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The differences between the two factions of the Delhi and District Cricket Association are out in the open again, after the Executive Committee, in a meeting attended by 18 out of the 24 directors, decided to shake up the senior and junior selection panels. Sarandeep Singh and Chetnya Nanda were appointed senior and junior selection committee chairmen respectively with immediate effect while the name of Rakesh Shukla was added to the senior panel. Former India cricketers Maninder Singh, Nikhil Chopra and Atul Wassan were removed from their respective panels.
Both junior and senior selection panels, picking teams at the moment, were formed under the supervision of the High Court-appointed observer Justice Mukul Mudgal. The DDCA, however, has given the panel a shake midway through the 2016-17 season.
Citing the “Lodha Committee recommendations on Conflict of Interest”, Sports Committee convenor Vinod Tihara said in a press release that Chopra, Wassan and Singh failed to make “transparent disclosure” by not submitting the desired undertaking that “there was no violation of conflict of interest by them while discharging their functions as selectors of the association”.
The release adds that “the three selectors failed to furnish the desired undertaking thereby drawing an adverse presumption that their assignment, participation, performance and discharge of their role may be in compromise with their primary obligation.”
Justice Mudgal, who approved the appointment of the selectors, managers and coaches for various age groups, said he would bring the matter to the notice of the High Court.
“I have received the press release which is being circulated and all I can say is that I have already asked the Court to relieve me of my duties with the DDCA since I have other commitments. The Court has reserved the order on that but I would bring it to the Court’s notice. International players are being humiliated, and I will inform the same to the Court,” says Mudgal.
DDCA vice-president Chetan Chauhan was furious after learning about the latest development and minced no words in slamming the “corrupt officials” behind the move.
“Who is Tihara? He is nobody. This is contempt of court. How can you not follow Court’s order! The Court will take notice of this and strict action should be taken. The meeting which took place at the DDCA on Saturday had nothing to do with selection. It was not even on the agenda. The balance sheet was on the agenda and it was never discussed. I requested the management to postpone it since I was travelling but they didn’t listen and did something which I strongly condemn and oppose. They have humiliated international cricketers and it is not acceptable,” said Chauhan.
Chauhan, who is the convenor of the senior selection committee, added that association is contradicting its own stand as far as the Lodha recommendations are concerned and blamed BCCI and DDCA vice-president CK Khanna for the mess.
“There is one board vice-president who is doing all this. You first say you won’t accept Lodha reforms, then you circulate a release saying ‘because of Lodha reforms this is not acceptable?’ Ho kya raha hai (what is happening)? This is just to scuttle cricket and get corrupt people in charge. For the first time, honest selections are being done and the kids who deserve to play on merit are playing. Some officials can’t push their favourites in the squad and that is hurting them,” said a furious Chauhan.