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Can Sehwag & friends ring in change in Delhi?

Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag and teammate Gautam Gambhir will meet Delhi & Districts Cricket Association president Arun Jaitley to discuss the issues raised by him and other Delhi cricketers with regard to the running of the DDCA. Arjun Singh reports.

cricket Updated: Aug 25, 2009 10:57 IST
Arjun Singh

Sehwag and Gambhir to meet Jaitley
Aug 17: Sehwag wants to quit Delhi
Aug 18: Gambhir, Ishant threaten to quit Delhi along with Sehwag
Aug 19: Delhi camp starts without big names
Aug 20: Players stay away
Aug 21: Nehra back in practice, fever keeps Gambhir away
Aug 24: DDCA President Arun Jaitely promises to address players' grievances

By the time you read this, Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag and teammate Gautam Gambhir, just recovered from a bout of the flu, could very well be on their way to meet Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president Arun Jaitley to discuss the issues raised by him and other Delhi cricketers with regard to the running of the DDCA.

Sources told the Hindustan Times that Sehwag, who reached the Capital on Monday morning after a rehabilitation stint with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, is keen to meet Jaitley and end the impasse one way or the other.

Sehwag reportedly has one umbrella demand — that cricketing affairs at the DDCA be handled by cricketers.

To that end, he has a list of suggestions.

"There has been a lot of attention on this episode now, and Sehwag wants it to come to a swift end — either the president agrees to what the players ask for or he applies for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) before the August 31 Virender Sehwagdeadline," said a source.

But a top DDCA official told HT that it was unlikely Sehwag would quit Delhi. “We’ll hold him back.

After all, the suggestions for improvement that he is likely to make are similar to what we ourselves believe are needed at the Kotla.”

The official said he hoped that the players’ stand this time will ensure that the executive committee stands together with them in implementing these changes.

The way forward for the Delhi & Districts cricket association

The DDCA is a cricketing body. Why does it need a sports secretary and a general secretary, in addition to a sports committee? Perhaps the sports secretary’s post is superfluous.

The working of the sports committee, if it needs to exist, should be curtailed only to the running of the DDCA league. It should not be allowed to have a say in selections or the selection of selectors.

Some Delhi veterans who represented India
Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Sharma
Ajay Sharma
Bishen Singh Bedi
Bishen Singh Bedi
How can the sports secretary act as convenor of a junior selection committee?

Selection should be unbiased. Streamline the Ranji selection committee — three selectors plus the captain and coach. The option of having an India selector from the North as a special invitee should be kept open.

Accountability is a must across the board, especially in the junior selections. The DDCA president should monitor this personally, every two or three games, along with the selectors, coach and team management.

The practice of having cricketers as ‘passengers’ (these are players who have been ‘accommodated’ in various squads because of influence of some sort) should be stopped immediately. Similarly, people should not be put on the support staff of teams merely to please clubs/influential individuals/for votes.

To ensure fairness and no potential conflict of interest, any selector with a relative up for selection should opt out of the selection panel that season. If that’s not possible, he shouldn’t be present at any meeting where his ward’s case is under discussion.

Ideally, systems like that of voting by proxy (where a member signs over a letter of authority to someone else to vote on his behalf) to the executive committee should be disallowed. More realistically, the executive management should delegate the handling of cricket affairs to a cricket improvement committee, not the sports committee.

There should be accountability from officials on all fronts. If any official/selector is found to be misusing his position, he should be removed from office. Likewise, if a player is found to have tried to use influence or money in any way to get selected, he should be fined/suspended/banned.

The DDCA should start a system of player contracts and ensure that players get their payments on time. There should be a fair division of the money received from sponsorships etc, players should get their due. All state teams should have qualified physios and trainers.

How it is done in Mumbai

Improvement Committee (CIC) consisting of former players who advice the Mumbai Cricket Association on all matters directly relating to cricket. Whether it is the appointment of a coach, a change in the format to any local cricket tournament or the appointment of selectors, the CIC makes a recommendation. The managing committee of the MCA has the final say and has to ratify any decision taken.

What this ensures is that current players don’t have a grouse over the way things are run as all decisions that affect them are taken by former cricketers. The norm is for members of the CIC to formally and informally consult active players and seek their views.

Current CIC: Sunil Gavaskar (Chairman) Milind Rege, Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Sanjay Manjrekar, Dr P V Shetty and Deepak Patil (maidan cricket) and Diana Eduljee.