Ranji Trophy: Gautam Gambhir has his way in selection meet; Bishan Bedi fumes
Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir did not attend today's selection committee meeting but won his 'unoffical battle' against DDCA's sports committee and Bishan Singh Bedi on two counts -- playing the Punjab match at Roshanara and keeping pacer Navdeep Saini in the squad.
Delhi will take on Punjab at Roshanara club from December 22 in their penultimate group league match and the squad had only one change from the one that was selected against Vidarbha. Left-arm seamer Pawan Suyal has come in place of left-arm spinner Manan Sharma as Delhi plan to produce another seamer friendly result-oriented track.
Former India captain Bedi under the aegis of National Capital Territory Cricket Association again fired a salvo at chairman of senior selection committee Chetan Chauhan for playing at Roshanara Club instead of Feroz Shah Kotla along with the question of selecting Saini -- a player from Haryana's Karnal.
"After our Association had specifically objected to non Delhi players being selected in various Delhi teams, DDCA Management has decided to be absolutely intransigent and include the same boy, in the team announced today, by Chairman of the Ranji Selection Committee," Bedi was quoted as saying in a press release without naming Chauhan and Navdeep.
"It is shocking that a renowned cricketer like our current Chairman takes his dictation from senior Management and puts a stamp of approval on all what he is told to do," Bedi has further stated. "The team management and the captain wanted Navdeep Saini in the squad. The selectors and the team management have taken a unanimous decision to select Saini," Chauhan told PTI today.
"Since the team has a very bright chance of qualifying for the knock-outs, they wanted to play on a result-oriented pitch. I can assure you that the last group league match will be played at the Kotla," he added. Asked about the rumours of his difference of opinion with skipper Gambhir during an earlier selection meeting, Chauhan gave a pointed reply, "A difference of opinion can always happen between two individuals but this time, there wasn't any difference of opinion.
At the end of the day, you have to give the captain a team of his choice". On Sports Committee members distributing release during last Ranji game when Saini was bowling, Chauhan replied, "When I came to know about this, I had a word with them (Sports Commitee members) and told them to stop it. They didn't distribute any press release after that."
While Gambhir's aim has been to get maximum points unleashing his pace battery on a green track, Bedi has questioned the logic behind it. "Look- where have come? We need to now play on sub standard pitches to win a few points. Cricketing logic will say that we should play and win on our home ground, by playing home-grown players."
"The day is not far when the various school college grounds will be preferred to Kotla- the same wicket which has been overseen by our current Chairman of Selectors himself," Bedi further wrote. The legendary left-arm spinner also made a sarcastic comment about the kind of matches that are being played at the Kotla these days.
"All the crores of rupees that have spent on the Kotla wicket has literally gone down the drain. Probably, the wicket at Kotla is meant to be used for matches organized for Judges-Advocates, Stephens - Hindu etc".