The current DDCA fracas is nothing new. The best known case of how selectors work happened three years ago, when DDCA president Arun Jaitley was forced to sack the Ranji selection committee for picking Navdeep Tomar, a club cricketer and known troublemaker. Tomar, who had twice landed up at the Kotla with hoodlums in tow and often openly abused selectors, had threatened them this time.
After last season’s selection meeting to pick Delhi’s Ranji one-day side, Tomar dropped in to the HT building and told us that most of the selectors were “ready to help” him. The only person he said he couldn’t bell — selection committee chairman Chetan Chauhan.
We asked him to prove it, so he did, speaking to two Delhi selectors, Anil Jain and Rajkumar Sharma, in our presence; the conversations were both recorded. Jain openly belittled Chauhan, accused him of practising ‘favouritism’ and told Tomar that if he could persuade Chauhan, the rest would speak in favour of him.
Jain later told HT that he had never spoken to Tomar. “He is frustrated. He wants to play for Delhi but if we try to make him understand that he does not deserve a place he misbehaves,” said the selector. Rajkumar Sharma sounded worried and told Tomar that he hoped he realised that had nothing against him.
He also told Tomar the only people who could get him picked were Chauhan (also a DDCA vice-president), sports secretary Sunil Dev or sports committee convenor Vinod Tihara. Tomar reminded him that he was a selector too, to which he replied, “Arre beta, selectors ki chalti hi kitni hai? (Look son, how much does what selectors want matter?)