TWO WEEKS after the team they had picked won the U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy, Mumbai’s junior selectors were pulled up by their state association. Their indescretion: having posed for a photo with the victorious team following the final in Pune.
At the time, Guru Gupte and his colleagues must have felt like they were just indulging in the routine formality of clicking a group photo with the newly-crowned West Zone junior champions.
But somehow it hasn’t gone down too well with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) top brass, who shot a letter to all their selectors, asking them to henceforth refrain from posing for any pictures with the cricket team after they have won a title.
The directive has been passed in a letter sent to the selectors of all the various age groups, both men and women, and also the conveners of the senior and junior selection committee, MCA’s two joint secretaries, Unmesh Khanvilkar and PV Shetty respectively.
“The members of the selection committee are hereby directed not to be present for any team photographs of state teams. The members of the selection committee should refrain from getting their pictures clicked as member of state teams. This is for your kind information,” the letter, which has been accessed by The Indian Express, reads.
MCA have followed the practice of having their selectors accompanying teams for quite a few years now. While the protocol is for two selectors from the senior and junior selection committee to be part of the touring party, it’s a full-fledged four-member panel that is present in case the team reaches the final of whichever tournament they are competing in.
And accordingly, Gupte had traveled to Pune for the final of the Vinoo Mankad Trophy in the first week of October along with his colleagues, Prasad Desai, Santosh Shinde and Arun Shetty. As it turned out, the picture of them with the team was posted on all major social websites and was also shared on WhatsApp. Not surprisingly, the MCA’s new directive hasn’t gone down well with most of the selectors and they also don’t seem pleased to be facing the ire of the state body for simply having posed with the team.
“Selectors are part of the team. They put in as much hard work as the support staff. They also feel the same emotions like other members of the team and it’s natural that they would want to be a part of the celebrations. After all it’s their victory too. We won’t do it to show off but we too feel like we are an integral part of the team,” one selector told this paper.