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Selectors fume at BCCI gag order

The Indian cricket board bans the five national selectors from writing columns, reports Kadambari Murali.

cricket Updated: Nov 20, 2007 03:18 IST
Kadambari Murali

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has put the national selectors on notice. In an email on the eve of the Jaipur ODI against Pakistan, the board issued strict guidelines to the five selectors and reminded them of their responsibilities.

The email, which has the selectors very upset, has banned them from writing coloumns or having unauthorised interaction with the media.

It says only one selector (to be decided by the chief selector) will be allowed at any international match, while the rest will have do their duty at domestic games.

But the clause that has upset the selectors most is the one that says no selector will travel abroad, as has been the practice on foreign tours of late. The tour selection panel for the playing XI will now have the captain, vice-captain and manager/coach.

The selectors’ stand on the issue is if the board calls them, they will speak out, saying they are not happy with certain clauses. But there was “no question” of a rebellion, said a selector requesting anonymity.

“This makes no sense,” a selector told HT on Monday. “All over the world selectors go and watch matches, are involved in decision making. Australia does it, Pakistan’s selectors are here.”

Confirming the guidelines, board secretary Niranjan Shah told HT: “It is only to have a system... And make sure they follow domestic cricket also properly.” He said if the selectors did not heed the advice, it would be reported to the board president. He did not specify what action would be taken.

A selector said the rules were meant to clip chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar’s wings. “If they have a problem with him, they should deal with it, why make blanket guidelines?” he asked.