DDCA Rohan Jaitley chief sacks senior selection committee after selection chaos

Rohan Jaitley, the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president, has sacked the state’s senior selection committee a day after reports of infighting within the panel and “dubious selection” emerged. He has voiced out his “disapproval of the manner in which the men’s selection committee is discharging its duties”.

On Tuesday, selectors Gagan Khoda, the committee chief, and Mayank Sidana had a public fallout, leading to Sidana staging a walkout of a meeting to pick Delhi’s Under-25 squad for the upcoming CK Nayudu Trophy fixture. The pair is also believed to have disagreed on a number of selections made for Delhi’s Ranji Trophy squad for their away game against Saurashtra in Rajkot, which they lost by an innings and 214 runs inside three days.

In sharp focus was their decision to hand Ayush Badoni, a middle-order batter, a first-class debut as an opener and drop regular wicketkeeper Anuj Rawat. Delhi are currently second-last in Group B, with no wins in four matches.

“The issue of manner in which players are being selected and replaced at the drop of a hat has become talk of the town,” Jaitley wrote in an e-mail to DDCA’s apex council and CAC members. “Recently in a meeting, it was informed that a replacement was sent for a senior player who was stated to be injured, the replacement while reaching there was also declared to be injured and another replacement was sent.”

Jaitley also expressed his displeasure at the selection committee picking 20-22 players when BCCI’s directive mandates just 15 squad members traveling for reach game.

“Despite clearly informing the committee that the number of players shall be restricted to 15-16 players, the committee has time and again recommended 20-22 member squad for each team,” Jaitley wrote. “Therefore, these committees are not only doing disservice to the DDCA but also to the game of cricket.”

Jaitley was also “hurt” at Delhi’s shrinking talent pool and “absolute lack of planning” on the selectors’ part. Delhi failed to qualify for the knockouts of the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this season and were beaten by Vidarbha in the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in T20s. Their Ranji campaign is all but over just halfway into the league phase.

“There was a time when Indian team would have at least four to five Delhi players,” Jaitley wrote. “The situation today is such that we cannot name even a single player whom we perceive as a potential candidate for the national team.

“The absolute lack of planning for Delhi Cricket is apparent on the face of it more so with regard to the vision and future course as discussed and planned…It is unfortunate that the Selection committee has shown scant commitment to the same.”

Jaitley also questioned the manner in which the coach of Delhi’s Under-25 team, Pankaj Singh, wasn’t permitted to sit in the selection committee meeting by the secretary.

“To my mind, it is most important not only that the head coach attends each and every selection committee meeting, his views must also be taken into consideration before taking any final decision on the selection,” he said. “This attains much importance once the selectors wash their hands off by commenting that ‘we select team and the coach selects the playing eleven’.”

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