Wed, Aug 22, 2007 - Page 20 News List

AP , NEW DELHI

India's World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev was sacked yesterday as head of the national academy for joining an unofficial league that has challenged the cricket board's authority.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it had sacked former captain Dev from the honorary position as chairman of the National Cricket Academy with immediate effect.

The decision was made at the cricket board's special general meeting in Mumbai, a day after Dev released the list of 51 players who had signed up for the rival league.

The board also said it would debar all Indian players featuring in the rival Indian Cricket League, or ICL, from playing in domestic and international competitions.

Promoted by a TV company, the ICL will feature six teams in Twenty20 matches between October and November.

The rebel league has drawn a comparison with Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket that split the sport in the 1970s.

Dev's appointment was to run until the BCCI's annual general meeting on Sept. 28.

Dev, captain of India's 1983 World Cup champion team, had dared the Indian board to fire him as chairman of the national academy, insisting he was doing nothing wrong by promoting cricket. Dev heads the ICL's executive board.

Sandip Patil, Madan Lal and Balwinder Sandhu, all members of the 1983 World Cup champion team, have joined Dev in signing up with the league. They have coaching assignments for the ICL teams that will feature foreign stars and Indian youngsters.

Following the BCCI directive that no member of the board should have any link with the ICL, former Test wicketkeeper Kiran More -- who recently served as the chief national selector -- quit his elected position as secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association.

The rebel league has rankled the cricket board, which warned players of a life ban and loss of financial benefits if they joined the unofficial event.

The Indian board's threat seems to have failed, as several former internationals have signed up for the rival league.

Also see story:
Pakistani stars join rebel Indian league

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