THE BOARD of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is sending Chairman of Selectors Dilip Vengsarkar to South Africa to “convey the countrymen’s sentiments to the team” in the light of the team’s humiliating 157-run defeat in the Durban one-day international.
The decision, announced by BCCI chief Sharad Pawar on Friday, is in keeping with other extreme responses to India’s loss. On Thursday, some MPs demanded the sacking of coach Greg Chappell, and a BCCI vice-president, Shashank Manohar, said the team should not be paid its fee for the Durban game. And on Friday, the CPI(M)’s Brinda Karat said: “As a cricket fan, I strongly believe that Sourav Ganguly should be back in the team. I think that is the feeling of many of his fans across the country.”
The decision to send Vengsarkar to South Africa will actually need a constitutional change in the BCCI. Selectors are currently barred from being part of the on-tour selection committee. “Now that the president himself has initiated the move, the board can discuss a constitutional amendment,” Ratnakar Shetty, chief administrative officer, BCCI, said.
Vengsarkar himself refused to comment. But Shetty said his role will be “advisory”. “He may talk to the players. His presence will make a difference to the team,” he said.
Shetty said Vengsarkar would leave only after India’s Test squad is selected in Mumbai on November 30. Board secretary Niranjan Shah said Vengsarkar would be in South Africa for “one or two Tests” and could suggest his preferred XI to the team management.