AV Jayaprakash, former international umpire and member of BCCI's suspect action rehabilitation committee, caused a flutter on Monday after reportedly questioning India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha's bowling action and his eligibility to be selected until his action is cleared.
The BCCI denied knowledge of his comment. "We have no idea where it is coming from. Pragyan is in Lahli to play for South Zone in the Duleep Trophy. We will ask Jayaprakash," said a top BCCI official.
Roger Binny, national selector and chairman of the South Zone selection committee too was surprised. "I was not told anything about Pragyan, by BCCI or the panelists, when I picked the Duleep Trophy team on October 15. I had no documents on the table to suggest Pragyan is not eligible to play." Javagal Srinath, a member of the rehab committee, said it was for the BCCI clarify the issue.
In Lahli, the South Zone team management was also stunned. "Pragyan is very much part of the team. He trained today and is all set to play against East Zone on Wednesday. I haven't received any communication, from the BCCI or the South Zone chairman of selectors," said coach Hemang Badani.
Jayaprakash told HT his comments were misinterpreted. "I never said anything about Pragyan in particular, my statement referred to bowlers in general with suspect actions. All I can clarify to you is that Pragyan indeed went through an action correction rehab following a report while playing in a domestic match. His rehab process is over. He is cleared to play at any level. Now, it's entirely up to the umpires to decide what they deem fit. I never said Pragyan is not eligible to play."
If Jayaprakash's account is to be believed, then Ojha undergoing rehabilitation seems to have been kept a secret.
It is also learnt that it was Ojha's quicker delivery that came under the scanner. While a crackdown on bowlers with suspect action is on worldwide, the BCCI could have been equally transparent in Pragyan's case instead of adopting a secretive approach.