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Players’ representative body needed in India: Maddy

Panchkula  : Darren Maddy is ‘Dazza’ to friends. And here at the Indian Cricket League, he has a lot of friends – “I am trying to pick up the local language”. Playing for the Kolkata Tigers, Maddy had a dream spell against the Chandigarh Lions (4 for 6) but he still feels the Twenty-20 format is loaded in batsman’s favour.The English player is also hopeful that the England and Wales Cricket Board would not banish him from playing at the ICL, and feels that a players body in India could have averted the situation the Indian ‘rebels’ are facing.

Sportline spoke to him even as he was preparing for Kolkata Tigers’ next match.

* How do you feel playing such cricket outside of England, especially in India? What are your thoughts on the ICL and the pitch here at Panchkula that has been reworked for this championship.?
Maddy: Oh, I am enjoying every bit of touring and playing my cricket in India. It has been five years since I last visited India. Although, one doesn’t find seaming pitches in India but it is always a challenge to play on the Indian strips. The pitch here (Panchkula) was initially very slow and had unpredictable bounce. But as the tournament is progressing it is now an even contest between the bat and ball.

* What made you join ICL, knowing the fact that the England and Wales Cricket Board was apprehensive in allowing its players to take part in the championship?
Maddy: Well, my experience has been spectacular till date. It is an innovative concept which has given a good chance to the cricketers from all over the world to share a common podium and perform. It would be wrong if I say that the money offered by the organisers wasn’t a major factor. Moreover, we are getting to play competitive cricket at this time, which happens to be an off season in county cricket. For sure my game would get better and I would be raring to go when the county games start in April. Yeah, ECB had some issues with England players joining the ICL, but due to the backing of Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) I went felt encouraged to play.

* How important was PCA’s role in this issue? Don’t you think it is high time the Indian players too had a body that safeguards players’ interest and represents them?
Maddy: All the credit goes to the PCA for convincing the ECB on the ICL issue. It is really sad to realise that the Indian domestic players of such talent won’t be representing their country anymore. There is an urgent need of a body such as PCA here in India for the benefit of the players.

* Do you think that your participation in the Championship will act as a deterrent to your cricket career?
Maddy: No at all, I am confident that my participation in the Indian Cricket League will not harm my future in the game.

* What are your thoughts on the Panchkula Stadium?
Maddy: The Stadium is an absolute stunner knowing the fact that it has been re-worked in just a month. The craze for the game in India is tremendous and it is visible when spirited spectators turn out to witness the ongoing matches. The electric atmosphere at the Stadium turns the heat on while playing.

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