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Sunil Gavaskar questions Ashish Nehra’s selection in Indian cricket team

Ahead of Ashish Nehra’s final international match on November 1, former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar said selections should be based on merit and not emotions.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 15, 2017 11:44 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sunil Gavaskar,Ashish Nehra,Indian cricket team
Indian cricketer Ashish Nehra will retire from all forms of the game on November 1.(PTI)

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar has posed a tough question for the Indian cricket team think tank, saying that selections are based ‘not on emotions but simply merit’ ahead of pacer Ashish Nehra’s final international match.

The 38-year-old Nehra announced his retirement from international cricket a few days ago, saying that the T20I against New Zealand on November 1 at New Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla will be his last.

Nehra was not selected in the Indian team in any of the first two T20Is against Australia with the third match being washed out. The left-armer has made yet another comeback to the Indian side, having played his last series for the country against England earlier this year.

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Gavaskar raised a pertinent point, asking how could Nehra be selected into the playing XI without even featuring in any of the matches against Australia.

“Ashish Nehra announcing his retirement also makes a bit of an issue, for with him not being selected for the first two games, how are the selectors going to pick him in the playing XI in the first T20 match of the new series against New Zealand?” Gavaskar wrote in his column for The Times of India.

“Selections are not done on emotion but simply on merit. Nehra deserved to play against the Aussies but wasn’t picked and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah can’t be dropped, so how will Nehra be given the farewell he deserves? That will be interesting to see.”

The former India opener, meanwhile, also made a demand for cricket venues in the country to be made available with covers long enough to be spread across the entire field.

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Gavaskar’s comments came a day after the series decider between India and Australia was abandoned due to wet outfield at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

“The Hyderabad game could have been a terrific one, but rains over the last couple of weeks meant that the outfield was never going to recover in time for a game to take place. What needs to be done immediately is for the BCCI to ensure that each international centre arranges for the full ground to be covered,” wrote Gavaskar.

“The BCCI is very generous with subsidies to every associate and if those funds are not going to be used to better the infrastructure then that associate should not get a game. For far too long the paying spectator has been taken for granted by the centres and it’s about time that was rectified,” he lamented.

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Gavaskar also pointed a finger at the facilities for the fans at various cricketing venues in India, urging the Indian cricket board to look into the matter.

“The facilities at most stadia are way below acceptable standards and that has to be looked into. The new stadiums are poorly maintained and the spectators get very little for the money they pay to buy a ticket. It is understood that with the revenues from TV rights, even if a single spectator turns up, the associations won’t lose anything by way of BCCI subsidies. But such an attitude will slowly but surely drive spectators away from the sport,” concluded Gavaskar.

First Published: Oct 15, 2017 11:40 IST