Jagdale: Selectors could have handled No. 4 pick better

Former BCCI selector Sanjay Jagdale feels the M.S.K. Prasad-led selection committee should have backed Rahane as No. 4 for the World Cup.

Former BCCI secretary and selector Sanjay Jagdale at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Friday.   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

As soon as Sourav Ganguly took over as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there were whispers that the under-fire senior selection committee — headed by M.S.K Prasad — could be shown the door.

Former BCCI selector Sanjay Jagdale feels the selectors could have had a longer run if they had picked the right No. 4 for the Cricket World Cup 2019.

“I think the selectors did a decent job and the team did not have a bad performance in the World Cup, it is just one-and-a-half hour of poor batting in the semifinals. But I think the selectors could have handled the No. 4 position in a better way,” he told Sportstar, while watching the World Test Championship fixture between India and Bangladesh.

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“They should have backed Ajinkya Rahane at No. 4. I knew this team will struggle in English conditions. You needed somebody who has done well in England, who plays limited-overs cricket also. You can’t brand him as a Test player only. He started in 2011 in England in the one-dayers and he did reasonably well.

“You experimented with players who have been around for 10 years when I was selector. If they can’t establish their position in 10 years, you can’t give them chances on the basis of IPL. World Cup is a different ball game,” he added.

AS IT HAPPENED

The next set of selectors?

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar had called the Prasad-led committee “lame ducks”. They have often been criticised for their records as cricketers too. Jadgale, however, feels playing 20 Test matches or more doesn’t guarantee a great talent scout.

“It is about the integrity. I have seen Test players struggle as selectors. But he should have some knowledge and played some decent cricket. Hari Gidwani and I were junior selectors of BCCI in 1994. I regard him as one of the best selectors,” he said.

Jagdale had spotted talents such as Narendra Hirwani, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Murali Kartik and V.V.S. Laxman to name a few. The BCCI AGM on December 1 is likely to discuss the appointment of the Cricket Advisory Committee that will choose the new set of selectors.

The BCCI-CoA timeline

Jagdale was appointed secretary of the BCCI in 2011, but he stepped down after the IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013.

Assessing the timeline of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) that called the shots before Ganguly took over, he said, “CoA could have been better and it should have been better. A lot of cricket suffered for that and there was lots of confusions in state associations as I could make out. Lodha committee reports came in 2016. It has been three years and still there are areas that are not very clear.”

He called for clarity in the Conflict of Interest problem that is giving nightmares to former cricketers-turned coaches and administrators.

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“There is contradiction. Lodha Committee had recommended participation of former players in the administration but if you are somebody like Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar or Laxman and if you are accusing them of Conflict of Interest, why any cricketer will come to serve you? They will all need some financial guarantee. I agree there needs to be some balance specially if somebody is serving in the IPL, a big commercial event, but it has to be practical. You need to find a way.”

The 69-year-old is pinning his hopes on Ganguly. “I am happy to see Sourav coming into the BCCI. It will be unfortunate if he has to go after 10 months. Then, there won’t be any use of the suggestions. I don’t know how it stands in court, ultimately it will go to SC and somebody will charge. There is a lot of uncertainty which is not good for Indian cricket.”