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BCCI doesn't want to party with 83 WC legend


Rudraneil Sengupta,CNN-IBN
Mar 19, 2008 at 08:00am IST

New Delhi: Twenty-five years ago, Indian cricket enjoyed its greatest moment — the World Cup win. But now, even as a member of that team, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar plans a gala celebration at Lord's to mark the occasion, there is a controversy brewing.

Can the BCCI be involved in an event that involves men who have crossed over to the breakaway Indian Cricket League?

The letter written by yesteryear's Little Master, Sunil Gavaskar, would have been nothing more than an invite to a celebration if it had been sent a year or so ago.

In the letter, Gavaskar tells his his team-mates that he has booked the long room at Lord's for the celebration and goes on to say:

"I do believe this is a great time for reflection, nostalgia and getting together to celebrate 25 years of India's greatest cricketing achievement. I am writing to request you to make yourself available for the celebrations and the banquet at Lord's. I look forward to your positive response so that we can get together and relive those wonderful moments," Gavaskar writes in the letter.

However, Kapil Dev — who led the team to victory in 1983 — is now the Chairman of the rebel Indian Cricket League. And Kapil Dev, along with three other members of the victorious team, is at loggerheads with the BCCI.

The board now faces an embarrassing choice — ignore the celebration, or share a platform with a man who has challenged their monopoly. Not surprisingly, they aren't quite sure about what to do.

"We should not just thrive on our 1983 win. We must try to win more World Cups," is Board Secretary Niranjan Shah's retort.

But for the men who were part of this grand occasion, this is a time to put the bad blood behind, at least for a day.

"The 1983 World Cup will always be special, will always be in every Indian's heart. So I'm sure that the board will definitely celebrate it in a big way themselves," says Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

"When we won the World Cup in '83, there was no ICL, there was no IPL. They should think above everything and invite everyone. I think they should behave like an elder brother in this case," suggests Yashpal Sharma.

Perhaps the 'Little Master' will have to bring all his diplomatic skills to the fore to bring the warring parties together.

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