Kolkata: The Indian Cricket Players' Association (ICPA) is hoping to start a dialogue with the Board of Control for Cricket in India soon in its bid to gain recognition.
"We are very hopeful of having some sort of a dialogue with the BCCI soon," ICPA vice-president Arun Lal said in Kolkata on Sunday.
Lal said the Indian cricketers, who will assemble in Bangalore towards the end of the month for two back-to-back camps ahead of the Sri Lanka tri-series, were likely to utilise the opportunity to confabulate on matters related to the ICPA.
"When the players join the camp, there may be something. They could hold discussions about the direction they want the ICPA to take," Lal said and insisted it was for the likes of captain Rahul Dravid and veteran Anil Kumble to take the call.
The ICPA could look to gain from leggie Kumble's wisdom as he is based in Bangalore and had played a major role as the players' representative in stitching together the graded payments contract with the BCCI.
Ironically, Kumble has not found a place in the Lanka-bound team.
The Indians will undergo a fitness camp in Bangalore from July 25 to August 1 followed by a cricket skills specific camp from August 6 to 10 before leaving for Sri Lanka on the night of August 10.
The ICPA, formed in October 2002 in Kolkata, has been a virtual non-starter in the absence of any positive vibes from the BCCI.
The earlier BCCI regime, led by Jagmohan Dalmiya, refused to have anything to do with the body and kept it out of all discussions pertaining to the players' interests.
But the change of guard in the BCCI has made the ICPA optimistic.
"The present set of office-bearers have a very positive approach. They've given the highest priority to players' interests," Lal said, praising the Sharad Pawar-led BCCI dispensation.
"They have done well in every sphere since they took over late last year. And, frankly speaking, the results they have achieved are for all to see. And so, I think, we can be reasonably justified in thinking that we will also get a good deal from them," said Lal.
Cricketing circles, however, felt that with the BCCI substantially hiking the payments of players at all levels, bringing the top professionals under a contract system, and announcing pension schemes for former players, the scope for a players' body was now limited.
But one of the top cricketers chooses to disagree.
"There are so many things that affect the modern profesionals. Their duties as role models in the society have also increased. And a players' association helps not only in formulating a common stand of the players on issues that have a direct bearing on their careers, but also in channelising parts of players' resources and energy for betterment of the society," he said on condition of anonymity.
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