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World Cup Squad
|by Dr. Kumarendra Mallick|
India, a major cricketing nation, has announced its 30-member preliminary squad for the forthcoming World Cricket to be played in the subcontinent - India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There are no surprises in the squard except two prominent ommissions - Rahul Dravid and Irfan Pathan.
The selection Committee Chairman Srikant says, 'As you know there are no big surprises. This is a probable team and every one selects himself...'.
There are two words that need clarification, and these are 'You' and 'Every one'. Whom is the chairman addressing by 'You', the countrymen. And who is every one? Except perhaps Rahul Dravid, who was made to stand behind the wickets during 2003 World Cup and spearhead the batting just after that. In 2003 WC final after Sachin ballooned the ball on his personal score of 4 and Saurabh left scoring 24, it was Rahul who held the forte to sweat at the crease for his 47. Today he is third highest test scorer. It does not come that easily. Besides, he does not score slow at all. Further at time need he can stand behind the wickets as well. How can he not qualify to be one among 30 in Indian cricket. That is the big surprie, Mr Chairman.
Irfan Pathan is the blue boy of Indian cricket - a true all rounder, good both at bowling and batting. In the very first over in the third test in Karachi against a strong Pak team he achieved a hat-trick, a rare achievement. In ODIs he has done wonders too. He has scored 1368 runs 78 matches, his highest being 123 (7 fours and 7 sixes) against New Zealand to give India a big win after India was 5 wickets down. Once again in February 2009 both Pathan brothers gave victory to Indi a against Sri Lanka. Here Irfan, besides some quickfires, had takem two wickets for 23 runs.
In IPL 2010 he played a stellar role by taking 15 wickets in 14 matches and scoring 276 runs. In Ranji matches for Baroda he had a good season.
In spite of this performance, poor Irfan could not select himself into the team. That is the big surprize, Mr Chairman. When Indian team is in search of a good all rounder, you and your selection panel have pushed a upcoming and promising player into oblivion. That is squarely unfair and unsportive.
I shall not repeat Mohinder Amarnath to term the selectors to be a pack of jockers, but shall certainly say that BCCI and the Selection Committee are the guardians of our players, and not their destroyers! Non-inclusion of Rahul Dravid, the gentleman cricketer of India and Irfan Pathan, a player with great promises, should feature in the preliminary squard and be in the final team, if we wish to win the Worls Cup 2011.
Image (c) Gettyimages.com
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