India news July 9, 2011

Selectors defend Emerging Players squad

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A section of the BCCI selection committee was unaware, while picking the squad, of the major changes in the format of the Emerging Players tournament in Australia in August. That may have led to a few contentious choices in the 15-man squad, the most controversial being Anirudha Srikkanth, the son of selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

For the first time in its six years, the Emerging Players Tournament has moved from being an event featuring Twenty20 and 50-over games to exclusively three-day matches. This information was not available to some selectors during their meeting when they believed they were choosing the second rung of India's limited-overs talent, and in so doing added in a couple of misfits.

Eyebrows were raised over Anirudha's selection but those selectors ESPNcricinfo spoke to stressed there was no pressure to include him, and one of them denied that Srikkanth senior had proposed the son's name. The selector said that during a previous meeting, when Anirudha's name had come up for discussion, Srikkanth had volunteered to leave the room. The current selection meeting however was conducted over the telephone as two of the selectors were in the West Indies when the team had to be picked.

"Anirudha's name has been up for discussion for a while now, not so much as a three-day specialist but as someone who is good in limited-overs, T20 and 50-overs. The records of both Saurabh Tiwary [another surprise choice] and Anirudha are similar - we need to see if they have the X-factor in T20. They can both hit a long ball and we believed they needed an opportunity to see how they do at the Emerging Players level."

The selector said of Anirudha: "We know that he is not consistent enough in four-day cricket, but he is an impact player in T20 cricket. The format in itself is inconsistent and we believe that he has the capacity to get you a win every five or six matches. He's done well at the Champions League, which is one level higher from the IPL; he won a match for Chennai."

When asked whether he was aware that the tournament format had changed from limited-overs to three-day cricket, the selector said, "that's news" yet believed that the squad was "covered".

The Emerging Players tournament began in 2005 as a T20 event, but for the last four years has consisted of Twenty20 and 50-over matches. The change of format was approved by all participating nations and formally announced on May 28, 2011. Cricket Australia general manager Michael Brown is quoted as saying, on the ICC's official website, that the format change would give players, "a good competitive taste of all formats with this longer series complementing the T20 tournament that will be hosted by the Malaysian Cricket Association just beforehand."

The Malaysian T20 tournament was to be held in early July but was cancelled on June 12. The Emerging Players tournament will be played in Townsville for the first time with Brown saying: "We feel it's important to provide a variety of conditions for the development of the players and the new facilities at Endeavour Park with multiple grounds will provide teams with first-class services."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harshtmm on July 12, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    S Aniruddha is not good even for domestic team. This is ridiculous

  • bigwonder on July 12, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    And we all were blaming Lalit Modi!!!!

  • jazzfreak on July 11, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    These guys are paid 40 lakhs per annum for what?? The least the Chairman of the Selectors could have done was to update each of them in an email about the conditions of the tournament Surely the ICC would have mailed him the conditions He did not do that Instead he conducted the whole matter in his usual flippant manner resulting in selecting a T20 team instead of a long format team Adding fuel to the fire is the selection of his own son Not to say that the other selectors can be absolved For that kind of money they should have been abreast of the matter themselves By this act of omission they have destroyed the careers of a few and upped those like Anirudha Now some concerted efforts by the Board are necessary to groom those who missed the bus but deserve to be in this team and make amends The selectors should be reprimanded and should be asked to tender an apology or quit

  • cricketbreakingnews on July 11, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Sharda and other friends...Srikanth might have done a good job by picking up the squad which won the T20 and ICC World Cup and may be responsible for picking up the squad responsible for reaching the no.1 status in Test Cricket... However... picking up a national cricket team is easy when compared to picking up squads for tournaments such as EP or for India A Team... The National Team always has about 12 players who are certain to make the squad for any tournament or any tour or for any formats... The Selectors just need to discuss on the remaining 2 or 3 slots... which i feel personally is a cakewalk for the selectors with the kind of bench strength we have in place...

  • madras_boy on July 11, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Chika's team selection has not gone wrong as a chief selector. So no concerns for Ani's selection. Hope he performs well to shut all these criticisms. Comeon Ani, itz time to prove the detractors wrong.

  • dummy4fb on July 11, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Aniruddha's selection is questionable. But I am not able to understand why people want Uthappa, Saurabh Tiwary etc... Both of them are struggling. I think they should have tried Valthathy. But Aniruddha's selection is much better than selection of people like Vikram Rathore, Dewang Gandhi, Sujeet Somasundar, Jocob Martin...

  • dummy4fb on July 10, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    good that anirudha is selected. fast men from south africa and australia will unsettle him. he shall come home a broken man and shall never be heard of again. atleast that will deter the selectors from picking him for the national team!

  • HOTCHA on July 10, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    What a bunch of bungling fools ! They are selecting a team, and they lack information on the format of tournament itself ?

  • sachin_vvsfan on July 10, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    @adith_thegod Not enuf. Why did his name come up in the first place? There are better players who have higher average.There are better players available in IPL too for chennai.

  • ashok16 on July 10, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    "Brother, what is the format for this emerging players tournament? " "Wait let me call the BCCI office to check or I can just check the tournament web site." Arent these paid selectors. Cant they do at least this much. If not nepotism, they should be should be fired for incompetency.

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