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One more selector blames the system...

..but only after his own innings is over.

Cricket commentary


27 September, 2006

One more selector approaches the very end of his innings. Meets a press reporter and expresses his disapproval of the ways of, well, selectors. Of course, it means other selectors. Of course, he is in the clear, he was in the clear.

If it is V.B. Chandrasekhar this time, the Tamil Nadu opener of yesteryear who was a competent player (only) at the Ranji level this time, it was Kiran More, who was the chairman of selectors, who talked about bad selection a little earlier.

The natural question you would ask is why they were a party to such a bad system if they felt so strongly against it. Okay, Chandrasekhar hasn't blamed zonal system of selection. In fact, it is not clear what he is railing against. In fact, it seems as if he is too keen to clear his name as an anti-Ganguly camp man.

He knows that Ganguly may always return to the helm and that it would shut out future assignments for him in Indian cricket, be it as manager, coach, third umpire or just one of the hangers-on. He says they should have informed Ganguly that they were sacking him rather leave that unpleasant job to the team management. That they should have told Ganguly what he needed to do to get back into the team. Phew! Telling
Ganguly who was selector-in-chief cum coach cum captain cum board rep on how to get back into the team.

There is yet another reason for his eagerness to clear his name from the charge that he was the one who was instrumental in keeping out Ganguly. Chandrasekhar's son is playing cricket at some level, if this writers memory serves him right, and he doesnt want any harm coming to his young one.

Does VB have even one constructive suggestion on how to change the system? Well, he says that if selectors are permanent fixtures (not his words) they will know what's happening. Isn't that like saying, give me one more term?

What all this shows is that even if you change the zonal system and select three or four of them from the same zone, nothing is going to change. At the root of bad selection is incompetence and corruption and nepotism.

If you can favour a particular player because he is from your zone, you can favour another player for another reason. Like money. Under the new contract system, you are assured of a handsome sum even if you play only one or two matches and even if you dont play at all. A fledgling player may willingly part with a part of that to a selector if he can get that vital first break. Too preposterous a suggestion which should never have been made? Well, have you forgotten the Abjijeet Kale episode when the player, despite scoring heavily could not make it to the national team, and allegedly offered money to two selectors.

It will be interesting at this stage to look at VB's own career. An exciting player in the Ranji trophy who could match K. Srikkanth stroke for stroke and sometimes outscore him, he broke into the national team only to disappoint. He got 7 outings in ODIs but could score only 88 runs. His profile in a cricket web site reads: He struck a purple patch during the 1989-90 season and with two centuries in the Duleep Trophy, forced his way back into the national side which toured New Zealand in early 1990. He started off well with scores of 92 and 71 in the first-class games. But his hopes suffered a setback when, instead of calling on his services when Sidhu was injured, the tour management flew in Vengsarkar. There may be an
irony here. As he goes out of the selection panel, Vengsarkar is slated to come in as committee chairman.

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