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Make selection process more transparent

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The BCCI is not just any random sports association. It is the Board of Control for Cricket in India and it has successfully run the game in the country.

However, in the past couple of years, the BCCI has attracted criticism from other countries. That such criticism was never heard when England and Australia were in control of the affairs of the ICC for more than half a century is conveniently forgotten.

The recent BCCI-FICA controversy could have been avoided with a simple, quick clarification. Since it didn’t happen, it gave scope for speculation.

The question that needs answering is why India proposed L. Sivaramakrishnan’s name for the ICC’s Cricket Committee when he wasn’t found good enough for the BCCI’s Technical Committee.

Why drag an international player into a needless controversy? He is a bright young man with an expressive mind and if he has to be promoted at the international level, the BCCI must first have him in its technical committee.

Room for speculation

The way the BCCI has been working, it seems like it loves people speculating about it. Take the selection of the Indian team for example.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the former chairman of selectors, was honest in answering the media’s questions. He wasn’t responsible for the needless speculation that arose after he had clarified. But it appears as if the BCCI has gagged the current chairman. Any question and Sandeep Patil replies with the text message, ‘contact BCCI secretary’. In Australia, things are done differently. Chief selector John Inverarity makes it a point to address the media even about a personal meeting with the players or the coach. Here in India, Ajinkya Rahane was made to warm the bench for 18 months before he made a Test debut and yet was not picked for the Champions Trophy. Shouldn’t there be an explanation from Patil?

Apparently the team is selected keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup. Did we plan for 2011 in 2009? As many as 800 matches are played in junior and senior tournaments and every season new players perform.

Tried and tested

If that is indeed the logic behind not selecting experienced players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir, the selectors will be under scrutiny from June 2013. The selectors give the impression that they are keen to build the team and hence their emphasis on youngsters.

But barring a few, most of the players are tried and tested.

Will this help build the team though India will be playing approximately 50 ODIs before the next World Cup? It seems reasonable that Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir should be given opportunities in big tournaments before the tour of South Africa scheduled to begin in December.

They are too good to be discarded. We don’t even have a third opener in the team unless the selectors again want to experiment with Rohit Sharma. Nor do we have a vice-captain.

For a foreign tour, the selection committee consists of the captain, the vice-captain and the coach. Virat Kohli’s irresponsible behaviour seems to have gone against him. If the 2015 World Cup is indeed what the selectors are planning for, they should follow it in all respects.

Sadly it seems the long-term plan is applicable only to certain select players. Only the selectors know why these players have been given this special privilege.

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