Sharda Ugra
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Senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Nepotism? Lack of professionalism more like

The selection of K Srikkanth's son for the Emerging Players Tournament tells us plenty about how the BCCI operates, and none of it is pretty

Sharda Ugra

July 11, 2011

Comments: 97 | Text size: A | A

S Anirudha celebrates taking a catch to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2011, Chennai,  April 16, 2011
Srikkanth Anirudha finds himself at the centre of a controversy for no fault of his © AFP
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At a conference in New Delhi last year, Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook, was describing a world order before the information age, but he could have been talking of the BCCI. He said: "We used to live in a world where we had a pyramid ... the most important people were those on the top, who would just talk to a few different individuals and make a decision where everyone else was affected." The world today, Hughes went on to say, works not merely with pyramids but networks. Indian cricket still operates in pyramid mode. Pity about the network of news media around it.

It has been more than a week since the BCCI released names of the Indian team for the Emerging Players tournament in Australia next month. The EPs squad initially slipped under the radar as it was unveiled along with the Indian team for the much-anticipated tour of England. The sphinx-like announcement of "Virender Sehwag will join the team a fortnight late" invited a round of ruckus and faulty theories. (What's his injury status? Is he not fit? Is he fit? Will he play in the first Test? Or is he sorting out his son's school admission?)

Thirty-six hours after the EP squad was released came an alert about its inclusion of Srikkanth Anirudha, who had had an average first-class season in 2010-2011. Chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who is Anirudha's father, said the selection had been arrived at with "consensus", and BCCI secretary N Srinivasan told reporters he did not talk about selection matters.

One of the other four selectors said it was Srikkanth who had brought up his son's name. Two of the remaining three defended Anirudha's selection and denied allegations the rest of them had succumbed to paternal pressure. His selection, they said, had been talked about in their meetings, where he was looked at as a potential limited-overs candidate based on his IPL and Champions League Twenty20 performances rather than first-class form.

What was missing from the discussion, it was discovered later, was a basic piece of information: what sort of players was the BCCI hoping would emerge from the EPT? Some selectors at least believed the EPT team should have limited-overs specialists, when in fact in late May it was announced that the tournament format would be changed into a round robin of three-day matches. A Cricket Australia press release states that "the format changes have the tick of approval from the competing nations", naming India, New Zealand and South Africa. An end-July T20 tournament in Malaysia featuring the EPT squads and acting as a pre-cursor to the event in Australia has been cancelled.

None of what transpired is Anirudha's fault at all. He must be a somewhat unhappy and conflicted young man. He knows that whenever his calibre as a cricketer comes under scrutiny, being a son of a famous father (let alone of the chairman of selectors) can be the most miserable of detriments. His selection is not as much a motif of alleged nepotism but more one of a lack of professionalism and transparency. One that shows the game's governors in India believe they are its rulers. All right, its pharaohs.

Srikkanth's position as selection chief required that he make himself available to talk about both squads; as much about Sehwag as about Anirudha's selection for the EPT. He would have been better off answering questions. About whether the EPs were not really an India A team but included those still at the A-minus level. About whether he had left the room or put his phone on silent when his son was being discussed. The selectors defending the selection say Anirudha was picked on merit. Surely their chief can sit in front of cameras and mikes, which he usually does not dislike, and argue their case. Or put out a lucid statement. Instead, with the BCCI quietly slotting Anirudha in (under his TNCA registered name of S Anirudha) and hoping no one would notice, they have invited suspicion and been unfair to their player.

No one minds a selectorial punt based on a mix of instinct and logic. When selectors' hunches work, they are applauded. When a team is announced with skeletal information, like it is a need-to-know basis document, an army of rats is smelt. This is secret-keeping, as if there is something to hide.

 
 
No one minds a selectorial punt based on a mix of instinct and logic. When selectors' hunches work, they are applauded. When a team is announced with skeletal information, like it is a need-to-know basis document, an army of rats is smelt. This is secret-keeping, as if there is something to hide
 

Actually there is: the selectors were picking a team that could have played in last year's EPT. The goof-up regarding the EPT format is particularly rich, as Srikkanth's panel is the first-ever fully paid BCCI selection committee, starting in 2008, with their salaries being upped from Rs 25 lakhs per annum to Rs 40 lakhs in December 2009. The move was intended to make the selectors "accountable".

A selection panel's accountability usually depends on how the team they pick do on the field. The World Cup victory may have made this panel somewhat bulletproof. Yet if players are judged by every series, so must their bulletproof selectors. In this case, even before the first ball was bowled in the tournament they picked a team for, the panel committed more than one error.

At the very least, when discussions opened, no one had done his homework. The EPT was a tournament where long-form performers had to be considered this year, but the format change was not red-flagged. At worst, some knew what the tournament format was about and didn't bother to tell their colleagues when names began to float around over the phone lines.

The selector who alleged that Srikkanth had brought up his son's name certainly didn't mention the change in format either. It was a strong-enough case to free up more than just Anirudha's slot in that team. Other than fire a stink bomb afterwards, that selector wasn't doing his job either.

The pharaohs loved their pyramids because it gave them a notional sense of their grandeur. The BCCI likes its silences for the same reason. We know what pyramids really are, though. Burial chambers.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by bigwonder on (July 14, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

@Zahir Aslam, its more about transparency in the process. Where has it been indicated that Srikkanth walked away from the meeting, instead he himself brought up his son's name. Now based on your logic, every selector can put forward their sons for selection and if they work out - great if not - hard luck and a decision gone bad for selectors. Are we talking about Bollywood or Indian cricket here? Are we going back to dynasty era where a cricketers son has to be a cricketer - no matter how bad he is? Doesn't India have congress for this? Whats wrong with merit based system? Now that we are on the topic, has it ever been considered to have quota system like India has for education?

Posted by Nampally on (July 14, 2011, 15:30 GMT)

Is it practical to expect Sehwag to walk straight from his shoulder surgery into test match on English pitch, if he ever does? That is a bigger question for the Indian team Selectors. Indian squad needs a backup opener even if Mukund & Gambhir will open the innings in the Lords Test.If either of these guys is injured, panic sets in and they try to get someone in the eleventh hour. Till Sehwag joins the team, Indian Selectors must think ahead of a third opener with the team.Alternative choice would be for Dravid to open with Gambhir, 3. Laxman 4. Tendulkar 5. Dhoni 6. Yuvraj 7. Raina or Mishra 8. Harbhajan + 3 pacemen.Even If Mukund opens with Gambhir, Dravid may come in within first 5 overs. So this is an alternate option if an experienced opener is not sent. Team selection & position players are critical which Indians always overlook.India should have won the thrid testin WI by an innings had Mishra played. Now Mishra may be essential to stop Trott,KP, Cook & Bell going rampant.

Posted by cric4food on (July 14, 2011, 10:13 GMT)

Another great article from Sharda. Good to see someone questioning the selectors. I would like to put forward the case of M Vijay and would like to ask what has been the basis of selection for this player to be in the indian test side. If you look at his record over the past few years it has been less than ordinary. He has failed time and again but strangely finds his way in the team. Why he was given so many chances, another player picked by K Srikkanth. On the other hand talented player like Virat Kohli is left out after just one series, what kind of signal it will send to him. Take the selection of Vinay Kumar, he is slow medium at best, gets hammered all over the place even by tailenders, never looks like taking wickets, never looks like he can surprise a batsman, still gets the nod. On the other hand Umesh Yadav, who had pace and stamina, and had the surprise element, is sidelined after one series. We should be nurturing players like Umesh to come good and not players like Vinay.

Posted by Nampally on (July 13, 2011, 20:30 GMT)

The case of selection of Srikanth's son is clearly "Catch 22" situation. It is quite likely, he is fully deserving of a place in the side but his Dad is afraid to select him.Hence the hesitation. But the case of Sehwag's joining the team late is rather strange.He should be with the team unless he is undergoing special medical treatment. But until he can resume his duties there should be an opening bat available.Karthick or Utappa may have been good choices. But neither are named. That leaves the team with Mukund to open the innings with Gambhir with no other choice.Mukund had only the experience of WI series as a test opener. Why not go with experienced opener because a good opening stand is critical. This I consider as a serious judgement lapse by the Selectors.Mukund will be like a scrificial lamb facing Tremlett, Anderson, & Co on green fast England pitches. Why is the Selection committee so myopic as to risk losing the confidence of a youngster with such blind move?

Posted by   on (July 13, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

let TN win a ranji trophy and then say u r the best in indian cricket win a IPL (without dhoni who is not a tamil nadu player ) and DD dont have gambhir ,kholi, i sharma ,mishra,nehra so ipl is not the base for selection

Posted by vattettan on (July 13, 2011, 7:25 GMT)

@Shriram Nagarajan: I wasn't saying Vijay doesn't have technique but was not a revelation at least yet. Especially you can't compare him with the likes of Gambhir, Sehwag, Kohli. About his technique, at least he doesn't seem to be using it in the recent past. Fielding better than Nehra or Munaf doesn't make Ashwin a good fielder. Especially given the factor he is of the same age group as Kohli, Raina, Rohit, etc. I have watched enough cricket to see how good his fielding is, which definitely not even the current Indian standard, at least not yet. Again, I would be happy to see these guys improving and being a permanent part of the team given they are young. But currently they are no way certainties for Indian team unlike the Delhi players our fellow commenter was comparing them with.

Posted by matt2U on (July 13, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

Brings to mind Ravi Shastri's comment to a journalist , who questioned him about the rumours that it was Sunny Gavaskar (the then captain) who recommended and pushed him for selection and was Sunny his godfather? . Ravi replied " you may have a Godfather or god father's grandfather helping you, but once you get that chance you have to prove your selection and ONLY the very talented can survive there in the middle. So let Anirudh prove his selection to the country and also to his father, else he will get sidelined automatically . The system works that way .

Posted by Meety on (July 13, 2011, 2:28 GMT)

@ Jim1207 - read my comment before you reply. I said there IS a lack of transparancy. Doesn't matter much when a World Cup has been won & there is a stable well performing national side. However, THE ARTICLE CLEARLY shows that more transparancy is required AND that there was conflicting statements coming from the selectors - which I said was LIKE what was happening at Cric Oz! Most of the other 90 comments indicate some degree of confusion as to some selections. Transparancy HAS to be paramount when a father is selecting a son! I tended to think Rohan Gavaskar got a lot further than what his talent relatively deserved. I wonder why? Plenty of Indians have commented about regional bias as well. Anyways as I said - not a big deal when you're winning, but when you start to lose - that's another matter! Just ask Andrew Hilditch!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

Paul Valthaty should have been picked instead of Anirudha.

Posted by SBUdhaya on (July 12, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

When India is the world champions in one day and no.1 in tests,I dont know why people crib about selection committee. I dont want to comment about anirudha selection, but TN consistently makes the semifinals of ranji trophy and one day tournament..so it is definitely one of the top 4 teams in India..I wouldn't worry about the basis of selection if india manages to win at the end of the day..lets leave it to the selectors and do our job properly..

Posted by cirano on (July 12, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

@sweetspot if u were a gambler, sure u would loose lots of money, relatively we have better "dark horses" to bet ,but y this guy ?,"plausible account", wait a sec they were not even aware of the format , we are not running list of top TEN selection panel here, but questioning "accountable" selection committee.

Posted by CricketChat on (July 12, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

There is no question that there are several more deserving players ahead of Anirudha even though he himself was a promising player a few yrs ago but has not gone to the next level. Since it is unlikely he will be removed from team now that was selected for whatever reasons, I hope he uses his gift and make something out of it and avoid further embarrassment to his father.

Posted by Jim1207 on (July 12, 2011, 13:25 GMT)

Meety, there is actually no problem happening in Indian selection. Do not get deceived by some meaningless accusation and conclude that it is happening wrongly there.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2011, 11:10 GMT)

Well chance Anirudh, please people don't criticize Srikanth, he is not bringing player from school to country level Aniruth has enough experience in cricket, what if he play well? Just feel India got one better player, Congratulation and welcome Anirudh

Posted by sweetspot on (July 12, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

NONE of the previous selection committees yielded a top ranking, did they? So, let's learn to accept who is doing their job and who was not.

Posted by sweetspot on (July 12, 2011, 10:18 GMT)

The selectors were quizzed about this and they gave a perfectly plausible account. KS walked away for the rest to decide on Aniruddha - said he could not be selecting his own son. The rest also deliberated and decided he has about the same performance as Saurabh Tiwary and so they should give him a go. Sometimes dark horses are bet upon. In any case, I don't see any major problems with this selection committee. It is not as if Aniruddha has been made India captain, guys! Come on! We are #1 in the world. Surely, our selectors know a thing or two about selection!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

Guys, lets not kill the spirit and career of a youngster who may or may not be of the national calibre. Anirudha has the opportunity to make his mark and there were certainly glimpses of talent and technique from him during the IPL. As for his dad putting his son's name forward, think about it people. If he thought his son was not good enough, would he risk his national selectors' position and the wrath of the Indian media ? Kris is too educated and too much of a patriot for that. Here we must let the events take its course. If Jr Srikkant fails, hard luck and a decision gone bad for selectors. If he comes good, well, "the apple does not fall far from the tree" type accolades and a viable option "emerges". Lets calm down and give the boy a chance !

Posted by Haleos on (July 12, 2011, 8:52 GMT)

@AvidCricFan - Selectors can clearly see he plays for CSK. Thats enough for any backup players.

Posted by Yorker_ToeCrusher on (July 12, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

Selection of W Saha is an enigma.He is not good enough for international cricket

Posted by   on (July 12, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

@vattettan Vijay has an excellent technique and giving him chances in international arena is the only way for him to gain confidence. And I don't think you've ever watched Ashwin on the outfield. He's way better than the likes of Mishra and Nehra.

Posted by Meety on (July 12, 2011, 3:13 GMT)

For different reasons the lack of transparancy is the same in Cric Oz! Why some players are backed & others are not. Not a major problem for India's National teams at the moment due to a large portion of tried & proven legends - there's probably only a question mark of over 1 batting slot & the final composition of the bowling line up (1 or 2 spinners). In the Srikkanth example - Oz don't really have that problem, but its equally frustrating when there have been conflicting quotes coming from position of authority!

Posted by AvidCricFan on (July 12, 2011, 1:56 GMT)

One more selection that baffles me is the selection of W. Saha as a second keeper. Parthiv Patel is a far better choice and has performed admirably in ODIs that he got chance to play. I fail to understand what the selectors see in Saha.

Posted by givenUP on (July 12, 2011, 1:27 GMT)

Whats happening !!!! Indian team deciding to not go for a win in 3rd test and giving a lame excuse (we did not want to risk the series). I don't remember a team losing 7 wickets in 15 overs chasing something less than 6 per over with batsmen like dravid. And here Mr. Srikant has ignored so many talented players to pick a completely useless player. "He is picked on the basis of his IPL & Champions League performance"..wow..first of all they had already said in Public that no selection will be made on the basis of IPL(Bcz Irfan has been in top 10 wicket takers and top 15 run scorers in all seasons)..secondly i don't remember Anirudh playing any above avg innings(leave aside great inn), when there were some sparkling performances from a guy who isn't even picked in his state team(Paul Valthaty) ,and others too. Shame on you Srikant, you buried many talented players like Irfan....... I know this comment will not make any difference but i just wanted to vent out my frustration......

Posted by vattettan on (July 12, 2011, 1:09 GMT)

@India_boy: Agree partly with your comment about Delhi being the best now. Though TN is not as bad as you mentioned.

@Shriram Nagarajan: So IPL is your basis for judging! There is no doubt today Delhi dominates Indian cricket with Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Ishant, Mishra, Nehra all certainties in team India except for Mishra. I cannot imagine someone would say the likes of Vijay, Mukund, Badri are better than these guys. Vijay a revelation??!!! Even Ashwin hadn't done anything so great for being mentioned as a revelation. May be he will, in the future, hopefully. But his fielding is pathetic.

Even I am from South India but we have to agree with the facts of cricket, not IPL.

Posted by maddy20 on (July 12, 2011, 0:36 GMT)

"Vijay and Ashwin have been revelations for the Indian team"???!!! A guy who averages 32 after 12 tests is a revleation? WOW! R.Ashwin is just starting to make his mark and it would be absurd to make him a legend so soon!

Posted by wolf777 on (July 11, 2011, 23:10 GMT)

Selectors should be made available for press conference after the selection announcement.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 22:58 GMT)

This is the reality of asian cricket

Posted by Irarum on (July 11, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

Another Sharda's best. I do not care if this happened in past or going happen future. Also, no state/zonal feelings. Krish srikanth should come out and provide a solid explanation for this. Being silent leads to several speculations. And this committee is paid now so they must be responsible. But, responsible to who? spectators, followers, Cricinfo, players? Can't quite figure out. Just seems to be the case of money spending. They should rather let jadeja, agarwal and irfan have a go. If they want to try a new boy every time they should increase no.of A tours and domestic games. How about permitting them to play county cricket? BCCI can do whatever it wants but not at the cost of players. Increase no.of games and tours and so eventually every one falls into a rotation system.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

I don't really care about all this, but wanted to say that this article is top class. Nicely written.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 22:30 GMT)

@India_boy Delhi Daredevils are going out licking their wounds in each IPL season. Vijay and Ashwin have been revelations for the Indian team. Sehwag sucked the entire world cup apart from scoring against a Bangladeshi side. Don't bring in the North-south divide here.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 21:52 GMT)

Mr. Kris Srikanth should have pressed firmly AGAINST selecting his son, even if the other selectors thought Anirudha is ready. This would have given him a great name for what his contributions were to Indian Cricket as a player winning the world cup and as chief selector picking a great team for the 2011 world cup. But, please do NOT make a mountain out of a molehill. I completely agree there are few if not many with better domestic records than Anirudha to be selected. But media people should be more responsible in fueling flame in a united India and people who comment should also not throw everything in the kitchen sink against a state or few players from that state. In fact, what India needs is a FAIR AND ACCURATE POINT SYSTEM for DOMESTIC PERFORMANCE, which should be the primary tool to select than a bunch of selectors. Statistics do lie too, but not as frequently as humans. A very efficient system can solve some of these regional rifts and mud slinging between states.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 20:23 GMT)

ONE OF THE BEST SIGN OFFS EVER LADY!!!!!! BRILLIANT!!!

Posted by S.N.Singh on (July 11, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

BASED ON THE WRITER, THERE IS NO "MERIT" SHOWN FOR SRIKKANTH ANIRUDHA CALLED UP AS A PLAYER TO REPRESENT INDIA. THERE ARE MANY, MANY PLAYERS WHO SHOWED POTENTIAL AND DID NOT GET SLECTED FOR THE ENGLISH TOUR NEXT WEEK. I AM WONDERING IF THE SELECTORS GOING BY INSTINCT OR REASONING. THESE SELECTORS MUST NOT BE PARTIAL THEY HAVE TO BE COLLECTIVE AND DO NOT LOOK ON RICH OR POOR. THEY HAVE TO GET THE BEST TEAM AND BASED ON ANIRUDHA RECORDS THERE ARE NONE TO SHOW. CRICKET BCCI ADMINISTRATION MUST BE IN THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND AND DO THEIR BEST FOR THE PEOPLE OF INDIA ? S. N. SINGH USA

Posted by Jim1207 on (July 11, 2011, 19:33 GMT)

The reason for selection is there is only one player included from TN among 15 or so, which should not be a problem. Mukund, Vijay, Dinesh or Badri had been given chances in senior XI, Anirudha is an explosive batsman, his stats might not prove much, but such was Sehwag or Dhoni when he was introduced. Young players like S Tiwary, R Jadeja were given chances just out of IPL perfromances, and similarly Anirudha can be given a chance to see him perform. Nothing wrong in that. Kris has not promoted his son in last 3 years but he has just done, It's not good to criticize before seeing the performances in the competition.

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 11, 2011, 19:17 GMT)

Ringing tone with what Sanga told at the MCC lecture. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

Sharada Ugra yet again proves that she loves to create sensation without credibility.We have zero idea of what happened in the meeting. Moreover did anybody question when rohan gavaskar was repeatedly selected to the Indian team in spite of being a useless player.

Posted by inswing on (July 11, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

Nepotism should be avoided like a plague. But at a minimum, Ugra should have provided some analysis of the stats to establish whether he qualifies on merit or not. @Atul Thakur did a better job.

Posted by sandeepgov on (July 11, 2011, 18:51 GMT)

@murakr: dear murakr, a small objection here....Vinod Kambli is not 'every bombay rookie'...He got two back to back test double hundreds way back in 1993....and not many can boast of that kind of a record...not even the great Sachin Tendulkar can think of a double hundred until 1999. PS: I'm a huge Sachin fan and a South Indian.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 18:50 GMT)

@murakr - its not about south indian selection.. anybody among these south indians could have been selected ahead of him, Amit Verma-RV Uthappa- STR Binny(Karnatka), B Sumanth-HH Watekar- (Andra), KJ Rakesh (Kerala), S Badrinath (TN). Its based on this years domestic performance and if south India means only Tamil Nadu then its fine, Anirudha is right selection.

Posted by India_boy on (July 11, 2011, 18:49 GMT)

TN is now the centre of cricket ??? on the basis of what ??? players like vijay, mukund, aniruddha ??? if it wasnt for srikanth, not a single TN player wud be playing for the national team.they are just not good. they won IPl bcoz of dhonis captaincy and rainas batting mostly, two North Indians.Right now,Delhi is the centre of Indian cricket, when TN comes up wth players like Sehwag, gambhir, Kohli, Ishant, Nehra, Raina(from NCR) etc. then talk abt being the centre of cricket. Chennai receiving favors bcos of Skanth will only take them this much, but having talent will take u all the way and right now Delhi is carrying the national team.In first class, players like Shikhar Dhawan and Mithun Minhaas(both from Delhi) have almost twice the avrg of S Anirudh, but we still dont think they r good enuff for the team. TN has a long way to go before they can even think of entering the cricketing arena

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

This comment is directed more to what our strategy should be for the next WC. All the best Aniruddha. We want India to succeed. I think there have been many wrongs before so we were what we were. We are different nowt. We are a financial powerhouse, have a significant fan base and we are performing. All this can change in a jiffy if our hearts and minds are not in the right place. Srikkanth should have excused himself. We have 3 yrs before we come up with 15/16 players for the world cup. I think we select the top performing 19-22 years olds and send them to play in New Zealand, Big Bash in Australia and England T20 and one dayers. I say we select a squad of 30. Assuming 100 days of exposure every year for these players at $200 per day plus a fixed fee for the coaches, our spend would be USD 1.80 mil for the players. Add 3 million for the support staff/logistics and we would still have a total investment of less than $5 million. We have $$$,invest it to build a world class team.

Posted by vj3478 on (July 11, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

Nice article abt BCCI. but would have been more appropriate if you mentioned 1 or 2 possible names that got missed due to anirudha's selection. Never heard something like this when mumbaikar's were given preference.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 18:23 GMT)

They are so superior that you cannot even compare them with Badri, Vijay or Mukund or even Srikanth himself. Even the others who appeared for short term were far better than Anirudha and were of National level for sure. This selection is pathetic and people supporting it are even more so. By the way, I am not from Karnataka or Tamilnadu.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 18:19 GMT)

I am very surprised to see comments supporting Anirudha's selection, even though all from the Tamil fans. I am sure not all Tamilian's support this just like couple of comments here. Everyone has seen how limited is his ability in the IPLs. He might have scored but then even Manvinder Bisla scored and everyone knows how pathetic he is. There are many others who scored in IPL but clearly have no skills to succeed in higher levels. I can't believe people justifying saying Kambli, Ravindra Jadeja, etc played. Jadeja may not be very good yet but definitely far far better than Anirudha in any of the departments in cricket. Some other comments about Karnataka&Mumbai domination. I do not know much cricket during the Mumbai domination but if Karnataka dominated, there was a reason. Srinath, Kumble and Dravid are the best India have ever seen. - contd -

Posted by Skylight28 on (July 11, 2011, 18:14 GMT)

I think the question is: Is Anirudha the worst player (based on statistics, of course) to be selected for the 3-day format EPT? If he is not the worst player, or not amongst say the worst 3-5 players, then I'd say there is sufficient evidence to say that the allegations of nepotism are unfounded. These are allegations of nepotism of non-professionalism based largely on circumstantial evidence, when we could easily make (or break) the case through facts. Could Cricinfo please run a statistics piece to compare the players who got selected and prove (rather than lay allegations) that nepotism or lack of professionalism could have been a factor in Anirudha's selection? That, in my opinion, would be a 'killer' article! On the face of it, it looks like nepotism. But lets stop and consider another possibility that Anirudha is indeed one of the top emerging players. Since we can't prove nepotism, lets disprove talent to strengthen the case on nepotism/non-professionalism!

Posted by meiyaps on (July 11, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

I am from Chennai and I do not condone the selection of Anirudha. I think it is unfair to other players. But, I wish some people here would start posting comments criticizing South zone in general and TN in particular. There are people like 'Atlantan' posting some nonsensical comments unnecessarily vilifying the South and TN and that's totally uncalled for. There have been numerous players deserving of opportunities from TN who never got a chance at the national level and that's the sorry state of affairs of the BCCI - not TN. Do not unnecessarily blame the state and spew hatred on the 'commenters' from TN as you can so expertly say from the names.

Posted by cricaptain on (July 11, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

Thanks Sharda for bringing this up openly. Mumbai selectors would do this kind of thing in the past regularly, now it is Chennai selector's turn! The media should question these actions more often (like you have) till justice is served!

Posted by murakr on (July 11, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

Every Bombay rookie was given a chance throughout the 90s Remember Vinod Kambli, Atul bedade etc?

Seems to me that if a South Indian is given a chance, all hell breaks loose. Does the selection committee have to justify all selections?

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

wasn't anirudha made captain by the way???

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

his name is not there in top 45 highest run getters in first class (2011) that includes 8 indian international players so he is not in top 37 in domestic players in India and last in the list (LR shukla) has 422 runs from 10 matches (counted myself). in term of avg last is Manish pandey with avg of 56 (I am not counting all the players again). Anirudha has 326 run from 10 matches at an avg of 32. he doesn't have avg in excess of 35 (actually 32.5) in any competition I checked for 2011 and overall record everybody knows now (1 100, 7 50s in 36 innings, ave 29.45). Sometime players are picked on the basis of talent also but checking talent on basis of one 100 in 23 first class matches is just too much.

Posted by cricketcrazzychick on (July 11, 2011, 17:00 GMT)

i dunno...whatever...but anirudha is helluva cute :D

Posted by pkt_prasanna on (July 11, 2011, 16:23 GMT)

I feel really sad to see people talk bad about Badrinath in the comments. Was he provided enough opportunity to prove his worth. Judging players based on just 2 test / 7 ODIs is really bad. He has been a consistent performer in the domestic level for over a decade.

Posted by cirano on (July 11, 2011, 16:12 GMT)

Firstly it is sick to be sided State vs State, like bigwonder mentions, its all for national interest.Secondly in defense of karnataka and Mumbai teams, the player inclusion from those teams were at the point when both teams were winning Ranji trophy, karnataka won thrice in late nineties hence had every reason to have Performers included in national side, when was the last time Tamil Nadu won Ranji trophy? Thirdly : i complete agree with the Unprofessional behavior and actions of so called 'accountable' selectors.

Posted by __ram on (July 11, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

Questionable selection. What is Anirudha's stats for the last season? I can see his overall stats in the cricinfo profile.

Posted by ahassan on (July 11, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

It is a pity that this kind of nepotism has infiltrated the blood of people from India and Pakistan.This happens in Pakistan also and with abundance. Previously there were some people of integrity but alas they are no more there. Dr. Jahangir Khan was chief selector of PCB but when his son Majid Khan was close to selection for the national team Dr. jahangir resigned from his post to ensure impartiality. Majid Khan also held top posts in PCB but never indulged in the selection of his son Bazid Khan who was a very talented cricketer.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

Srikanth is doing same thing and selecting players from south which do not deserve selection (I don't want to name but people know). Atleast he is not doing that for an important tournament like world cup (o/w we would still waiting for WC win) as it would have become too obvious. On tour like west Indies, he should have given chances to other players and now selecting his own son from back door, he proved again that he is just like other selectors.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

This is a clear case conflict of interest. Ideally, srikant should have decalread himself out of the meeting when his sons name comes up. Look at the irony, he himself brought up his sons name and made him selected too. Lets not talk abt anirudha. Lets talk abt srikant who is accountable here. This is really disgusting to see these guys like Srikant, Niranjan Shah, shivlal yada. Thankfully Pawar does not have a son.

Posted by bigwonder on (July 11, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

This is exactly what India does NOT need. People are still stuck with regional differences and not thinking about the nation. There is no such thing as "its time for TN now since Mumbai and Karnataka had their chances". Why can't there be transparency in selection process? After all India is the world's biggest democratic country. Do we want to end-up as PCB or WICB? I have seen what it feels like when you are being passed over (in selection). My dad was passed over for Anshuman Gaekwad - cause he had lot of connections and belonged to royal family. Its time we put our regional differences aside and focus on maintaining or achieving #1 status in all formats.

Posted by PaceQuartet on (July 11, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

Sharda

Your argument can be made bulletproof by listing S Anirudhs performances this season and overall. Please elaborate on that and we would agree with you even more.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 11, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

To all the people saying it's a justified selection, I've got only one thing to say. Go and check his stats once.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

I don't think anyone who has got right mind and who has read the article properly , would argue with the author on this , But it is still funny to see so many are doing the same.

Posted by Atlantan on (July 11, 2011, 14:42 GMT)

Of course this reeks of nepotism. Anirudh has pretty ordinary stats and could not even play regulary in his IPL side Krish is taking unfair advantage of his power to further TNs unworthy cause all the time. There is no question that Anirudh got special treatment not only for EPT but even in IPL. As you can tell from the names in some of commments so far, as far as TN supporters are concerned being from TN is all that matters and they cannot accept the reality that TN players having been pretty mediocre at international level so far. In their minds, it is always a big conspiracy by the North and West, when a TN player is not selected for being ordinary. Srikkanth was the best of the TN lot and his average was < 30 in tests and one days as a specialist batsman. If K Srikkanth had his own way the selection panel would be entirely TNites and the entire team would be from TN.

Posted by Ram.k on (July 11, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

Just because He is Chikka's son does not mean he does not get selected.. do we have some rule which states that the kins of Chief Selectors cannot be part of the squad.. The lad is good.. he has been somewhat consistent. And this is a EPT.. is he not an Emerging player.. Why all this fuss.. is it because he is from Chennai.. comeon man.. if Chennai is the current powerhouse of Cricket so be it.. as long as we get the great players out.. there is no issues here.. WHY.. there was a time when MUMBAI was the power house.. And dont forget not all players playing for Chennai are Tamil.. MS DHONI, Raina have been the key players and they are not from chennai..

Posted by binojpeter on (July 11, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

I don''t understand why is this so difficult? When you select a player for three day match or tests, look at their first class averages. Averages are there for a reason. As far as possible, select a batsman with average of above 50 and bowler with average below 25. This is not rocket science. Aniruddha with a first class average of 29 should never have been selected for a 3-day match. Selectors need to rise above personal and regional biases and start selecting based on merit.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (July 11, 2011, 14:22 GMT)

In 1996 when India toured England, two people who would make history were included. One had a great domestic record and the other only passable. For the first part of that tour which involved county and other first class fixtures, the first named failed repeatedly. The second named did marginally better. The selection of the first was on expected lines. But selection of the second brought in the clamour of favouritism because of his connections in high places. Both made their debuts at Lords and went on to make history astwo of the greatest players that India ever had. Rahul Dravid and Surav Ganguly. There was much heartburn about Saurav's inclusion then. Aniruddha's case is vastly different because ther are others who could have been included because of their better domestic performances. Incidentally, the names that I remember from the Emerging lot who played for India are Virat Kohli and Sudeep Tyagi. I know they did very well.The point is that Srikanth should have recused himself.

Posted by just_chill_chill on (July 11, 2011, 14:21 GMT)

Comments for Sharda Ugra PART ONE : (1) Who are the other players selected for emerging players tournament? (2) How were they selected? (3) How many selectors voted in favor/against of each player? Without all this information, your story simply lacks CREDIBILITY and maybe is POLITICAL VENDETTA against Srikanth.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

There might be some prejudice in the selection...but cmon, for a long time Indian cricket team was controlled by the north indian lobby...its just pure jealousy and a pity that people are targetting guys like sreesanth n vijay...sreesanth may not be as good as zaheer...but he has fired at sometime or other...

Posted by Karthik_CricketFan on (July 11, 2011, 14:17 GMT)

As a native of TN, i applaud Kris's efforts to bring in TN players into the national squad. Some of his decisions went very very wrong. For instance, his inclusion of M Vijay in the WI tour proved costly. M Vijay ended up killing the duck which lays Golden Eggs. He could have utilized it well to earn a place for the English Tour. Now he lost his place to Abhinav Mukund who utilized the opportunity well. I was happy to know Badrinath was not included for the WI tour. Anirudha's inclusion is something which surprised me cos I was under the impression that Kris's aim was to give in some berth to TN playes but what he did not with his son is totally unacceptable. Anirudha had a very average season at Ranji and this is total Nepotism! AXE Kris from the selector's position. Bring in someone very strict and who has a good vision.

Posted by Sriram_Krishnamurthy on (July 11, 2011, 14:14 GMT)

Dont think why all these are coming up now. There was a time when we had players like Nilesh Kulkarni, Samir Dighe representing India - thanks to the powerful Mumbai lobby. In fact what was sad was Amol Muzumdar's non-selection despite scoring truck loads of runs in the domestic. There were also people like Sujit Somasundar, Sanjay Raul, Subroto Banerjee, Rohan Gavaskar, Noel David and a zillion others who shouldn't have played for India yet they played. Alll along we had been functioning like this and yet been a reasonably successful team. So selecting someone in an EPT shouldn't really hurt anyone, no matter how deserving or undeserving he is.

Posted by Malret on (July 11, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

Ok, I am originally from TN and thought little bit of favoritism was OK but now this is getting ridiculous man. I think Srikanth has to go.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 14:08 GMT)

@Manerajuari: the attack of windies is more lively compared to the english team and pitches there were more juicy and bouncy...english pitches are more green, and seam movements happen there..but none of them are comparable to perth, durban or barbados

Posted by indres on (July 11, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

The solution is quite simple really. Just axe Srikanth from all BCCI positions, including the selector's job. Btw, I'm from TN. So, no state sympathies here.

Posted by Evilpengwinz on (July 11, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

Looking at his T20 stats, an average of 26 and a strike rate of 130 is pretty decent. Considering his age, I wouldn't be too harsh on the guy, he seems like not a bad selection in that form of the game and his one day figures are respectable too. However, his first class figures aren't too impressive. He'll only get better though.

Posted by AndySaywell on (July 11, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

Well, since KS is chairman, there's an undue influx of few players like Murali Vijay (total failure in WI tour & B4), Badrinath (small-time player good 4 only IPL), Sreesanth (can never B good). Now we Indian's have 2 think wot policy is he using & is that going 2 B good for longer term ? Although I feel Aniruddha has the potential 2 at least given the opportunity - KS blunders with his inclinations may raise questions ?? MV, Badri & Sreesanth don't even deserve 2 B considered.

Posted by D.Sharma on (July 11, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

About time I saw an article like this one. This is just ridiculous and the selectors are a joke.

Posted by Natesan333 on (July 11, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

Hmmm let's see, India is #1 in test, #2 in odi, current world champions.......but i'm sure this "writer" and the people commenting knows better than the selectors, yep that's it!!!

Posted by Manerajuri on (July 11, 2011, 12:13 GMT)

I cant believe abhinav mukand who could not handle west idies poor attack on slow flat pitches with no swing is in the test side for england..he gonna open with gambhir since sehwag not their, i really think due to our bad opening we not gonna beat english in test series..these selectors are messing it up man..this is a phase where Indian team can dominate the world cricket, please for god sake dont mess that..let fan enjoy India winning. After so many years of unconditional support we have provided to you all cricketers, who never use to win a single test match abroad. PLEASE!

Posted by SudharsanVM on (July 11, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

If people argues that TN people are chosen because of srikanth, then why Badri didn't play test matches in WI? its acceptable that badri is a flop in 4 ODIs in WI? but Why not selected in 3rd test even after 4 innings flop from kohli? Why ashwin never allowed to play as a second offie in the team.Team Management supports bhajji, so as the same way selection management supports aniruddah. There were days when Indian team were filled with people from mumbai and krntaka. Lets think that its time for TN to fill the national spots

Posted by RK.Chandru on (July 11, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

When the team composition was dominated by Mumbaikars in the 70s and 80s and later by Bangaloreans, none questioned and made so much hue and cry. When one or two from Tamilnadu get selected there's a lot of stupid noise. I can name many cricketers who never had any talent throughout their career and still played international cricket and if one keeps bowling a billion balls and bats a zillion times, there's bound to be an innings or two mere fluke and the media with vested interests will start singing praises and turn a blind eye on failures of the same useless cricketers. It's been happening for quite a while and will sure happen in future too. compared to other zones, south zone is more evenly competed and one can't get to see the kind of performances as seen in other zones due to the presence of weaker teams in them. I do not want to hurt anyone and hence `am not naming any cricketer. Cricketers far less talent have still made it to the team. Check the stats section of cricinfo pls.

Posted by cricketadmirer on (July 11, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

This was expected from Chika!!!!!! any father would try his best to get his son a chance.. as far as he plays good cricket ,,, all is good . not at an expense of more deserving player . its knows thing now , cricket central power is chennai . they can change the pitch they want to play in some other teams home ground, pushing csk team members to india team, now champions league finals are also in chennai....... Its there time now !!!!

Posted by Magz on (July 11, 2011, 11:44 GMT)

I would like to think that the onus is now on Anirudha to prove every one wrong. We all know how MS Dhoni proved all of us wrong after being given the T20 captaincy before the 2007 T20WC victory. Nepotism is very obvious in all walks of life, deal with it.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

Infact anirudha was selected in 30 probables in the twenty twenty world cup 2007 which India had won.That was much before his dad was made the chief selector in 2008......He is a real talent.....!!!

Posted by Haleos on (July 11, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

@Bajcloony - check his performances in domestic cricket. If you are not bothered just read comments from the_blue_android.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 10:56 GMT)

@the_blue_android hahaha...!!! absolutely!

Posted by harrdstone on (July 11, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

When Majid Khan's name came up for selection, his father, the then Chairman of Selectors,Dr Jahangir Khan,himself a test cricketer from united India,resigned from the selection committee arguing he could not sit in the committee when name of his son is being considered.Where have such people gone now?

Posted by vinay21 on (July 11, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

@AbAdvani Why u r talking about vinay kumar..?He has given consitent perfomance throughout domestic season,whenever he played for India he picked the wickets and also lot of variations in his bowling.Moreover Irfan pathan didn't any single game in last year ranji matches.If u not believe this check the performance of every ranji season of vinay kumar since from debut,he deserve the place.

Posted by lordpyro89 on (July 11, 2011, 10:01 GMT)

Seriously, where were you when the likes of Ravi Jadeja and Manpreet Gony were being selected to represent the national side?

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (July 11, 2011, 8:54 GMT)

Just because he is the son of Srikkanth, he should not be automatically ruled out just to prove that there is no nepotism. At the same time he should also not be automatically selected because of who ghis father is. When you say he had an average season, I am not sure I agree with that. How average is average? And Who is the player who should have got the plays that Aniruddhan has now got?

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 7:48 GMT)

After all Anirudha is not a bad selection...Srikanth has been doing a great job of selector for the national side... Anirudha has shown his talent both in IPL and Champions trophy... True there are player with better records, but then this not a bad selection!!!!

Don't be too sarcastic...

Posted by Bajcloony on (July 11, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

I don't agree with sharda at all bcoz if this is the case of nepotism than Anirudha would have been playing in India A Team a long time ago and by now he would have been knoking at the doors of selection in Team India, so if the selctors have given him a chance in EPT thatn there is no harm and if he will fail than autmatically he would be considred for selcetion at the higher levele.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 5:44 GMT)

they said, "we were not aware of change in format of EPT" but they didn't rectified there mistake. It is a different topic whether Srikkanth Anirudha deservs to be even in TN squad or not and every one knows why and how he is getting regular opportunities for Tamilnadu and CSK .

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

Its nothing new in indian cricket. Sunil Gavaskar tried for his son Rohan. Anyone remember how Arjun Yadav became captain of Hydedrabad Ranji team or how Udit patil played for Karnataka. There was one player from Andhra who played for India A team Madhusudan or Madhukiram dont know the exact name. There are many other deserving players to represnt india

Posted by AbAdvani on (July 11, 2011, 5:18 GMT)

Where is Irfan Pathan ? Why is he being given a raw deal ? How can Irfan not find a place in the EPS squad ? I fail to understand how the selectors have faith in Vinay Kumar who's hardly impressed with the opportunities he has got and keep sideling Irfan. Irfan -Please move to CSK or start playing for TN

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

This is nepotism, nothing else. I cannot believe Anirudha Srikkanth has been chosen. This dude neither has the performance to back his selecttion nor is he a spring chicken that he has to 'emerge' for India. Srikkanth cannot take any redit for the Indian team winning the World Cup. If we need to applaud the selectors for the WC victory, it is that they did not play politics and just chose a team on its merits which by the way was one of the best Indian teams ever. Almost every body in the team bar a couple were certainties any way.

Posted by bannadi on (July 11, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

This is what most of our ex-cricketers do.Brijesh Patel.shivalal Yadav and now Srikanth.Shivlal Yadav goes to the extent of naming one of the stands in Hyderabad Stadium upon himself..!!!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

If this continues, what happens for the authentic talent? BCCI should intervene and take necessary actions regarding this, unless Indian cricket would in a bleak era.

Posted by the_blue_android on (July 11, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

With killer averages of 29 and 31 in First-class and list A, how can anyone keep this guy out? Mera bharat mahan!

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