Dilip Vengsarkar (left) and in his heydays (right). Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar, whose candidature for the chairman’s post of senior selection committee was apparently rejected due to the age limit of 60 years, feels that the whole process of picking new selectors is flawed.

In a candid interview with Gulf News in Dubai, 63-year-old Vengsarkar expressed his shock over cricketers being asked to apply for the post of selectors. “I did not apply for the job (of the selector) because I think it is not appropriate on my part to apply for it. I believe that if they consider me good enough, I should be picked as the selector. It is wrong to apply for the post and even attend an interview.”

Vengsarkar, who was hailed as one among the best batsmen in the world and has three centuries in his name at the historic Lord’s cricket ground, came to be known as the Lord of the Lord’s. According to him: “Tomorrow if Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulkar wants to become a selector, will they have to apply for the post? Are they going to be interviewed? I wonder what questions they will be asked to determine if they are eligible for the post? My opinion is if the board is convinced they are good enough, then they should be appointed and not asked to apply for the post.”

Vengsarkar, who has played in 116 Test matches and scored 6868 runs, is also shocked at the criteria specified for becoming a selector. It states that ‘the candidate should have played either seven Tests and 30 first-class games or 10 ODIs and 20 first-class matches. The person also needs to be retired from all forms of cricket for at least five years’.

“All these specifications make no sense. All they need to do is to appoint a cricketer who has played a good amount of international cricket at the highest level without spelling out these minimum requirements. I am wondering whether the Lodha Committee did recommend an age cap of 60 for the selectors. According to me, this has been created so that good selectors can be kept out - that way the selectors who will be under their control. If 60 is the age limit for selectors, the same should apply to all the administrators too.”

Jumping around like a clown is not aggression. That merely validates their (cricketers') immaturity

- Dilip Vengsarkar

Vengsakar also felt that nobody has any idea as to how the BCCI is being run today. “The Supreme Court appointed a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA). Two of them resigned quickly, and it was left with only two. The remaining two includes a lady cricketer (Diana Edulji), and Vinod Rai, who had no clue about cricket. So it has been a complete mess. Now what is happening is that the Supreme Court says something and the BCCI files a case at the apex court against that and the court quashes the case right away. It is time they appointed experienced cricketers who played high-level international cricket - and those who have been administrators and know how the game should be run in the country - right from the junior to senior level.”

When asked for his take on Sourav Ganguly being appointed as the President of the BCCI, Vengsarkar said: “Ganguly has just come in and it is not fair on my part to comment on it now. Maybe, we will be able to comment after a year or so on whether his decisions were good or bad.”

Vengsarkar was not only known for his stylish batting, but also for his cool demeaneur on the field. When he was asked about the unruly behaviour by the Indian and Bangladesh cricketers after the ICC Under-19 World Cup final, he remarked: “This has happened because juniors watch seniors playing on TV. They have seen some seniors jumping on the ground like clowns, and that does not help the game. The onus is on the coaches and support staff now to guide them and remind them what is appropriate for the game. Jumping around like a clown is not aggression. That merely validates their immaturity.”

The legendary cricketer felt what happened in the Under-19 World Cup should be viewed seriously. “The Under-19 World Cup incident must be thoroughly investigated and should not be pushed under the carpet. If these incidents keep coming up and end up like what happened now, something wrong is going on, and it is not good cricket.”

Vengsarkar: Lord of the Lords

• Dilip Vengsarkar is known as the Lord of the Lord’s for his distinction of hitting three consecutive centuries at the Lord’s.

• He was the key player in India’s batting line-up in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

• He took over the Indian team captaincy from Kapil Dev soon after 1987 World Cup.

• After his playing days, he set up his own cricket academy in Mumbai and Pune and has groomed many youngsters

• Vengsarkar played in 116 Test matches and scored 6868 runs with 17 centuries and 35 half centuries. From 129 One Day Internationals, he scored 3508 runs with one hundred and 23 half centuries. In first class cricket, he played 260 matches and scored 17,868 runs (55 centuries and 87 half centuries).