Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar believes BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is “undermining the credentials” of both the national selectors as well as the IPL chairman Brijesh Patel “by sticking his neck out” and speaking on their behalf.
Vengsakar, who was chairman of national selectors between 2006 and 2008, said he was beginning to lose faith in Ganguly as president. “When the IPL dates and venues were being discussed and organised, he was speaking on behalf of the IPL chairman. Sadly, time and again he’s sticking his neck out on behalf of those who are capable of taking decisions and explaining them on their own. Is he undermining their credentials? Or does he feel he knows more than the others?”
He said he wondered why Ganguly – who was elected as BCCI president in October 2019 – was speaking on team selections and player-fitness issues, which ideally should be addressed by the national selectors. Former India left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi is the current selection committee head and chaired his first meeting in October while picking squads for the Australia tour. Joshi has not spoken on the selections so far.
“It’s quite astonishing to see Ganguly wearing so many hats as he speaks on behalf of the supposedly appointed chairman of selectors, Sunil Joshi, as to why ‘X’ was dropped and ‘Y’ was not selected and why ‘Z’ was not considered, besides how somebody is still not fit,” Vengsarkar told the Times of India on Monday.
Vengsarkar has also questioned the “discrepancy” in the medical reports concerning senior India batsman Rohit Sharma. Sharma was not named in any of the three squads for the Australia tour due to a hamstring injury, but a BCCI announcement on Monday said he would rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour and included in the Test squad. He is currently leading the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
Last week, Ganguly had told PTI that Sharma had suffered a hamstring tear that could get “ruptured again” if he played too soon. As a precaution, the BCCI did not want to name him for the Australia tour. Ganguly also said then that that Sharma would travel to Australia if he “recovers”.
Vengsarkar spoke on the issue of Sharma playing in the IPL with an injury while also not being selected for the Australia tour on those grounds. “Rohit [is] surprisingly dropped from the Indian team for the tour because the BCCI physio has ruled him out due to a hamstring injury. Now, the question is: How did the Mumbai Indians physio declare Rohit fit to play in the IPL? Why is there a discrepancy in the reports of two physios?
“I really don’t know who calls the shots while selecting the squad. Is it the BCCI officials or the selectors?”