At various stages of players’ revolt against the Delhi cricket administration in the past, players’ associations were formed but all sank without a trace.
Once, under the leadership of Bishan Singh Bedi, the crusade worked and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) conceded powers to the players.
However, more than two decades later, Bedi was once again at the receiving end. This time he happened to be the coach and he was dismissed on the recommendation of the Sports Committee.
Even as the ongoing tussle between Virender Sehwag and the Sports Committee grows in intensity, a balanced view has come from Ajay Jadeja, who had played for Delhi for two seasons and had even led the team.
When Jadeja chose to represent Haryana, having grown up in Delhi, the decision was influenced by the fact that he would earn more playing opportunities.
He returned to play for Delhi in 2003-04 and after one more season, when he led, he shifted to Rajasthan.
“I did experience pressure from the Sports Committee. I had anticipated these interferences. But I did not budge. I attended only the first selection committee meeting as a captain. Thereafter, they chose the 15 and I picked the playing11,” Jadeja said on Thursday.
Problem lies ‘within’
In Jadeja’s opinion, the problem lay ‘within’ the cricketers (who were selectors). “I will only blame the cricketers for the current state of affairs. The problems come from the cricketers. If only they were united.”
As Jadeja observed, “We need to look within ourselves. If we (cricketers) don’t go begging for small favours from the administrators such situations would not arise at all. Can you have any selection in India without the involvement of a player?
“The selection committee is made up of former players only and if they don’t do their job properly, who do you blame? This Sports Committee is elected by cricketers only. Why don’t they send honest cricketers to do the job?”
Jadeja said that the selectors only added to their pressures by pushing the case of their “wards.” “A cricket committee is the only answer.”
He also suggested an experimental exercise where three scouts would submit names and just one selector will pick the team in consultation with the coach and the captain.
“You can fix accountability instead of involving too many cricketers in the selection committee.”
Jadeja called for “unstinted” support to Sehwag in his fight against the DDCA system. “What he has done is fantastic. I really admire him because he has launched a movement when he is still playing. It is for the cricketers alone to cleanse the system.”