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Opaque Selection Process is killing Indian cricket

Bhartendu Sharma

Opaque Selection Process

The recent selection of the fifteen member Indian squad for the upcoming Test series against the Black Caps raised many eyebrows. Cricket fans felt dejected and veteran cricketers questioned the inclusion of certain specific players in the team. Cricket lovers expressed their grief on Twitter over the prevalent opaque selection process.

Favoritism has been long present :

But, it was not something eccentric. It is an old plague that is prevailing over decades in the most powerful cricket-governing body, BCCI. Remember Amol Mazumdar whose knock of 260 on debut is still a record till date?

His first class career had 11,167 runs including 30 centuries but it was still not enough for him to bag the national jersey.

Initially the real problem with BCCI was that the National selector was appointed or nominated by the state/zonal selector. Following that, he had to repay their favour which gave birth to favoritism. But thanks to BCCI who finally decided to discontinue this affair.

Lodha Committee recommendations :

To scrap this plague, Lodha committee came out with a historic judgment where it asked the BCCI to do a live selection process. Herein people could actually see on what grounds the squad has been selected for a series. However it is yet to be implemented.

Opaque Selection Process

Talking about transparency, there should be a particular formulation of policies, like assessment of Individual’s point after every series. This point system will be derived through various factors that will be considered while selecting a player at any level. BCCI should see that it must be implemented not only at the national level but at the state and zonal levels too.

There is no proper watchdog appointed by the BCCI to oversee the selection process at the zonal level. Most of the selectors are into private coaching and have opened their coaching camps of their own. This in itself is another prodigious issue of ‘Conflict Of Interest’.

What needs to be done :

The deserving players are warming up the bench and the ones who play in their camps are pushed for the higher levels. This happen even though their numbers dont warrant a place in the team. Thanks to media, these cases generally go unreported.

Also Read : Structural changes recommended by Justice Lodha Committee that will affect BCCI deeply

The decision of a selector is binding and this opaque selection process has always shattered dreams of many cricketers. This happens not only at the ground level but at the national level too. Gautam Gambhir is one of the prime examples from the lot.

The recent showing at the Olympics would only make us bend our heads in shame. I am sure this euphoria is lost by now and the rat race that will ensue in the next major championship as well.

It is ironic that the game which is considered as a religion in India has an abysmal selection process at the grass roots level. Need of the hour is to bring transparency to the selection process and initiate it accordingly as per the Lodha Committee recommendations. The Sportsrush hopes that the Opaque Selection Process comes to an end soon and better sense prevails.

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