Jr selectors massacre talent for vested interests
*Court appointed JKCA panel rules the roost
JAMMU, Feb 20: The Court appointed panel of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) which was constituted in December 2017 with a mandate to clear the disputes among its affiliate units (Clubs) within a period of three months to make the functioning of the Association smooth under its all powerful Working Committee, but it has thrown its mandate into the winds and Constitution into the dust bin as the disputes of the Clubs are yet to be cleared despite the apse of over 2 years.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had appointed a quartet of retired Justice CK Prasad and former Justice Rafat Alam as Administrators of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), besides Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and retired Judge Bashir-ud-Din as Ombudsman in December 2017, with a mandate to make an end to the disputes within some Clubs of JKCA to help it run the affairs smoothly and successfully.
However, according to the reliable sources, the panel drunk with the pride of power, pelf and glamour in running the JKCA affairs, has lost the memory as to what for it was constituted.
Sources said, the panel rather than concentrating on clearing the disputes of 12 affiliated Clubs of JKCA, focussed on de-affiliating all the 25 Clubs from the Association by registering a new Constitution under Registrar of Societies, thus throwing the existing Constitution into the dust bin to make their path of reigning the kingdom smoother, easier and hassle-free.
“It is obvious, as and when the elections are held in JKCA, the Administrators and CEO will be no more. So, for the longevity of their tenure, the Court appointed panel is least interested in making an end to the disputes within the clubs of JKCA. The power, pelf and glamour in JKCA lure everybody towards itself. And why not Administrators who are being paid hefty amount sans exertion,” said former First-Class cricketer on the condition of anonymity.
The sources said, the Court employed panel appointed selectors of their choice to satisfy their ambitions, hardly caring about their eligibility under Lodha Committee Reforms, adding that none of the JKCA selectors from the Union Territory is eligible as per Lodha Recommendations and some of the selectors are there just to fit the bill.
“With all the rubbish things done by the Junior Selection Committee to massacre the talent and leave the skilled players in the lurch, the people at the helm of affairs go crazy in saying that J&K Ranji Trophy team has made it to the last eight stage. The selection of Ranji Trophy team is everybody’s cup of tea, but selecting better teams at Junior Level, is an acid test for wisdom of the selectors and sanctity of the system,” said a bunch of former J&K Ranji Trophy skippers while expressing anonymity.
“You know, in Ranji Trophy team, the selector has a provision of making one or at the most two changes each season, because you have to deal with a tested lot at this level, which is hardly a complicated affair for any selector. For that matter, there is no harm in praising mentor, coach, initial selector, who is now JKCA representative at Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) and the captain for consistent run.
However, at the Junior Level, you have to pick the players on merit out of a bigger lot, where the intensions & wisdom of the selectors and transparency of the system come into play,” said a senior cricketer who has not only represented Jammu and Kashmir in Ranji Trophy but in prestigious Duleep and Deodhar Trophy Tournaments.
He said, by going into the philosophy of the things, one observes that there is no reality in JKCA’s claim of providing opportunity to the players from most of the districts and selecting them for the higher levels, as the district level tournaments, which were mostly conducted on the matting strips, were an eye wash as for as selection of the players is concerned or in other words, the process was simply like ‘Old wine in new bottles’.
“JKCA after selecting 17 players on merit for the Under-19 boys Zonal team drawn from the four districts of Jammu, Kathua, Samba and Udhampur through the district level tournament, ten out of a total of seventeen selected players in the list were not allowed to participate in the selection trial matches, depriving them of their fundamental rights. So, thinking of their selection in the J&K team was like flogging a dead horse,” said a parent whose son was ignored for the selection matches event after being picked for the Zonal team on his performance in the district level tournament.
He said how can such venomous acts and jaundiced policies by the tainted selectors of JKCA (who are no way eligible or fit for this pious job) help the budding players of the Union Territory to flourish at the higher levels.
Sources said, the selectors’ personal grudges with the parents of the players have very much affected the selection process.
According to the reliable sources, barring selection of few deserving players in both Under-19 and Under-23 groups, most of the ‘blue-eyed’ were picked on the basis of favouritism and nepotism.
The performance of these teams portraits picture of ‘fair’ selection process as both, Under-19 and Under-23 teams had a consolation wins against minnows in their groups, out of eight matches each at the group stage.
The drastic decline of performance of both these teams, which had produced outstanding show two years back, is testimony to the fact that the junior selectors were only concerned about their vested interests and not about the performance of the teams.
There are examples that the selectors after picking the players for a particular spot from stand by lists, have picked them randomly, hardly caring for the merit among the stand bys, thus ignoring the genuine talent.
While quoting example of a particular player who has represented Under-19 Indian team, a famous cricket coach said that present quorum of JKCA has got Doctors Degree in overnight converting real heroes into zeroes and vice versa through ill selection policies.
Whenever approached in connection with unfair selection matters, the CEO of JKCA at once made himself free by saying that he knew nothing about cricket and it is only the selectors who do the job.
In such an atmosphere, where head of the Association knows nothing about the subject, expecting justice to the system is to red rag a bull rather to cry for the moon.
Sources further said that to be successful in holding elections in all districts, JKCA is leaving no stone unturned in pleasing the representatives of these districts by sending them with the teams as members of supporting staff, no matter, if five persons accompany a particular team as managers, the custom unique in JKCA only.
“The Association failed in making a foolproof system to stop the age fudging issues also, despite a bitter experience of Rasikh Salam’s issue last year. This year also one or two over-aged boys were not allowed to play at the national scene,” sources added.