A Gag Order has been put in place for Indian Selectors barring them from going to press with their views. Also, there is a restriction on selectors touring abroad with teams. Seems that the BCCI is right this time 🙂
The Gag order on Selectors: The Gag order restricting them to write in media or give interviews is correct since utterances by individual selectors can be misconstrued as the opinion of selectors as a team. Secondly, selectors have a duty to create an unbiased team selection and BCCI has the first right to know their opinion and also the decision on whether their opinion can be made public rests entirely on BCCI in the present framework of things . Thumbs Up.
Ban on Selectors touring abroad: The Gag order also has a note on selectors touring abroad. This is also a good step since selectors can do better by keeping a check on the domestic players to spot talent. The international matches are well covered and dissected and also with live coverage there is absolutely no use to watch it live whether for selectors or for fans. In fact the note should also have covered the frequent selector meeting as well as very short appointments of players (for 1-2 matches). Also, the selectors recently had separate meetings for every decision. Thumbs Up.
Protest by Selectors: Protest by Selectors regarding this Gag order being targeted at a certain selector Vengsarkar is very narrow thinking by other selectors. The Gag order is a very professional option available with the BCCI under whose contract, the selectors work. Thumbs Down.
Vengsarkar’s protest: The initial outburst by selectors is unwarranted. Thumbs Down.
Team Selection: The BCCI can do well to release a selection report after each selection announcement so that the process is clear. BCCI has an excellent opportunity to create transparency and hence accountability for selectors. BCCI is not transparent at the moment. Thumbs Down.
Selection of Coaches: The point to note here is that the same system should apply to BCCI when announcing coaches. The system should be transparent and impersonal. Track record should be most important. We lost couple of good coaches due to the terribly lopsided and biased style of functioning of BCCI. Whether Ranatunga likes his earlier coach or not should be immaterial. Whether the coach is a friend of Gavaskar in need of a break should also not matter. If the coach has performed and has given results, that should be all what matters. Let there be an open call for coaches with a specific submission date of CV and a presentation date. BCCI is not transparent right now. Thumbs Down.
Coach Selection Optional: Finally let us decide whether we need a coach at this level or not. As earlier mentioned in this blog, the need of the hour is a strategist and not a coach. And strategist may or may not be a cricket player. Various strategists can be given different teams to work with and the best performing strategist can be given an opportunity to work with the Indian Team. Neutral.
Indian Team: This brings me to the all important question Whether theres an Indian Team! Earlier utterances by BCCI about their being a private body brings me to the question, whether ICL or any other Cricket Organization can file for affiliation with ICC? If ICC refuses can another body be formed and a parallel tournament organized? Basically, in case of T20 ICC had hurriedly organized a World Cup, just to obviate this possibility. But the ghost of options would always haunt them. ODI came as an option through a 3rd party. T20 could also have gone the same way. There have been Double wicket tournaments earlier in Hong Kong. Surely, the organizations not party to ICC would come up with new ideas and re-invent the game to take it outside the purview of ICC and the coming years are going to be fun to watch. Thumbs Up.
Non-Selection of ICL players into the Indian Team: Though not a declared option, BCCI has hinted at keeping out players involved in the ICL league from being selected into the Indian Team. It is illegal and even funny that players can play in the english league and be selected, but a local tournament organizer cannot have players participate in their tournaments. The best option with BCCI is to accommodate players as per their performance in whichever tournament they decide to play and even have selectors look up players from various leagues. Let the field not become a contractual and legal quagmire. Thumbs Down.