An inter-state under-13 tournament, a novel idea thrown up by the BCCI, to shortlist talent for the future. A step in the right direction. But in Delhi, things happen differently.
This, like other opportunities, is being seen as another chance that a few powerful Delhi & District Cricket Association officials can take maximum advantage of.
Despite repeated misgivings of the manner in which age-group selections have been conducted in Delhi over the last few years, the DDCA has faltered yet again at the very beginning of a new season.
A look at the way the selection trails for 250-odd young kids were conducted over the last two days at the Jesus & Mary College ground showed no visible change from the dark days of last year.
On the second day of the trial (no time limit has been set as yet) on Tuesday, complete chaos reigned. DDCA Sports Secretary Sunil Dev, the lone authorised official present, looked confused and irritated but resigned to the presence of no less than a dozen unwanted assistants.
The reason for the dozen odd (pun intended) men was soon given. "So far, no selection panel has been named by the DDCA. And because there is very little time left for the tournament, I decided to go ahead with the shortlisting process," he said.
Dev is right. The Sports Committee has failed so far to give the various lists of possible selection panels to the Executive Committee for final approval. And how long it will take is anybody's guess. With no selection committee around, the questions and accusations by parents seem inevitable.
Out of the dozen "so-called" selectors present on Tuesday, quite a few were from the opposition Ashok 'mama' Sharma camp. When asked how they were present, Sharma reasoned, "Since no selection panel has been formed, they have come here to help the Sports Secretary with his job."
Interestingly, no "selector" present on the field had any cricketing background as such. The one obvious reason could be that most former cricketers supported the opposition candidates in the just concluded Sports Committee elections. So who knows? This trend could be visible throughout the season!
The only good point is that Dev has asked all the players to come on Wednesday with valid age certificates from their respective schools. For the rest, we'll see.