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Sight Screen

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Food for thought

'Morning, all -- it's apt to be a day of intermittent blogging; my CEO leaves NY this weekend, and there's a stream of meetings to get done before that. (Oh, and? Intend to make this blog go 'live' tomorrow morning, when England and Australia play the second ODI -- join in, all those who are watching, with your own commentary).
For now, a news item I read first up this morning, and which had me wondering at the subtexts, the lines hidden behind lines.
Raises a lot of questions, this story. First up, what is triggering this recent spate of attacks on the BCCI's functioning? It's almost like guerilla warfare has broken out -- the sniping is coming from all directions, and with increasing frequency.
What prompted Wadekar to say this:
Pointing out that there was interference from the Board president in selection of teams in the past, Wadekar said, "The president should ratify the selected team straightaway. It is a must. There has to be transparency in everything that the Board does.
"I strongly feel that naming of the captain should be left to the selection committee and there should not be any interference from any quarter including the Board or its President, excepting in cases of discipline," said Wadekar, who led the country in 16 out of the 37 Tests he played in an eight-year career.

The reference is obviously to Jagmohan Dalmiya -- so then, on which instances did the BCCI chief interfere with team selection? When was the selected team not ratified -- and why? More to the point, when did the board president interfere with the picking of the captain?
That bit, about ratifying the selected team immediately, raises an interesting question. You know how team selection works, right? The selectors meet at the appointed venue; they shut themselves up in a room; they come out after a suitable interval of time, and announce the team.
To the best of my recollection, there has been no instance where the team selected and announced -- invariably, by the BCCI secretary -- was subsequently repudiated or changed by the Board. So if Wadekar has a specific instance in mind when he talks suggests the board does not always ratify the picked team at once, the subtext is the whole selection exercise we see has to be a staged play -- the real selection has to have been done before, the team picked has to have been transmitted to the board chief, the changes made, and *then* the drama staged for public consumption. That seems to be the logical deduction, from what Wadekar is saying -- and it opens up a whole new can of worms.
Outside of this, Wadekar and Kirmani make some interesting points: (1) The need for paid, professional selectors; (2) The option of players nominating selectors (not sure if that is a solution -- will there then be a tendency for players to nominate 'friendly' selectors? If I were to sit for an exam, should I get to pick the person who will frame the question paper, for instance?) (3) The lack of interaction between junior and senior selection committees -- which at least partially explains why young talent is not blooded into the team as often, and in as timely a fashion, as we would like.
Interesting stuff here -- appreciate your thoughts on all of this.

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