Scrap CAC, Apex Council Should Appoint Selectors: Dilip Vengsarkar

The present BCCI CAC comprises Madan Lal, RP Singh junior and Sulakshana Naik. 

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Cricket
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For India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar. 
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The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) should be scrapped, and selectors should be appointed by the apex councils -- both of the Indian cricket board and of its affiliates - to bring transparency to the selection of selectors while the 60-year cap for selectors is unconstitutional and it is used by administrators "to push their own people" in the selection committee, says former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar.

Vengsarkar, 64, said the new Supreme Court-approved constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) mentions upper age limit as 70 years for office-bearers, and which can be applied to selectors, too, and not the 60-year bar, which is an "absurd rule" and "detrimental to Indian cricket".

The master batsman, who scored three consecutive centuries against England Tests at Lord's, London, also threw his weight behind his 1983 World Cup-winning India teammate, Kirti Azad, who had applied for a selector's post in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) recently, but was ignored, apparently as he was over 60. Vengsarkar apparently suffered due to the same 60-year cap in 2016 and this year, when he tried to have a second stint as a national selector.

"CAC should be scrapped and selectors should be appointed by the apex councils, both of the BCCI and the state associations. After all, the selectors are appointed by the BCCI president, indirectly. So, it is better to get rid of the CAC. Apex council appointing selectors will be fairer than if the CAC appoints them; it will be 100 per cent fair because they will definitely come up with a few names and can gang up. But it will definitely be fairer," Vengsarkar told IANS.

"The 60-year cap is not anywhere in the BCCI constitution; it is 70 years. This 60-year rule was brought in -- in 2016 as well as 2020 -- by the office-bearers as per their convenience, to push their own people in the selection committee. This is absolutely absurd, and which is also not good for the game of cricket. And first the foremost, the BCCI CAC should be scrapped completely," slammed the former chairman of the selection committee.

Vengsarkar was chairman of the selection committee for two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09), but he was removed and replaced by Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who remained chairman for next four years. In 2016, after Sandeep Patil completed four years as chairman, the 60-year cap disqualified Vengsarkar. A much younger MSK Prasad, who has played six Tests and 17 ODIs, instead became chairman.

Then this year, when the BCCI advertised for selectors' post, the 60-year rule again made Vengsarkar ineligible.

"If you have made this 60-year role, then you make a rule for BCCI apex council members and make everybody above 60 ineligible. This kind of mindset has been detrimental to Indian cricket because incompetent selectors have been put up there, with no vision, no proper cricketing background and little, or no, experience of international cricket. The 60-year cap has been enforced to get rid of a few people who they don't want. They want people of their own choice," alleged Vengsarkar.

These days both the BCCI and some of its affiliates advertise selectors' positions, and invite retired cricketers to apply. Vengsakar finds cricketers applying for the job beneath the dignity of stalwarts who have often played many more Test matches than the CAC members, who are at times much junior to the applicants.

"Suppose guys who have played 100 Test matches and apply for selector's posts, they would be interviewed by people who have played just one Test match or no Test match. So, nobody would apply for the job and come for the interviews. That's why I am saying the idea of the CAC is absolutely absurd. Suppose a BCCI president wants to appoint Sachin Tendulkar or Kapil Dev as chairman of the selection committee, he can't ask them to apply for the post. It is demeaning for great players," stressed the man who played 116 Tests and 129 ODIs between 1976 and 1992.

"Similarly, how can Kirti apply to people junior to him who will interview him? He is offering his services and it should be accepted because he has got the experience, he has captained the DDCA and led Delhi to the Ranji Trophy title, played for India, and has been an outstanding first-class cricketer. It is very unfair, I would say," averred the Mumbai-based former Mumbai captain.

The present BCCI CAC comprises Madan Lal, a former teammate of Vengsarkar who played 39 Tests and 67 ODIs between 1974 and 1987, former left-arm pacer RP Singh junior (14 Tests and 58 ODIs between 2005 and 2011), and ex-India batswoman Sulakshana Naik (2 Tests and 46 ODIs between 2002 and 2013).

The new DDCA CAC comprises three former India pacers. They are: Atul Wassan (4 Tests and 9 ODIs in 1990), Robin Singh junior (1 Test in 1999), and Prvinder Awana (2 T20s in 2012).

Interestingly, the DDCA constitution also doesn't have a 60-year cap for selectors, but despite that Wassan, a 'find' of Azad, could not call his former Delhi captain for the interview as he was forced to abide by the decision of the DDCA, which had decided to follow the BCCI guidelines. Wassan, however, is all for adhering to the BCCI constitution that only talks about 70-year cap.

"I have made my recommendation and point of view on the matter of 60 years limit and on the five years criteria to the DDCA management and CAC has been promised that our suggestion will be reviewed in good time. The upper limit of selectors' age (60 years) is also harsh as a coach -- and coaching, which involves a lot of strenuous activity - can do the job beyond 60 years, then why not a selector?" he told IANS a few days ago.

Since then the DDCA has appointed the senior selection committee while former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi has complained to the DDCA Ombudsman on behalf of Azad, who is now mulling his next step.

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