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Did Shah back off after Biswal row?

It is now evident that the BCCI and the national selectors are at odds with each other, writes Kadambari Murali.

cricket Updated: Apr 22, 2007 03:30 IST

That the BCCI and the national selectors are at odds with each other has been evident for a while, but on Friday, things reportedly almost reached a crisis in the selection committee meeting in Mumbai.

If Board officials are to be believed, there was a big argument during that meeting between BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah and national selector from the East Zone, Ranjib Biswal, over the Board’s diktat to the selectors to pick a young team.

After Shah reminded the selectors about the Board’s wishes, Biswal reportedly asked him what he meant by a ‘young team’ and why the selection panel, an independent body, should be dictated to by the BCCI.

Shah apparently then reacted by threatening the selectors with a “no-confidence motion” if they did not heed the Board’s wishes, to which Biswal retorted by telling him to go ahead and do that. He apparently added that he “knew how to deal” with him (Shah) “in a year’s time”.

The protagonists in this alleged drama could not be reached for comment but if it is true, it is a sorry reflection on the BCCI, for trying to bully what should be an independent selection panel into taking illogical decisions merely to pacify the public and hardline factions within its own organisation.

If Biswal did really stand up to Shah, then hats off to him for actually daring to question what to many is fast appearing a completely draconian body.

The current BCCI regime, dominated by its radical faction, is perhaps best summed up by that Shakespearean phrase made famous by the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “Off with his head!”

Anyone who opposes their oft-warped worldview of how cricket should be run must perish.

First Published: Apr 22, 2007 02:06 IST