Controversies and the Delhi cricket association go hand in hand. This time a row has erupted over alleged irregularities in the selection of the Delhi U-19 team after they were thumped by unfancied Kerala in a Cooch Behar Trophy league tie that ended on Sunday.
The hosts lost by 236 runs after two of the five selectors had recorded their dissent over the squad. "We wanted an extra bowler but they had 10 batsmen and two batting all-rounders in the squad of 16," said Pradeep Jain, who along with fellow selector Rajinder Singh, had opposed the selection.
On Monday, former India player Kirti Azad, a member of the Cricket Improvement Committee, wrote to the DDCA general secretary, Sneh Bansal, alleging irregularities by the U-19 selection panel chairman, Anil Jain. "Anil Jain has exhibited a Hitlerian streak in pushing for incompetent cricketers, often from outside the initially shortlisted boys," Azad says in the letter, a copy of which is with HT. He also dubbed the U-19 side "a phone a friend team".
A third selector, Pankaj Joshi, also initially opposed the squad but made a U-turn, allowing the side to be ratified. Delhi's defeat came despite skittling out Kerala for 158 runs in the first innings. Delhi replied with 193 but Kerala made 432/7 declared and dismissed the hosts for 161.
Azad added in the letter: "He (Anil Jain) selected 8 batsmen who all caved in for 300 runs over two innings on a benign track. He went in with only two bowlers…" Jain blamed critics. "Some of their players are not there. That's why they are complaining."