December 1, 2008

Televised selection meetings?

Nishi Narayanan

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s criticism of leaks from selection meetings included a suggestion that if what went on inside closed doors had to come out then the whole meeting might as well be televised. Dhoni may have been only half-serious but the idea found favour with Kishan Rungta, a former national selector. In fact Rungta made a similar suggestion way back in 1997 - he had told the Kolkata-based Telegraph that the selection meetings could be telecast live just as the proceedings in Parliament.

Reacting to Dhoni’s statement, Rungta said his point made 11 years ago still held true. “Why should the deliberations be such a secret?” Rungta said. “Bringing about transparency via a live telecast would, in my opinion, be healthy for Indian cricket. It’s important for players to know what the selectors and the two co-opted members [captain, coach] of the committee think about them. Indeed, it’s important for players to know where they stand. I’m glad that Dhoni thinks on similar lines.”

Rungta said his suggestion, conveyed verbally to then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, was rejected as being too controversial. “I’d be happy if the present dispensation takes steps in that direction.”

Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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