A coach cannot select. Can a selector coach? Well, the BCCI found itself in a tricky spot and found the easy way out. It sacked the selector, who by vocation is a coach.
Sunita Sharma, a coach employed by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), suddenly found herself eased out of the National women’s selection committee. The reason? She was not an international. How the Board picked her in the first place as a National selector is intriguing indeed.
Sunita, a medium-pacer, is a veteran in women’s cricket. She is a pioneer of sorts as she conducted coaching camps for under-15 boys apart from women at the National Stadium here. Test stumper Deep Dasgupta is her student.
She has been involved with cricket for more than two decades as a coach and must have been pleasantly surprised when she was included in the National selection panel along with Shanta Rangaswamy (chairman), Lopamudra Banerjee, Anjali Pendharkar and Hemlata Kala.
Now she has been replaced by Shashi Gupta, representing Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) after having played for Railways and Punjab.
It dawned on the Board late that Sunita had not played international cricket. The qualifying criterion to become a National women selector is an international cap. The same does not apply in the men’s category.
So, after a brief stint as a selector, Sunita is back to her preferred area — coaching. It may be mentioned here that Sunita is a Dronacharya awardee, the highest honour bestowed by the Government on a coach.
The Board, perhaps, may find a job that suits her but for now by its yardstick, she can’t select even if she has the eye to pick talent.