Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Diana David’s joy of being named in the Indian team for next month’s T20 World Cup women’s cricket championship proved to be short lived. For, just as the 24-year-old was celebrating her selection and going through the practice sessions under the tutelage of former Ranji star Abdul Bari Wahab at the Gymkhana Grounds in Secunderabad, the news came that she had been relegated to a stand bye.

The official handling the passport and visa applications told her about her relegation to the stand-bye list. “This was shocking. When he said he was extremely sorry to inform me about this, I did not know how to react,” she said.

Hyderabad coach Wahab too is dismayed by this development. Wahab and Diana have been told that since the ICC reduced the size of the squads to 14 members from the earlier stipulation of 15 members, the the axe unfortunately fell on this Andhra cricketer.

HCA officials said that this decision to drop Diana was taken by the three selectors from West, Central and North without consulting the South and the East Zone members. “We cross checked with Purnima Rau and she was in the dark about the whole issue,” an HCA official said.

N. Shivlal Yadav, BCCI vice-president, said that he had written a letter to the BCCI in this regard and specifically asked whether the decision was taken by all the selectors or whether the two selectors (South and East) were kept in the dark. “If these two zonal selectors were not consulted as claimed, then it is very unfortunate. But since we are awaiting a communication from the BCCI, I cannot straightaway comment on this subject,” he told The Hindu.

Purnima Rau refused to comment on the actual decision but went on record saying that the off-spinning all-rounder from Hyderabad would have been a better and more ideal choice given her form in the selection trial matches. “I am not convinced about the decision of sending two wicketkeepers for the World Cup. Instead Diana could have got the nod I think,” she remarked.

Whatever be the end-result, the morale of Diana David has been shattered for no fault of hers!

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