Virender Sehwag is reported to be seeking a move from Delhi, the state he has represented since 1998, to Haryana from the 2009-10 season, citing the heavy interference in selection matters.
"I am trying to leave Delhi and play for Haryana," he was quoted as telling the Delhi-based newspaper Mail Today. "I spoke to the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA) president, Arun Jaitley, [on Sunday] and he has asked me to discuss the issue with him and then take a decision. If I am not satisfied with the outcome of our meeting, I will surely leave Delhi."
Though international commitments have kept Sehwag away from much of Delhi's recent campaigns, he said there was too much manipulation in the Ranji Trophy selection. "It has often happened that four selectors get together and vote for 'their' players, leaving the chairman of the committee and me defeated," he is quoted as saying. "Especially, when I am on national duty, they put pressure on the stand-in captains and the interference becomes more rampant."
He was even less satisfied with selection process for the junior teams in the state. "There is too much interference and manipulation from the sports committee in selection committees," he said. "The sports committee has got too much power. There is more interference at the under-16 and under-19 levels than the Ranji Trophy. In a squad of 15, for instance, the sports committee tries to influence the selectors and slip in one or two of 'their own' boys."
To play for another state, Sehwag requires a No-Objection Certificate from the DDCA. Sunil Dev, the DDCA general secretary, who is authorised to issue NOCs, said he had not been contacted by Sehwag yet. "He has not talked to me and I have not signed the NOC," Dev said. "But if he comes to me, I will give him the NOC immediately."
Anirudh Chaudhary, the Haryana Cricket Association secretary, said he had an informal word with Sehwag last year about joining the team but the batsman had said he was committed to the DDCA. "Now I hear he has some issues with them," Chaudhary told PTI. "It's completely DDCA's internal matter but in case he wants to move to Haryana, we would gladly welcome him. "We have a talented bunch of young cricketers and Sehwag could be the perfect mentor for them."
One of the selection-related controversies involving the DDCA was in 2006, when the entire selection committee was sacked midway through the season for picking Navdeep Tomar as the 16th man for a couple of Ranji matches. Tomar was not in the list of 21 players from which the side was to be chosen, and the selectors allegedly named him after being threatened by his supporters.