With the World Twenty20 to be played in Sri Lanka in September-October, the Australian and the South African national selectors are keeping a close eye on their cricketers’ performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
However, the IPL’s home board doesn’t really think the tournament should be carefully monitored by the national selectors.
Otherwise, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wouldn’t have declined the selectors’ request to attend as many games as they could during the fifth edition of the IPL.
“Ever since one of the selectors (Narendra Hirwani) was insulted by the then IPL chairman (Lalit Modi) during the 2010 IPL, the selectors had unofficially boycotted the IPL. However, considering that it’s a World Twenty20 tournament, the selectors asked the Board ahead of the IPL if they should do their flight bookings,” a BCCI insider told HT.
“However, they were stunned when a senior official told them that they could go ahead if they were willing to spend their own money.”
Considering that the BCCI feels the selectors’ presence is important for almost every domestic tournament, it is surprising the Board doesn’t want them to follow the IPL closely.
As a result, while four of the five national selectors — chairman K Srikkanth (Chennai), Mohinder Amarnath (Delhi/Mumbai), Raja Venkat (Kolkata) and Surendra Bhave (Pune) — have been watching a few games at the stadia in their hometowns, Hirwani has been stranded in Indore since the IPL began.
While no selector was willing to talk on the issue, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said selectors not watching the IPL at the stadium didn’t matter.
“It doesn’t make much difference whether the selectors are attending the IPL games or not. Even if they don’t attend the games, they are following them closely on television. That is important,” said Jagdale.
If the same logic is to be applied, the BCCI should stop sending the selectors on India’s international tours.
After all, the BCCI constitution does not allow a selector to have a say in the selection of the playing eleven. But the BCCI, after all, ends up contradicting itself time and again.