Azad lashes out at Chetan Chauhan

Azad asked if it was not a fact that, "Chopra, Valson and Seth had been appointed in a full-fledged Executive Committee meeting?" He wanted to know, "How then can you over ride that decision? This daily flip flop in DDCA has ruined cricket in Delhi."

Kirti Azad accused Chetan Chauhan and C.K. Khanna of creating an atmosphere of distrust for the cricketers.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Former India batsman Kirti Azad has held Board vice-president C. K. Khanna and the Delhi and District Cricket Association vice-president Chetan Chauhan responsible for the latest mess at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Referring to the resignation of selectors Nikhil Chopra (chairman), Sunil Valson and Salil Seth (convenor) from the junior selection panel, Azad accused Chauhan, a former Test opener, and Khanna of creating an atmosphere of distrust for the cricketers.

The junior panel, said Azad, was “formed with much fanfare by three Government nominees with most of the Executive Committee having backed them in their effort to cleanse the muck in DDCA.” He noted in a letter to Chauhan and Khanna that, true to form, and past experience, “you have made a mess by declaring two committees of selectors to choose teams for under-16 and under-14 age groups.”

Chopra, Valson and Seth resigned from their positions to protest against the formation of the under-16 and under-14 panel without taking them into confidence. At the start of the season, the DDCA had announced a three-member selection panel for senior and junior teams, a welcome departure from the past when senior, under-19, under-16 and under-14 sections would have five-member panels each.

Azad asked if it was not a fact that, “Chopra, Valson and Seth had been appointed in a full-fledged Executive Committee meeting?” He wanted to know, “How then can you over ride that decision? This daily flip flop in DDCA has ruined cricket in Delhi.”

He added, “You (Chauhan) have presided over the burial of cricket with your personal role of Chairman of Ranji Selection Committee which had been selecting non meritorious sons/wards of Sports Committee members and other club secretaries over the years.”

The former India player, also a member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad, held Chauhan and Khanna responsible for endorsing the selection of “incompetent” cricketers and club secretaries as support staff. “Most of the selectors that you have announced have not even played first class cricket, but some of them owe personal loyalty to you and Khanna. That is the only criterion for being made selectors.”

Azad urged the two officials to quit their posts in the interest of Delhi cricket. “It is time for you to quit DDCA, because living with such ignominy does not redound to your credit. For guys like me, who looked up to you as a senior, it is extremely painful to see that you have become a weak person intent on sticking on to DDCA at any cost. Last year, Gautam Gambhir had humiliated you and the day is not far, when an under 14 cricketer also looks you in your eyes and asks you some uncomfortable questions. I hope that you will see that eventuality happening in the not so distant future.”