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Friday, May 21, 2010

What is the game-plan of BCCI?

Ishant Sharma at Adelaide OvalImage via Wikipedia
Today’s article on Rediff was interesting to read - BCCI needs to rethink county ban on players

Piyush Chawla (Sussex), Irfan Pathan (Essex and Yorkshire), S Sreesanth (Warwickshire), Ishant Sharma (Kent and Hampshire), Amit Mishra (Worcestershire) and Virender Sehwag (Northamptonshire) evoked interest from the counties, but were forced to turn down offers.

First, BCCI makes all the Indian players (international or not) play all the matches in the hectic IPL. A player can be rested in IPL only if he is dropped or injured – unwritten rule. I am not even going to talk about the parties here. Once the team is on its way out of the T20 World Cup, it realizes that the team is tired and rests the ‘senior’ players. Among the first-choice players who are either rested or injured are MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Praveen Kumar.

The team that is selected to play for India in Zimbabwe is M Vijay, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Suresh Raina (capt), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Pankaj Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha.

Piyush Chawla will join the squad for the Twenty20s (scheduled on 12th and 13th June) – don’t know why when Amit Mishra is available, Piyush has to come down to Zimbabwe only for the T20 matches (an appearance of 2 days for 3 hours each on the match-day).

On the same day, another team is selected, albeit India ‘A’ for England - Cheteshwar Pujara (capt), Wriddhiman Saha (vice-capt/wk), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwary, Iqbal Abdulla, Sudeep Tyagi, Dhaval Kulkarni, Abhimanyu Mithun, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Jaskaran Singh, Bipul Sharma, Jayadev Unadkat.
"We want our players to use their time in training and fitness. That is why we have said no to all our contracted players. "There is lot of pressure on overseas players in county cricket. And the fringe players will not get enough rest," BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty had told The Indian Express earlier this month.

What pressure (or rest) are you talking about, Mr.Shetty? Of the players who had offers from the county, only Amit Mishra has been selected for the ODI tournament. Piyush Chawla will make a couple of appearances on the tour, if selected. Even from the first-choice players, the strategy of resting MSD, SRT and to an extent Sehwag can be agreed. Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth were two bowlers who made a big difference to the Indian bowling attack thanks to their swing – what better place for them to hone their skills than the swing-helpful pitches of UK? It looks like these players are no longer in the radar of BCCI.

Where are the others going? What will they do till the next series? Do they not need any match practice? Everyone who has been involved in cricket knows that there is nothing more beneficial to cricketers than hard match practice. Will there be a criteria of selection that the BCCI will apply for the next international series (whenever that is going to be arranged)?

How will you ensure that Yuvraj and Zaheer are going to reduce their extra kilos on their frame? How are you going to ensure that Harbhajan will finally spin a cricket ball? Are you taking the advise of your favourite cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar, to send the batsmen to NCA – will we be assured that Gautam Gambhir will be able to continue his batting career on bouncing wickets?

Is it asking for too much, BCCI?
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