Another ‘farce’ enacted in corruption-ridden DDCA


Qaiser Mohammad Ali


One farce after the other continues to be enacted at the politics/corruption-ridden Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

A day after the 18 of the 27 DDCA directors signed a resolution on the formation of the selection committees, after much politics, one of the signatories on Thursday ‘audaciously’ issued names of 76 probables for an under-19 camp.

Even as DDCA general secretary Anil Khanna secretary issued letters of appointment to the six selectors and two convenors on Thursday, Anil Jain, one of the two joint secretaries (sports) issued the under-19 probables’ list – twice over. The first list contained 75 names and the second one 76.

For the Ranji Trophy, as many as three different lists of probable players had been issued a few days ago, making the DDCA a laughing stock.

DDCA director Ashok Sharma, who along with Chetan Chauhan and a few others hasn’t signed the resolution in protest, termed the issuance of the probables’ list by Jain “unauthorised”.

Salil Seth, the other joint secretary (sports), is the new convenor of the junior committee convenor.

“This list is unauthorised as the selection committee has been constituted and Salil Seth is the convenor of the junior selection committee and not Anil Jain. So, his list is unauthorised,” Sharma

The first meeting of the junior committee can be expected in a day or two.

On the issue of not having signed the resolution for constituting the selection committees, approved and signed by circulation, Sharma said, “The ideal way would have been to have let the sports working committee propose the names and the executive committee could have ratified them. I am only protesting the process employed.”

It is gathered that Chauhan, the only Test cricketer in the executive committee, has not signed the resolution because ‘he was not consulted’ while finalising the names of the selectors.

Even before the executive committee members passed the resolution to constitute the selection committees, three members – Chauhan, Ashok Sharma and Anil Jain – had on Saturday announced three sets of names of the Ranji Trophy probables, thus adding to an already chaotic administration and management at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Delhi plays its first Ranji match, against Rajasthan in Jaipur, from October 1, but the preparation of the team couldn’t have been worse. Although Ajay Jadeja – surprisingly proposed by the three government nominees on the DDCA executive and who all belong to the BJP – has been appointed new Ranji team coach, there continues a vertical divide over his choice.

There is no word on the coaches for the other teams. The big questions that many people at the Kotla are asking are, “Will the government nominees also propose the names of the other coaches? If they do, what for the DDCA executive committee is there? Let the government take over DDCA.”

To add to the mess, senior players, including Gautam Gambhir, have been missing the morning practice sessions at the Kotla while there is no one in-charge. Now that his appointment letter was delivered to Jadeja on Thursday, he may join the camp from Friday.

Compared to their male counterparts, the under-19 girls, now preparing for the season-opening tournament starting on September 20, are in a worse condition.

Quite inexplicably, so far – and unlike the Ranji players — no probables’ list has been announced for the under-19 girls. No one knows who picked the probables.

The camp started at Jesus and Mary College in south Delhi, is reportedly in appalling conditions.

“No proper water or refreshments or lunch has been served since the beginning of the camp, about eight days ago. It is the responsibility of the DDCA to take of the basic requirements of the girls, too,” said a source.

“Today (Thursday), for the first time, rajma-chawal was served. Before this, no lunch was being served, even though the practice would go on till about noon.”

“Also, what was the need to hold the camp at Jesus and Mary College when Kotla is available? Why this liking for this college? The Kotla stadium is big enough – and has enough pitches to practice – for both the Ranji probables and the under-19 girls. It would have been ideal to coordinate for all with the girl campers.”

Suresh Chopra, a former DDCA vice-president, is in-charge of the women’s cricket.

There has also not been any initiative to provide match clothing to the players, though the first match against Himachal Pradesh, is just five days away. Delhi plays all its four matches in Jammu. The travel arrangements, reportedly, haven’t been finalised either.

“The company that provided excellent clothing kits to all the Delhi teams last year has still not paid its huge dues by the DDCA. The company has sent several reminders to the DDCA officials, but to no avail. So, it won’t be surprising if this company or others refuse to provide clothing this time,” said the source.