Indian legend Dev not ready to desert ICL

NEW DELHI: Retired cricket great Kapil Dev will not sever ties with a rebel Twenty20 league despite an amnesty offer by the Indian cricket board, media reported Thursday.

Dev, India's only World Cup winning captain and one of the game's great all-rounders, heads the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which is struggling to keep afloat after being deserted by players and officials alike.

Last month, dozens of players and support staff quit the ICL to accept an amnesty offer from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

But Dev said he had no plans to quit the doomed league.

"Look, on paper at least, the ICL still exists," Dev was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"I'm not hurt that so many have gone back to the BCCI's fold. It's a question of their future and if somebody wants to play for the country, then who are we to stop him?

"But, yes, they had been intimidated."

ICL players were banned from official cricket around the world at the behest of the powerful BCCI, which organises the Indian Premier League, its own Twenty20 competition.

"I know the list of those who've returned to the BCCI includes some very dear friends, but I don't hold any grudges," Dev said.

"I don't think I've done anything wrong. Having done no wrong, I don't see why I (too) should bow before the BCCI. I don't wish to beg for forgiveness."

Dev's continued links with the unofficial league prompted the BCCI to keep him away from the unveiling of the 2011 World Cup logo in Mumbai on Tuesday.

However, two members of India's 1983 World Cup winning squad -- Dilip Vengsarkar and Balwinder Singh Sandhu -- were present. Sandhu was among those granted an amnesty by the BCCI.