Mumbai: In what can be termed as a bid to end the frosty relationship, the Indian Cricket Board has invited World Cup winning former captain Kapil Dev for its Annual Award Function which is slated to be held on May 31.
"Yes, we have invited Kapil Dev and he has accepted the invitation," a BCCI source informed about the developments.
Accepting the BCCI invite, Kapil said it would be "very bad" if he does not attend the function to felicitate the 2011 World Cup winning Indian cricket team.
"I don`t know why so much is being made about me being invited for the function. Of course, I will be present there. There is no question of declining the invite. It is a momentous occasion when the (2011) World Cup winning Indian team will be felicitated. It would be very bad if I am not there to celebrate such a happy occasion," he said.
Kapil and the BCCI have been at loggerheads since 2007 when he joined the rebel Indian Cricket League floated by the Essel Group Subash Chandra and engineered a mass exodus of some top domestic cricketers and former international players.
The BCCI subsequently banned all the players and stopped their payments. After the ICL folded up in 2009 after couple of seasons, the BCCI offered amnesty deal to all and Kapil was one of the few who didn`t accept the offer.
Since 2007, Kapil has never been a part of BCCI functions although he was a part of the felicitation programme organised for the victorious 1983 jointly by Sunil Gavaskar`s company PMG and the BCCI.
It is however not clear whether another former captain Mohammed Azharuddin has been invited for the function. The BCCI had banned Azhar for life due to his alleged involvement in the match-fixing controversy. He is now an MP.