Play hard, Play fair: Gavaskar

New Delhi: BCCI interim President, Sunil Gavaskar stressed on the importance of playing the game according to MCC Spirit of Cricket -- Play hard, Play fair -- during Captains & Coaches meeting ahead of the seventh IPL which begun in Abu Dhabi today.

Gavaskar, who was appointed the interim president of the BCCI for IPL affairs by the Supreme Court, chaired the pre-IPL season Captains & Coaches meeting yesterday.

"Sunil Gavaskar, Interim President, BCCI-IPL, chaired the pre-IPL season Captains & Coaches meeting, on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. He stressed to the captains, the importance of their teams playing the game according to the MCC Spirit of Cricket - Play hard, Play fair," a BCCI release said.

"He also addressed their position as role models for followers of the game and other players, as they built their respective careers. He reinforced the core message that integrity was non-negotiable.

"During the day, he also met with former and recently retired cricketers - VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble - and sought their views on various issues. Sourav Ganguly was unfortunately unavailable, as he was travelling," said Sanjay Patel, BCCI Secretary in the release today.

The IPL-7 today started with a clash between defending champion, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, who won the tournament in 2012 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu dhabi today.

The UAE is hosting the high-profile T20 event`s first leg from April 16 to 30 owing to a clash of dates with the Indian general elections and security concerns emanating from that.

The tournament will return to India on May 2 after being assured of security in states where voting would be over by that time.