Former Indian wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer has lashed out at the Indian selectors, led by MSK Prasad, by labelling them as ‘less qualified’ in terms of their cricketing experience since none of the selectors have played more than 20 matches in any format for India.
Criticism about the selection committee in recent times isn’t new because former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar too had hit out at the selectors before the West Indies tour by calling them ‘lame ducks’.
Both the Indian greats are right in a way because when India has so many former cricketers with big reputation, how did these little known players become the selectors in the first place?
It’s because of appointing the wrong people that the remark made by Engineer that “all that the BCCI selectors did during the World Cup in England was to fetch cups of tea for Virat Kohli’s wife and actress Anushka Sharma” became a big issue. Had a well known cricketer done the same, it may not have been such a huge issue and had Engineer made a remark then, he would have got stumped.
So the selectors’ offering a cup of tea to Anushka (who, incidentally drinks only coffee) is not the real issue: the issue lies in appointing cricketers who haven’t seen much cricket.
However, Engineer’s remark may now have a major impact because in future, the BCCI may appoint only renowned cricketers as selectors, especially those who would not be in awe of celebrities.
Engineer’s statement ‘in zest’ and also the remark that “no one has heard about these selectors” is absolutely right.
The problem with lesser known cricketers-turned-selectors is that they may not also be able to put their foot down on certain issues regarding selection or team combination.
It’s no wonder that these selectors are unable to take a firm decision on Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
If it had been a strong cricketer as a selector, Dhoni may have had to respond clearly on whether he intends to continue or not as an international cricketer.
It will be no surprise if Sourav Ganguly, the new Board of Control for Cricket in India’s President, now takes the call on Dhoni rather than these selectors.
Indian cricketers have a reputation in world cricket, their selectors too should have the same.
Anushka’s strong twitter response to Engineer’s comment has won a lot of praise from her fans. She has said that no one should use her name to hit out at selectors.
However, isn’t it also strange that as the wife of a cricketer, this is not the first time that she has been involved in a controversy on a cricket ground?
Former Indian skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi too had Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore as his wife, but she never stirred up any storm in the tea cup!