recalled. But did he not appeal to More?

I tried and he helped me but he could not go against the selection panel's decision."

That is when the ICL came calling. "The ICL happened around that time and Kiran Sir joined it. No sooner did he join the league than he made an offer to me and without even thinking twice I decided to accept it.

"I must say it was the best decision of my career, for at least I am getting to showcase my skills in front of international stars and they have recognised my talent." What's more, Patil has a good rapport with his skipper Nathan Astle. "He has become a good friend.

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