Controversy has hit DDCA selection issues again as a day after the Vivek Razdan-led panel appointed former Delhi senior team coach Vijay Dahiya incharge of the U-23 unit, the former India wicketkeeper refused to take the offer.
Dahiya applied for the chief coach job but it was given to former Delhi stalwart KP Bhaskar. A senior DDCA official told The Indian Express that Dahiya was informed in this disregard but the former coach disagrees. “Question is, did they (the panel) even take my consent?,” asks a furious Dahiya. “It doesn’t work this way. I applied for the chief coach job and if I didn’t get that it’s fine. But then you can’t put someone in charge of something he never applied for. Why should I take the U-23 assignment when I never applied for the same?” he fumes.
It is reliably learnt that Dahiya was offered the U-23 arrangement and he agreed, but wanted better remuneration.
“It was communicated to him during the meeting and he, in front of the whole panel, agreed. We offered such possibilities to every applicant for the senior coach job. Dahiya agreed but with a better remuneration. Now we have decided the remuneration and it’s Rs 12 lakh for U-23 coach and Rs 22 lakh for senior coach. What’s wrong with the remuneration? For a season lasting little more than a month (only four league matches and more if team progresses) we are paying Rs 12 lakh while the senior coach, for a season close to seven months, is getting Rs 22 lakh,” informs a senior DDCA official.
For the first time ever, DDCA invited applications and conducted interviews for various positions for the upcoming cricket season. Dahiya, however, still feels the process wasn’t followed and if it wasn’t to be followed, it shouldn’t have started. “What’s the point of all this when it’s not being followed? You see my CV and tell me what’s missing. During my 10-year association with the DDCA, we have won everything. Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare, Syed Mushtaq Ali,” Dahiya points out.
Not only Dahiya’s demotion, but Amit Bhandari’s retention as deputy to Bhaskar has raised eyebrows within the DDCA. The corridors are filled with chatter that “if chief coach is sacked for poor show, so should have been the assistant coach”.
Whether or not he has communicated his decision to the panel, Dahiya says,”Why should I? Did they seek my consent before putting me in charge of U-23. So there is no question of me reaching out to them.” The former India stumper further adds,”see nothing will start in the next one week and the first match is less than a month away. Is this how we plan to put cricket first and promote transparency and get processes in order?”