Vengsarkar disappoints…


I have recently had high praise for the way in which Dilip Vengsarkar and the rest of the selection committee have conducted themselves. In particular, I have been quite impressed with Vangsarkar as an exemplar of direct-talk.

However, if this report in today’s papers it to be believed, I believe Vengsarkar has let himself down badly.

I am not sure when Indian officials will realise that what is said in the room stays in the room. If nothing else, in the interest of “cabinet solidarity” or “committee solidarity”, one should not — just should not — ascribe committee decisions to specific members of the committee! Indian officials have to learn that all debates must be and should only be held within the four walls of the committee room. Once the committee has decided on a composition the members need to learn to hold their peace forever

This latest revelation on inner-dealings in the committee room is most disappointing. While he has been direct in his responses, in this interview, on issues such as Mohammed Kaif and Romesh Powar, Vengsarkar has blotted his copybook by spilling the guts on Sehwag. He has disappointed me. More importantly, he has been rebuked by the BCCI — that august organisation and upholder of prim internal processes that has more leaks than a rotten water pipe!

It is right of the selection committee to relent to the captains’ wishes for the team he wants. In my view, it is immature of the committee to then spill the beans to the press.

— Mohan

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5 responses to “Vengsarkar disappoints…

  1. I honestly did not find anything wrong in what Vengsarkar said. To quote him, “When I was leading India, I never got the team I wanted and I didn’t want Rahul to go through the same. He insisted on having Sehwag and that made the difference.” His honesty should be commended. After all, I am assuming the point he had to make is that the captain should have a huge say in the team since he is better positioned to assess the needs. This also reinforces the idea that Sehwag is ultimately accountable to the captain and he’d better meet/exceed Dravid’s expectations. I do not believe that Vengsarkar’s comments translate into his disapproval of Sehwag’s exclusion, and again, it is the Board/media’s turn to explode a trivial issue.

  2. That Vengsarkar did not get the teams that he wanted when he played is history. At best it forms the basis for a general selection policy. It is not and cannot be, in my view, justification for a specific selection issue. We must recognise his honesty — and I have, on previous situations. He is direct, forthright and honest. In this case though, his honesty is, at best, immature. At worst, it almost makes him a sitting duck for dismissal.

    As I said, “what says in the room stays in the room.” If he can’t accept that, he must consider whether he wants to stay in the job.

    If asked about how Sehwag was chosen — and the hungry media will ask — he should have said, “We considered several scenarios and in the end the committee felt that we had to back experience and ability” or something inconsequential like that, and leave it at that. Who cares what the process was for selecting a specific player? Who cares that Sehwag won by a margin of 1-7 or 7-0?

    Did he say what he did to absolve himself of a possible future neck-chop? Did he say that to wash his hands off that particular selection? If he had a problem with that or any other selection, the only (repeat only) place to discuss it should have been at the selection table and in the selection room. Period. There can’t be two opinions on that when you are in a high-powered committee.

    How’d you feel if you got a job and your new boss said, “actually the entire selection panel — your new peers and colleagues — was against you. I was the only one that pumped for you!”, how welcome would you feel? This would be seen as immature stuff from the boss that spilled the selection-committee beans!

    Every player is accountable and every player has to meet/exceed the captains’ expectations. If they can’t, they should not be on the team bus. So the accountability funda is a non-issue in my books.

    The Board was right to gag Vangsarkar, even though they do not have, in my view, the moral right to do that themselves. They have more leaks in their process than a burst water main!

  3. Pingback: Brief paper round for the day: Wednesday 7 March 2007 « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  4. I see it as a statement of fact and little more than that.

  5. Sure it is a statement of fact. It certainly is not fiction. However, it is not always that fact is openly documented and spilled. In my view, maturity in high-office is about knowing what facts can be openly agreed and what can’t be. Some facts have to stay behind closed doors. The fact that only one person was behind a selection is irrelevant once the selection has been made. That’s what I’ve maintained above and that’s what
    Rohit Brijnath
    means when he says, “but as much we relish his forthrightness, we expect him to speak responsibly.” In committee, one just can’t put daylight between yourself and a collective decision. I am hopeful that one day — perhaps by the turn of this century — our committees/communities will appreciate/understand that.

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