Time for BCCI to act on Parmar

G. Viswanath

MUMBAI: Fast-medium and swing bowlers have, to a large measure, bagged wickets aplenty in the just-concluded Ranji Trophy Super League. It has been a very honest sweat by some of the seasoned practitioners and newcomers and their efforts deserve praise given the kind of surface on which they have toiled for over a period of two months. Also the poor quality of SG brand ball that has come for flak for losing shape, in many cases, well within the first ten overs.

The topper in the bowlers’ list however is Gujarat off-break bowler Mohnish Parmar. He has been a match-winner with 34 wickets at a meagre 18.05. He has taken 82 wickets at 16.70 in first class matches, and since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has allowed him to play in its premier National championship, he ought to have been awarded a lower-end central contract (Rs. 15 lakh).

Under scrutiny

Parmar has been under scrutiny by the players and the match officials, and at the instance of Dav Whatmore, who runs the National Cricket Academy (NCA) show at Bangalore, was examined at the Australian Institute of Sports in the first week of December. The BCCI’s technical committee, the umpires’ committee and the selection committee have to step in to give a clear direction to his career. Either he should be given the confidence to compete and continue like a normal cricketer or told that his action is suspect and bar him from taking part in the major competitions.

Second in the list is Parmar’s colleague in the Gujarat team, a smart seamer Siddharth Trivedi. He is regarded highly by Shane Warne. He has taken 193 wickets at a little under 23 in first class cricket, and has proved to be the linchpin for Gujarat. If performance was the main criterion Parmar and Trivedi would have been automatic choices in the contracts list. Instead lower-end contracts have been awarded to seamer Sudip Tyagi, R. Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Wriddhiman Saha, Chetanya Nanda, Shikar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, none of whom have played for India in Tests or ODIs.

No aspersions

No one casts aspersions because the above named cricketers seem to have potential to progress, but by the same token, players like Parmar, Trivedi, Ajinkya Rahane (batsman), Dhawal Kulkarni (seamer), Ravindra Jadeja (all-rounder), Parvinder Awana (seamer, Delhi), Samad Fallah (seamer, Maharashtra), and Pradeep Sangwan (seamer, Delhi) ought to have been considered.

Aakash Chopra (batsman, Delhi), Murali Kartik (left-arm spinner, Railways) and Pankaj Singh (the right-arm seamer was in the Indian Test squad for the last tour of Australia) have got the worst deal.

The secretary and chairman of selectors had the benefit of six Ranji Trophy matches being completed to identify the top performers of this season. Pragyan Ojha is the only left-arm spinner who has been awarded, surprisingly Grade C (Rs. 25 lakh).

While there are names like Irfan Pathan (26 wickets in four matches at 16.03) and Laxmipathy Balaji (23 wickets in 5 matches at 18.82) as along with Trivedi (33 wickets in seven matches at 16.84) who have done justice to their talent, there are a few names like right-arm seamer Dhawal Kulkarni (32 wickets in six matches at 14.50), left-arm seamer Fallah (33 wickets in six matches at 24.45) and right-arm seamer Awana (27 wickets in six matches at 21.51) who have impressed with their ability to lead the pace attack.

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