Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel has lashed out at legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham for his comments about the Indian Premier League (IPL) during his speech at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s.
Botham stated that the IPL was “too powerful” and should not exist since it has become a hub for illegal bookies and is causing international players to abandon their national teams.
“Let him get his facts correct first,” Patel told PTI. “He has asked how the other boards have allowed IPL to happen. The BCCI has distributed over US $10 million as compensation to the other cricket boards for allowing their players to play in the IPL.”
Patel also brought up Botham’s association with Texas businessman Allen Stanford, who had plans to create an IPL-style Twenty20 league before he was arrested for fraud and sentenced to 110 years in prison.
“I can still visualise the photo of Botham sitting in the front when Stanford went to England,” Patel said. “And he has the temerity to talk about IPL. We don’t want his advice. We have enough top players like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid to advise us.”
Moving away from the topic of Botham, Patel noted that it is still too early to tell whether former India captain Ravi Shastri will be named director of the national team for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s premature to talk about this,” Patel said. “He was very gracious to accede to the BCCI’s request when we approached him after the Test series. He said he was always there for India and Indian cricket and accepted it without any preconditions. We will certainly compensate him for whatever he has lost by way of not fulfilling his contract as a TV commentator and media columnist.”