MCA president summons senior selectors; Rege threatens to quit
MUMBAI: In a first instance of this kind, the Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) newly elected president Vijay Patil has summoned the entire senior selection panel, led by Milind Rege, at the association's headquarters on Wednesday, over several controversial selections for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, which is set to begin from Friday.
TOI has also learnt that post a heated debate in the selection meeting on Monday, Rege threatened to quit as the chief selector, though neither Rege or anyone in the MCA was willing to come on record on this. Apart from Rege, the meeting was attended by the other four selectors-Sanjay Patil, Guru Gupte, Pradeep Kasliwal and Sridhar Mandle -coach Vinayak Samant MCA secretary Sanjay Naik, who was the convenor.
The most controversial point of the selection is the axing of pacer Tushar Deshpande, who was in the national selectors' radar not too long ago. The fast bowler was in poor form in the Vijay Hazare One-Day Trophy recently, but was instrumental in Mumbai winning the same tournament last year, taking 15 wickets in eight firstname.lastname@example.org, with a best haul of five for 23.
The selectors have included seamer Deepak Shetty, who took 10 wickets in seven email@example.com in his place.
The inclusion of Jaydeep Pardeshi, who played just two games and scored just 14 runs for Thane Eagle Strikers in the Mumbai T20 League, has turned controversial too. There are also allegations that a player who hasn't played for four years at the club level, has been picked in the side. The selection of pacer Aquib Qureshi has been questioned too.
"Firstly, the chief selector will meet the president at 10.30m, and then the other four selectors will meet the MCA chief," a source in the MCA told TOI on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, the selection committee wasn't even willing to postpone the meeting by a day, which would have allowed the new captain, Suryakumar Yadav, to join them in picking the squad. Apparently, his inputs were ignored too. It's learnt that the captain and chief selector were both were in favour of Deshpande being included in the side.
Meanwhile, the MCA has instructed the selectors not to travel with the Mumbai teams as of now. The advisory comes after one of the selectors got involved in a ruckus with one of the teams this season. It has also been mooted that coaches shouldn't be allowed in selection meetings. "If the selectors don't travel with the team, how will they assess the form of the players," wondered an MCA official.