In a first, MCA removes senior selectors
MUMBAI: In a first for Mumbai cricket, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Wednesday removed two of its senior selectors, Sanjay Patil and Pradeep Kasliwal, after an unsavoury controversy erupted during the selection committee meeting to pick the Mumbai squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. Patil was asked to continue as the chairman of the Under-19 selection committee, but it's learnt that he has tendered his resignation.
On Wednesday evening, MCA secretary Sanjay Naik sent a press release which said that Milind Rege (chairman), Shridhar Mandale and Guru Gupte had been appointed as members of the adhoc senior selection committee. "The said adhoc committee will function till the new senior selection committee is appointed after the Annual General Meeting," said the release.
Both Patil and Kasliwal, who have played for Mumbai, had a heated debate with the chief selector Milind Rege in Monday's selection meeting. Rege threatened to quit, forcing the MCA's newly-elected president Vijay Patil to call the selectors for an urgent meeting at the MCA headquarters, where he took the radical decision.
It is reliably learnt that the president's decision to remove both the senior team selectors was opposed by the other office-bearers present at that time. However, the president used his veto power to take the decision, which is the first of its kind in the history of Mumbai cricket.
The president's decision hasn't gone down well with former Mumbai cricketers. "I'm surprised at how the selectors can be removed like this. It's a wrong precedent. It will create more ruckus in Mumbai cricket than before. It will have a bad impact. Now, nobody would like to become a selector, because tomorrow, if you don't pick a player as per the wishes of powerful officials, then you'll be sacked, isn't it? It's a sad thing to happen," lamented former India and Mumbai opener and current Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput.
On Wednesday, the selectors added pacer Tushar Deshpande, whose omission had triggered a huge debate, allrounder Sujit Nayak and Atif Attarwala to the 15-man squad for the tournament, which begins from Friday. It means that this is now an 18-man squad. The problem with Attarwala, though, is that he isn't registered with the BCCI as an MCA player, and the last date of player registration was September
30. Apparently, the Board has refused to register him at this stage, which makes his inclusion doubtful.
This is the second time in a year when Mumbai's senior selection committee has been involved in a controversy.
Only six months back, the entire senior selection panel, led by former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, resigned after being put under pressure by a few club members.