Kapil returns to BCCI fold after sorting out diff

New Delhi: Former captain Kapil Dev today buried his differences with the BCCI after five years of estrangement to mark his return to the official fold in a deal that makes him eligible to get Rs 1.5 crore for his services to the game.

The cricket legend, who was the last from the rebel league to rejoin the game`s official establishment, was accepted back into the BCCI when he gave a letter to Board President N Srinivasan that he had quit the defunct ICL. The BCCI issued a media release, moments after the 1983 World Cup winning captain met Srinivasan at the Board`s headquarters in Mumbai this morning.

"The BCCI has received a letter from Mr. Kapil Dev, former India captain. Mr. Kapil Dev has informed the Board that he has resigned from the Essel Sports Private Limited / ICL. He has also stated in the letter that he has always supported the BCCI, and will continue to do so in the future. The BCCI acknowledges Mr Kapil Dev`s immense contribution to Indian cricket and looks forward to a fruitful association with him in the years to come," Srinivasan said.

"The BCCI will now release the one-time benefit of Rs 1.5 crore for Kapil (for playing more than 100 Tests) and he will again be eligible for monthly gratis of Rs 35,000 from the Board. His gratis arrears for the last five years will also be cleared with immediate effect," a senior BCCI official told PTI today. Asked whether there was any apology from the cricket legend in the letter, he said "there was none and none was expected too. He had mentioned that he had quit the ICL."

Earlier, during this year`s IPL when several former cricketers were handed out payments worth Rs 70 crore by the BCCI, Kapil had declared that he would not seek an amnesty. After BCCI chief Srinivasan took personal initiative in the matter, Kapil met the former here ahead of the BCCI`s working committee meeting last week. It was learnt that Kapil had then handed over to Srinivasan a copy of his resignation from the post of executive chairman of the ICL Board, paving the way for his return today.

Kapil sounded happy to be back in the official fold after admitting he had some misunderstanding with the Board in the past. "Yes, there were some misunderstandings but that has been cleared now. I understand that the board has a way of doing things and we sportsmen have our way of doing things," a smiling Kapil told media persons as he left the venue. "BCCI is like a parent and we are like its children. Even during my earlier association, I have contributed for welfare of cricket and cricketers and even now I aim to do so," Kapil stated.

"Actually, we are emotional people but BCCI has done a lot for Indian cricket and I happy to be associated with them. This is the first time I have come to BCCI headquarters. It`s brilliant," he added. The legendary all-rounder, who joined the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) back in 2007, was banned by the BCCI for being a part of unsanctioned league.

While the other cricketers and officials who were a part of the league had gone back to the official fold much earlier, Kapil had said that he will never seek amnesty from the parent body unlike others. But recently, during BCCI working committee which was held in New Delhi, Kapil dropped in to meet Srinivasan and handed him a copy of his resignation letter from ICL to the president and it was then matter of time before the parent body would welcome him back in its fold.

Even after that working committee meeting, a senior official had said that format of Kapil`s letter will be such that "it doesn`t hurt the dignity of a player of his stature and at the same time restores BCCI`s position as the guardian of the game in the country."