ICL providing platform for youngsters: Cairns, Farhat

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Chandigarh, Nov 17 (UNI) New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns describes the Indian Cricket League, a venture of Essel Group, as a golden opportunity for youngsters to show their talent while playing alongside the great players. "The ICL Twenty20 League is not a rebel group," said Cairns here today.

"Some throught that ICL would not be a reality. They were of the opinion that the ICL would never take off. Now the stage is all set for the league," Cairns said.

"I do not see ICL as being in conflict with Board of Control for Cricket in India. The ICL will provide a solid platform for the players to explore and exhibit their talent," said Cairns, captain of Chandigarh Lions, one of the six teams taking part in the ICL's Twenty20 League beginning at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula on November 30.

Pakistan batsman Imran Farhat, another member of Chandigarh Lions, said ICL was doing a fine job for promoting cricket as it will provide an opportunity for players to hone their skills.

Asked about poor performance of the Pakistan team in the one-day international series against India, Farhat said that skipper Shoaib Malik should be given reasonable time to settle down.

"You cannot blame him. Malik 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.

Chris Cairns and Farhat praised India's ODI skipper Mahindra Singh Dhoni and said he would face the acid test over the next few months.

Meanwhile, a group of Chandigarh Lions went to the Fun City.

All-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi also enjoyed the game of table soccer at St Stephen's School in Sector 45 where Master India Open International Table Soccer Championship was in progress. However, he was rudely denied practice just for a brief photo session when some matches had already finished at the Sector 23 Table Tennis Hall by an official of the Chandigarh Table Tennis Association.

UNI

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