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Tough going for Kris & Co

Despite India's unprecedented success in the last three years, K Srikkanth and his colleagues in the national selection panel are not assured of a final year in their jobs after last week's goof-up in selecting the India 'A' team. Amol Karhadkar reports.

cricket Updated: Jul 08, 2011 01:37 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Despite India's unprecedented success in the last three years, K Srikkanth and his colleagues in the national selection panel are not assured of a final year in their jobs after last week's goof-up in selecting the India 'A' team.

While naming the squad for the Emerging Players tournament in Australia, the selectors "pushed" for Anirudha Srikkanth, son of the chief selector and former India captain, despite not having the performance to merit an automatic place in the squad of fringe players.

As HT reported on July 5, Srikkanth's colleagues were speechless once the chief selector "proposed" his son's name during the selection committee meeting.

No wonder the former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, Jaywant Lele, felt the selection committee had lost the right to continue. Four of the five selectors, barring Yashpal Sharma, are eligible to serve for one more year after their current term ends on September 30.

"There is no question of extension," Lele told HT from Vadodara. "This committee, which has been dominated by Srikkanth and Board secretary, N Srinivasan, should be disbanded immediately."

Lele, who felt that Srinivasan, the convenor of the panel, and Srikkanth had left no room for the other four selectors to voice their opinion. "I feel for the other selectors. They are not bad but they just cannot do anything. The man (Srinivasan) is too big in stature to be approachable. As a result, all decisions are taken by him and Srikkanth."

Former India skipper, manager and chief selector Chandu Borde, however, had no such sympathy for Srikkanth's colleagues - Yashpal, Raja Venkat, Narendra Hirwani and Surendra Bhave.

Collective failure
"What were the other selectors doing?" Borde fumed from Pune.

"Every selector comes up with names in the selection committee meeting. It is followed by a discussion on each name. In this case, if the selection was unanimous, which I presume was the case, the other selectors have no reason to complain."

Ajit Wadekar, who also served Indian cricket in various capacities including captain, manager and chairman of selectors, went a step ahead in blasting the group. "If you are saying that a selector tried to push a player, were the other selectors sleeping?" he questioned.

Though no one from the BCCI top brass wanted to go on record, since the issue involved the incumbent secretary and president in waiting, they agreed that Anirudha's selection had paved the way for them to question the chief selector.

"If the chief selector has misused his position as blatantly as this, then questions will have to be asked about whether he deserves to continue in his job," said an official, preferring anonymity.

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