Ranji Debacle: After President Rohan Jaitley’s Scathing Mail To Apex Council, DDCA Sacks Selection Panel

The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) on Thursday sacked the senior selection committee comprising former national selector Gagan Khoda, Mayank Sidhana and Anil Bhardwaj on the same day when the state team was decimated by Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy group league game. Delhi senior team on Thursday slumped to an innings and 214 run defeat against Saurashtra and now has two points from four games having encountered two outright defeats.

On the first day, Delhi had slumped to 10 for 7 inside the first hour on a damp wicket and it could have been even more embarrassing.

A day after PTI reported the mess in DDCA post the “walkout” by Sidhana after a falling out with Khoda over the selection of the U-25 team, a visibly upset president Rohan Jaitley shot off a scathing e-mail to all the Apex Council members placing “on record” his “disapproval on the manner in which the men’s Selection Committees of the DDCA are discharging its affairs”.

“Yes, the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Nikhil Chopra, Gursharan Singh and Reema Malhotra will select the team for the next three games as Delhi are already out. The office bearers have approved the sacking of the committee after Sidhana and Khoda’s public fall-out,” a senior DDCA director told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Jaitley’s e-mail which is in possession of PTI, was a kind of fait accompli for the trio.

“I am stood compelled to write this mail for placing on record my disapproval of the manner in which the Men’s Selection Committees of the DDCA are discharging its affairs. It appears that such Committees are functioning without any visions and mission,” Jaitley’s stinker was as scathing as it could have got.

In fact, chairman Khoda’s habit of selecting 22 players for each match has openly been questioned by the DDCA president.

Injured player replacing injured player

Jaitley has laid bare without naming how an injured player was sent as a replacement of an injured player.

“The issue of manner in which players are being selected and replaced at the drop of a hat has become talk of the town. Recently in a meeting, it was informed that a replacement was sent for a senior player who was stated to be injured, the replacement while reaching there was also declared to be injured and another replacement was sent.

“Despite clearly informing the Committee that the number of players shall be restricted to 15-16 players, the committee has time and again recommended 20-22 member squad for each team. Therefore, these committees are not only doing disservice to the DDCA but also to the game of Cricket,” the president was as blunt as he could get.

No India prospect in current Delhi set-up

It must be mentioned that young captain Yash Dhull’s arbitrary decision to bat lower down the order has raised several questions about his temperament. Even on flat tracks, it is understood that Dhull doesn’t want to face seam and swing bowlers.

Jaitley was aghast that Delhi currently doesn’t have a single player, who can ideally be termed an India prospect.

“There was a time when Indian team would have at least 4 to 5 Delhi players. The situation today is such that we cannot name even a single player whom we (the management as well as the selectors) perceive as a potential candidate for the national team.” What has irked Jaitley more is the fact that selectors didn’t do their job despite being given “free hand and full support”.

“There is absolute lack of planning for Delhi Cricket is apparent on the face of it more so with regard to the vision and future course as discussed and planned…It is unfortunate that the Selection committee has shown scant commitment to the same.” In fact, Jaitley’s mail also had the PTI’s January 4 report attached for the Apex Council members.

“Having disagreements and discussions is one part, however, having tussles and taking those issues to public domain is another issue. The copies of the media reports, articles in print and electronic media are being attached to this mail for ready reference of all (attaches as Annexure-A).”

Former national selector not attending trial games

He came down heavily on Khoda for not attending trial games. “In case the selectors are busy in their personal work and are unable to attend to the selections process, which is a time sensitive matter, it would have been prudent for such selectors to inform the DDCA about their preoccupation and inability to continue..” Jaitley also questioned the manner in which former India pacer Pankaj Singh was not allowed to attend the U-25 selection meeting in his capacity as head coach.

“To my mind, it is most important not only that the head coach attends each and every selection committee meeting, his views must also be taken into consideration before taking any final decision on the selection.

“This attains much importance once the selectors wash their hands off by commenting that “we select team and the coach select the playing eleven.” It is learned that having broken the code of conduct for bringing their differences in public, Sidana, Khoda and Bhardwaj might cop financial penalties apart from the pink slip.

“Individuals who get disrepute to the organisation need to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. The role of selectors is that which is aptly summarised in the saying that ‘Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion’.

For Jaitley, it was apparent that the selectors were “engaging in personal affairs more than serving Delhi Cricket”.

They did indulge in mudslinging and street fighting instead of serving the cause of players and Delhi Cricket.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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