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ICL is good for cricket: Cairns

CHANDIGARH : New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns believes Indian Cricket League is a golden opportunity for youngsters to play alongside great players and should not be seen as a rebel body.

“Many people thought ICL would never happen. Its detractors thought it would never take off but now they are all set to hold the tournament,” Cairns said.

“I do not see ICL as being in conflict with BCCI. It should not be seen like that. In fact, it’s an opportunity for players to explore their talent,” said Cairns, captain of Chandigarh Lions, one of the six teams playing in ICL’s Twenty20 venture starting in Panchkula on November 30.

Another Chandigarh Lions player, Pakistan batsman Imran Farhat said ICL is doing a great job for cricket as it will provide a platform for budding players to hone their skills.

Asked about poor performance of the Pakistan team in the ODI series against India, 25-year-old Farhat said that captain Shoaib Malik should be given time to settle down.

“You cannot blame him. It is time when he needs support. I also believe that players have been shuffled which has resulted in their not performing to their optimum limit,” he said in a media conference.

“I think Pakistan is still looking for a combination that will click for them,” he said.

Both Cairns and Farhat praised India’s ODI skipper MS Dhoni and said his mettle will be tested over the next few months.

“He is showing signs of a good captain. However, he is still going through a honeymoon phase and his real test will be over the next few months,” 37-year old Cairns said.

On Twenty20 cricket, Cairns said it was exciting and pulsating.

“The complexion of whole game can change in just two overs. There is a lot of luck involved in this and the players also enjoy it as it puts less pressure on them. however, real mettle of a player can only be tested in the longer version of the game,” he said.

In a lighter vein, each player of Chandigarh Lions were asked about their favourite Indian actress.

Cairns is bowled over by green-eyed beauty Aishwarya Rai, whom he described as a “wonderful actress”.

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