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August 26, 2009
A day after meeting Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) president Arun Jaitley, Virender Sehwag has maintained that there are discrepancies in the selection process at the lower level but hopes that his suggestions to the Delhi administrators will be implemented soon.
"If you look at the Indian team, I don't think there is any need to give any suggestions because it's the merit that matters," Sehwag said. "Whoever performs, gets picked. There is never an instance where somebody has not performed and got picked.
"It [unfair selections] happens at lower levels and I have given some suggestions to DDCA and I hope that my suggestions would be implemented soon and the results would be seen in near future."
Sehwag said Jaitley had assured him during the meeting that selectors with "ethics, integrity and spine" would be appointed. "I am happy to note that Jaitley has stressed on the need to have selectors with ethics, integrity and spine. Following this resolve, I am sure that those on the fringe and aspiring to play for the Delhi can now hope for a fair deal."
The Indian batsman had led a protest against the DDCA, accusing its sports committee of indulging in nepotism and corruption and his stand had been supported by Delhi team-mates like Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra.
However, Sehwag said being a senior player he felt "morally bound" to set things in order as the malpractices were required to be addressed without delay. "I would like to reiterate that I would love to continue to serve Delhi cricket in the improved environment," he said. "It has been a matter of great pride to be part of the cricketing legacy of the capital. That's why, I felt most hurt unfair practices creep in the selection matters and the voices of deserving names were not heard.
"Fair selection is what every sportsperson, whether promising or proven, hopes for. Having noticed an unacceptable trend that was setting in selection matters in Delhi, I thought it was time to raise the issue. I am glad it was taken in the spirit in which it was meant."
Sehwag also told selectors not to succumb to pressure and approach higher authorities in case somebody interfered in their job. "Serious cricketers have, for years, regretted the role played by the members of DDCA sports committee in selection matters. This continued interference or pressure in the sports committee on the selectors to influence the selection of some undeserving names at the expense of deserving ones must end at once. I request the selectors in all age groups to resist pressures. If they are subjected to any pressure, they should immediately bring it to the notice of the DDCA president."
Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh also supported Sehwag's views on the selection process. "Sehwag has raised a voice and everybody is with him and we have the highest hope," Yuvraj said. "There were instances where I performed but was not picked. Such unfair practices hurt the careers of young cricketers and shatter their dreams. So I think the selection should be done keeping every player's performance in contention."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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