The clean up reforms at the Delhi and District Cricket Association have begun with Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, appointed by Hight Court to oversee day-to-day affairs at the cricketing body, forming two panels – men’s and women’s – for picking selectors, coaches, managers and other support staff for the cricket season ahead.
Former Test cricketer Vivek Razdan will chair the men’s panel and Anuradha Dutt will lead the women’s panel also comprising of DDCA vice-president Gange Gupta, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda and joint secretary, sports Salil Seth.
“The Selection Panel will fix the remuneration of all the selectors, coaches, managers and support staff before shortlisting the names.The basic criteria for different posts is to be specified in writing and uploaded on the website of DDCA along with the notice for selection and a public notice shall also be issued for the same,” Justice Mudgal informed the DDCA members.
Apart from the aforesaid decisions, the panel is set to introduce plenty of reforms to streamline cricketing operations in the capital. The first major change, which was unsuccessfully tried last year too, is the reduction in number of selectors across age groups. From five selectors each for U-14, U-16, U-19, U-23 and Ranji Trophy, the panel proposed three junior and senior selectors each in the first meeting on Saturday.
“We will go for only six selectors. Three for junior level which includes U-14, U-16 and U-19 and three for senior level which will take care of U-23 and Ranji Trophy selection matters,” says Seth, who further informs that decisions taken by the panel require no further approval from Executive or Sports Committee of the association.
The remuneration of selectors, coaches and support staff has been “tentatively” finalised and it’s been reliably learnt that the Ranji Trophy coach will be paid between 15-20 lakh while the senior selectors will get anything between 5-8 lakh. There will be a chairman of selectors in both junior and senior age-group but he/she will not have any separate/special powers.
Over and above the fixed remuneration, the coaches will have an incentive which would depend on the performance in the respective age-group. The association is trying to promote a culture where the Delhi coaching/selection job is their primary, not just a stop-gap or part-time solution.
“We want to promote a culture where coaches and selectors treat the job as their primary job. Also, incentives will ensure ki wo apni jaan laga de (give their 100 percent),” says Seth.
If a member of the DDCA is selected for the vacant posts of selectors, coaches and support staff, he/she will not be remunerated as DDCA, governed by the Companies Act, can’t pay out its members. In such a situation, the coaches/selectors/support staff will only be eligible for Travel and Daily Allowance. Emphasising on the needs and demands of the players, the panel will also propose a travelling physio and masseur for teams across age-groups. Earlier, only senior teams had this facility.
“U-19, 23 and Ranji Trophy had travelling physio and masseur but it wasn’t the case for junior teams. We will have the same for junior teams too,” says Seth.
To weed out unnecessary positions, the panel is set to chop off the post of assistant coach, which has been used at DDCA for all the age groups in the past. The roles of managers and support staff are set to change as they no longer would be expected to be “just travellers” with the teams.
Addressing conflict of interest
Justice Mudgal has laid out clear guidelines for all the applicants and they will be asked to give an undertaking stating,”I do not own any cricket academy or club; I am not involved in the running of any cricket academy or club; I am not associated with any players and agencies; I have no children or any close relative who is or aspiring to represent the State; I am not involved in any commercial dealings with the State Association; I undertake that I hold no post or position in DDCA and also undertake that I shall not hold more than one post or position; I also undertake that in case any conflict of interest situation arises in future, I will inform the State Association and resign from my post.”
The Sports Committee, which used to appoint all the selectors/coaches and support staff, has now been asked to just ensure that the suitable candidates apply for the aforementioned posts. Razdan-led panel has set the dates of 8th September, 2016 and 9th September, 2016 to finalise the coaches, managers and various selectors respectively.
Resentment within the DDCA
The majority group at the DDCA, it is learnt, is not too pleased with the latest developments. The task of finalising selectors and support staff for various age groups was done by the Sports Committee, and approved by the Executive Committee, in the past but this year they have neither been consulted, or kept in the loop for the same.
“I think Mr Mudgal has exceeded his scope of work by taking these decisions. We did go by his report and were happy to implement the reforms but we don’t know what prompted him to take this decision,” says a senior DDCA official. He further adds,”If you see the list, three out of the four members on the list wouldn’t have seen a cricket bat in their life.”
DDCA president Sneh Bansal says he has read the mail sent by Justice Mudgal and there will be an emergent meeting to discuss the latest developments.
“I have gone through the mail and all I can say is we will have a meeting to discuss how to address this, and decide the future course of action,” says Bansal. When asked whether the other members were not pleased with the formation of the panel, “naturally yes,” Bansal said.