While the jubilation in the Puducherry camp was understandable, Delhi’s abject surrender to such an inexperienced team has brought the focus back on the infamous structure that has plagued Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).As expected, the selectors came up with a knee jerk reaction and decided to sack Yash Dhull as the captain for the next match in Jammu. Himmat Singh has been handed the responsibility to lead the team while Ayush Badoni has been retained as vice-captain.
“It was selectors’ decision to relieve Yash of the captaincy. To me, Yash is the future of Delhi cricket and Indian cricket. He is seen as a serious prospect. The priority for him now is to get back to scoring runs again. Anything that can distract him from that should be avoided. Captaincy at this point won’t help him solely focus on his batting,” Delhi head coach Devang Gandhi told TOI.
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The capitulation here at the Arun Jaitley Stadium was kind of on the cards after how the selectors went about their business post a fluent run to make the semifinal of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy to start the season under a new coach Devang Gandhi with a vision to groom and liberate the young generation of Delhi cricket. Delhi cricket has suffered in the last few seasons because there has been lack of commitment from senior players towards the state team. That resulted in two senior players Nitish Rana and Dhruv Shorey leaving the state to play for Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha respectively. “No player looks like taking the responsibility to take charge. No one is willing to bat at No. 3,” a source said.
However, the selection committee of Robin Singh, Soumick Chatterjee and Mayank Sidana have never been on the same page which contributed to confusion in team selection. Kshitiz Sharma, someone who has no performance behind him and had left Delhi to ply his trade in Arunachal Pradesh two seasons ago, has been carried with the team because the selectors have been influenced by someone who is now not eligible to be an administrator. In order to accommodate him in the middle order against Puducherry, the team management played with two makeshift openers in this game.
“There has been utter confusion in the selection committee. They have failed to name 15-man squads right through the season because they have been trying to impress multiple officials from various factions. Ayush Badoni was invited to a selection meeting before the Ranji game as a captain only to be appointed as the vice-captain. One selector even had asked Himmat Singh to pick his 16 players before the team was announced for the first match. Dhull was in two minds but at the last moment, he was prodded to lead the team. The selectors have been giving three different captains and teams all the way,” a DDCA official told TOI.
TOI has also learnt that there has been discomfort amongst a couple of selectors because Ishant Sharma has been very involved with the team and has been coordinating with coach Gandhi. The selectors have gone to multiple officials besides president Rohan Jaitley and caused confusion.
It’s time there was stability in team selection and the players are made to feel secure enough to come forward and take responsibility.