Gillespie slams BCCI for treating ICL players as pariahs

December 13th, 2008 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Dec 13 (IANS) Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie has slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for ill-treating Indian Cricket League (ICL) players and closing the door on several talented youngsters.Gillespie, who signed with the ICL last season and promptly retired from the SA Redbacks to avoid Cricket Australia’s (CA) sanction, is distressed by the treatment of India’s banned ICL players.

Gillespie also spoke of how his Ahmedabad Rockets team-mate, former India international Reetinder Sodhi, was treated when he went to watch a recent club game.

“Security was called and Sodhi was frog-marched out of the ground. He can’t even go and watch a match. He got escorted away from a club match because he’s in ICL,” Gillespie was quoted as saying in The Australian.

“They can’t play anywhere. The only place they can play cricket is in the street or in their own backyard.”

Then there’s the case of batsman Bhima Rao, 21, who dominated one ICL Twenty20 game with multiple run-outs and catches from his station at point.

“He’s one of the best fielders I’ve seen, in any cricket. They are massively disappointed. These kids, their goal is, like any other kid, to play for India,” he said.

“I just find it incredibly disappointing that a lot of these kids will never get the opportunity to play for their country. It’s ended their first-class careers.

Cricket Australia banned Gillespie’s Ahmedabad team-mates Ryan Campbell and Murray Goodwin from playing in the annual Lilac Hill picnic match in Western Australia last month.

“That is ridiculous. That is just silly. On what basis? I think Cricket Australia value the relationship with the BCCI far too much.”

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