He played his cricket bravely. “It is in my blood,” Mohinder Amarnath would say when narrating stories of his cricket conquests.

Nothing irritated him more than timidity on the field. Bowl a bouncer, Amarnath would hook.

When he was appointed as a National selector, with an assurance of a four-year term, Amarnath accepted the assignment with sincerity. But soon he felt extraneous pressures and lamented the decline in the system. He was perturbed with a particular force dictating things.

It was hardly a surprise when Amarnath went public with his views on Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his place in the team. When the team was struggling in Australia, Amarnath was convinced the team needed a change at the top. “A captain must justify his place. Dhoni doesn’t,” was his strong, but simple assessment.

Dhoni’s poor form with the bat and his flawed wicketkeeping were the reasons why some selectors had considered supporting Amarnath. “I am not the one to keep the job for money’s sake. I will work with dignity. If it means losing my selection assignment, so be it,” he had said after he was removed as a National selector after just one year.

Vocal critic

Bishan Singh Bedi was the only vocal critic of the move to remove Amarnath. What hurt Amarnath most was the lack of support from many of his former colleagues. It was evident that Amarnath was not enjoying the job. “It can be suffocating,” he had remarked once.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper