Indian cricket September 28, 2006

I will remove zonal biases - Vengsarkar

Cricinfo staff

Vengsarkar: the door is not shut on anyone playing domestic cricket for a comeback © AFP

Dilip Vengsarkar, the former Indian Test cricketer and newly appointed chairman of selectors, has expressed confidence in his knowledge of Indian cricket as he prepared for a two-year term. From his agenda, Vengsarkar pointed out that eliminating the zonal system and offering fair representation were at the top of the list.

In an interview with Daily News & Analysis, a Mumbai-based daily, Vengsarkar said that his experience was his biggest asset. "I have been the chief Talent Resource Development Officer (TRDO) for the past few years. I have spotted talent early and hand-picked players," he said. "Most of the current Indian players, you name them, I have seen them grow literally from the under-15 and under-17 levels. I know their game well and how good they are. Moreover, I have been associated with cricket for so many years. It is something I am really looking forward to."

He also echoed popular criticism of the zonal system, which has been seen as a hindrance by many . "I will eliminate any sort of zonal bias," he said. "I don't subscribe to players being picked just because they are from a particular zone. It does not work that way. I know all the other selectors well and I am sure they will subscribe to this view. Players will be picked only on merit. That is something I will ensure."

As for the selection of Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, and other internationals who fell out of favour with the past committee, Vengsarkar was adamant that selection would be based on performance. "I will go with an open mind with regard to Ganguly, Zaheer [Khan] and the rest," he said. "Why not? If they perform well they can be picked. Selection to the Indian team will be purely based on the merit of a player and form. Runs and wickets in first class cricket will definitely be taken into consideration."