India news December 11, 2012

Dhoni sacking blocked by board chief - Amarnath

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mohinder Amarnath, the former India selector, has said it was the BCCI president, N Srinivasan, who overruled the selectors' unanimous call for sacking of MS Dhoni as captain after the two whitewashes in England and Australia. "The Board President did not approve the unanimous decision to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni," Amarnath told CNN-IBN.

Post the Test debacle in Australia, Amarnath said, the selectors wanted to appoint a young captain for the triangular one-day series that followed, but their decision was overturned.

"We selected the team for the triangular series, selected 17 players but we did not select the captain," he said. "The captain was selected by somebody else."

Asked whether he questioned the decision, Amarnath said, "When you respect a person you don't ask questions. But my question is, you have a selection committee those who think what is best for Indian cricket then why they are not given a free hand.

The selectors thought about stepping down then, Amarnath said, but decided against it as they, "did not want to create a big stir there as the team was playing abroad and the series was going on there."

There was massive speculation that this was the reason Amarnath's term as a selector ended abruptly when he was actually expected to be the new chairman of the selectors. When asked about that, all Amarnath said was: "I don't miss it."

Amarnath was asked to clarify a rumour doing the rounds that he was cited the BCCI constitution that stated he could not sack Dhoni without the higher-ups clearing it. "Neither will I say yes nor will I deny it, okay," he responded. "I know the facts, and I will tell you the facts when I feel the time is right." He did go on to say, though, that he was not aware of the constitution. Clause 13(a)(iv) of the BCCI constitution states that: "The President shall approve the composition of a team, selected by the Selection Committee."

"When somebody becomes a selector, I don't think you are aware of the constitution of the BCCI," he said. "I was not aware. I don't think even the current committee is aware of the constitution."

According to the Indian Express, Amarnath, Narendra Hirwani and Raja Venkat, during a meeting in January this year for selecting the squad for the CB Series in Australia, wanted to sack Dhoni.

"Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary and convener of the national selection committee, consulted BCCI president N Srinivasan who shot down the proposal. Srinivasan made it clear that though the majority of the selectors felt that Dhoni didn't inspire confidence as Test skipper the time was not right to remove him," a selector told the paper.

Why does Amarnath think Dhoni doesn't deserve a place in the Test side? "If you see his track record for the last one year as captain, I am talking about Test matches, not one-day, he hasn't done anything," Amarnath said. "You give a run to a guy. I am not saying you should remove a guy overnight, but if you see a guy is failing again and again, I don't think it is going to be possible to continue with the same guy.

"I think he should be replaced in Test cricket. I am not talking shorter versions. He is an asset there, he has done very well, he is a match-winner, but with the technique he has I don't see him do any wonders in Test cricket.

"You have to look at contribution of the players, where you are playing and what opposition you are playing. We have to move ahead with times, and we have to look forward. People who have contributed to the game, we respect them, we adore them, but what is important is future of Indian cricket and not to live in the past. Cricket has changed, age has everything to do in life. We have to look ahead.

"I believe in fresh blood. I was looking forward for a guy like Virat Kohli to take over as captain in one day cricket. I think he is a fantastic player, he is the future."

When Amarnath spoke about moving forward, he was asked about Sachin Tendulkar and what his future should be. "Sachin has been a great cricketer, a great ambassador, he has achieved everything but I think they way he is playing we see a shadow of Sachin Tendulkar," he said. "And I don't accept him to play in the same fashion as he has done in the past. Age is a factor. He is not alone. Look at all greats. Once you cross mid-30s, things become little bit difficult, a little bit more demanding. He is no exception. He has to take it very seriously, and I think the selectors have to have a word with him, what are his plans. Then they should take a call and then decide."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on October 24, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    this is not at all good for indian cricket

  • VASANTHI on December 14, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    First of all, tell all attitude of Amarnathji is not at all sportsmanly. The things which were discussed indoors should stay indoors. you shot on your own feet Mr Amarnath. Do not expect anything anymore from BCCI for you. I too agree with Srinivasan's and Srikanth's interest in CSK captain, but is there an appropriate alternative? Gambhir whose test spot itself is in question?

  • Ganesh on December 14, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Its high time they change the coach instead... Indians need a coach who would tire them in the nets for fitness... its ridiculous to have a laid back coach for the team which does not work out on their own.. we need a young coach with different thoughts... Its odd we keep blaming the players.

  • Al on December 14, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    Why didn't he try to get rid of Tendulkar - the biggest non-performer of India's debacle in England and Australia.

  • yousuf on December 13, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    I totally agree with karan, Srinivasan's action was not in the interest of the country but with his IPL franchise CSK, now the Srikanth's anger on Amarnath makes it more clear and supports my view, as he is the Manager of CSK, its purely a matter of "conflict of interest" - Srinivasan - BCCI president + IPL owner, Srikanth - Chief selector + CSK's Manager, Dhoni - Captain of India + CSK's captain......its very simple 2+2=4.

    Amarnath is among those cricketers who played only for their Country, money is secondary for them, till today he has more away centuries than any other Indian batsmen, Amarnath, Kapil, Gavaskar, Sandip Patil, Srinath are few of the gems who always prefer their country than themselves.

  • Ramakrishnan on December 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    In India when cricket on the field is boring and depressing cricket off the field enlivens us and reinforces our enthusiasm and fervour for the game..Long live he tribes of Srinivasans and Amarnaths.!

  • Sabu on December 13, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    did you know who what post srinivasan held before bcci chief, he was the president of All India Chess federation. just remember the number of international tournaments and the stature of AICF in 2000-2004 under the then gen sec PT UmmerKoya.

    Once srinivasan became the chief of AICF the organization is no where in the news. same thing is going to happen to BCCI

  • Srinivasaraghavan on December 13, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Jimmy does not seem to remember that Srikanth was unceremoniously sacked from captaincy after the Pakistan tour where his average was around 40 and Azharudin was appointed in his place by Raj Singh Dungarpur as President of BCCI. No selection committee decided this. BCCI seems to have this authority. In the present case the alternatives suggested do not isnpire confidence-Viru, Gambhir or Virat.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Mohinder Amarnath had called the Selectors a bunch of jokers in 1989, when he and the then Indian Captain, Srikanth, was dropped from the Test side, after the Pakistan tour of 1989, which saw Sachin Tendulkar debut in Test Cricket.23 winters later, he is calling the Captain of the team unfit to play Test Cricket, and Sachin Tendulkar is still playing Test cricket. Does he justify his own comment now made in 1989, that Selectors are a bunch of jokers, because they themselves choose a captain who as per their own assesment, does not deserve a place in the team, and also decide the fate of a cricketer who alone had played more tests than all 5 members of any Selection Committee put together. It pays well in India to be in the news as so many news channels are there, but nobody thinks for the 11 players who fight it out on the ground, as that is a job, the news channel executives cannot go and do themselves

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    You don't know the constitution of the very board you report to? Well done Amarnath, at least you are honest enough to admit that you only cared about the money you made as a selector, without caring to actually read the very rules that govern the body that you directly report to. That is like a batsman walking out to the crease and saying "I didn't know I could be bowled out or caught, I didn't learn the rules of the game." The fact that people are even giving this has-been the time of the day is farcical.

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