Pakistan in India / News

Former players come out in support of former captain

Pawar should intervene on the Dravid issue - Patil

Cricinfo staff

October 30, 2007

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Several former players have come out in support of Rahul Dravid © Getty Images
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Sandeep Patil leads a list of former Indian players who have come out strongly against the exclusion of Rahul Dravid from India's ODI team but the Indian board has made it clear that it would not interfere in selection matters.

In his column on cricketnext.com, Patil said the selectors had played a "planned game" and the latest development was perhaps the reason behind Dravid's decision to resign as captain after a successful England tour.

Patil felt Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, should intervene in the matter. "I had earlier supported the idea that Sharad Pawar, as BCCI president, should not interfere in selection matters. I would revise my decision now and recall how once NKP Salve, as then BCCI president, had intervened and influenced the selectors to include Sunil Gavaskar after he had been dropped."

Kiran More, the former national selector, too has joined in the criticism against Dilip Vengsarkar. "You have to make decisions and the way they are making statements after the World Cup, when Vengsarkar said when we don't have enough talent in India to pick from the younger lot and now suddenly within one month we have talent, I think he's slipping a lot.

More too shared Patil's doubts on the real reason behind Dravid's decision to relinquish captaincy. "I know him [Dravid] personally. The way he resigned from the captaincy I was very shocked, there is something other to it not just cricket. There is lot of pressure from chairman of selection committee, let me tell you straight on TV that Vengsarkar has put a lot of pressure and that things were not great in England series, " More told the television channel NDTV.

"He came back from there and he resigned because of that. When things are not going well, he believes India should be on top, that's why he resigned from the team."

Kiran More: I know him [Dravid] personally. The way he resigned from the captaincy I was very shocked, there is something other to it not just cricket ... Dilip Vengsarkar has put a lot of pressure and that things were not great in England series

However, Rajiv Shukla, the BCCI vice-president, has said that the board would not interfere. "I don't think the BCCI should comment on this issue. It is the prerogative of the selection committee to choose the team and we don't interfere in these matters. Even Dravid has not said anything. Vengsarkar has said Dravid will make a comeback and I believe that's true."

Former India coach Madan Lal said that it was "not a right decision" by the selectors. "This is Indian cricket. How can you drop a player who has played for last 10 years for you? When you play for such long period you get bad phases and it was just a few bad innings for Dravid," he told PTI. "Moreover, Dravid has not played at number three, which is his slot, in the last 10 innings. He is playing at five or six. How do you expect him to get runs after coming so late in the order? To get back into form you don't need rest, you need matches."

Former selector Syed Kirmani also blasted the selectors for the decision. "It is unfair. If this is the benchmark to drop the player of Dravid's calibre, then it should happen to Sachin [Tendulkar], [Sourav)] Ganguly and rest of the guys also if they fail in three-four innings. The same rule should apply to all of them."

"I was surprised. I am sure a great player like him will come back. He is still the wall of Indian cricket," said Lalchand Rajput, who was the cricket manager with the Indian team during the recently-concluded series against Australia.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, also expressed surprise at the decision and said it would benefit Shoaib Malik's team in the series. "Pakistan will get an advantage as Dravid is out of the team. If a famous and experienced player like Dravid is in the team, juniors can learn a lot from him."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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