BCCI's gag order: 3 selectors may quit

Updated: 20 November 2007 13:55 IST

The selectors have reacted very strongly to the board's gag order which came in the middle of a face-off with chief selector Vengsarkar over his columns.


A crisis has broken out between the national cricket selectors and the Board of Control for Cricket in India over a new set of guidelines that prevents them from talking to the media and from traveling with the team overseas.

A strongly worded e-mail was sent to the selectors last week and sources suggest that some of the selectors are so angry that they may even threaten to quit.

However, the board may well go easy on the chairman of selectors Dilip vengsarkar. He's urged them to allow him to write his newspaper columns since it is his main livelihood.

Reacting to the Colonel's insistence on carrying on with his columns even after the BCCI told him to stop writing them, the board sent an official gag order to the entire selection committee with a list of do's and dont's.

An e-mail to all selectors was sent about a week ago by the BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah explicitly laying down a code of conduct.

Three of the five selectors have threatened to quit if these are enforced.

NDTV managed to get hold of a copy of the e-mail and the list of instructions bars the selectors from writing any column in any newspaper.

It says that no selector will speak to the media and that not more than one selector will be present during an International match at home.

The selectors cannot travel abroad for matches and will not be allowed to go to the dressing room when the match is on.

They have also been banned from associating with players' agents or any business group that have a vested interest in cricket.

Also on the list of instructions is that the selectors must watch more domestic matches, that will be planned along with the BCCI Secretary and finally the no press conference after selection has now become a permanent rule - the selectors will not be allowed to speak to the media on selection matters.

The latest email - this time to all selectors - is a further indication of growing differences between the board and the selectors.

Dilip Vengsarkar shot into the media limelight when he openly admitted he was unhappy with Rahul Dravid for not informing him of his decision to step down as captain.

He returned the favour by dropping Dravid for the Pakistan one dayers without a courtesy phone call to him.

Its public battles like these that ended up embarrassing the board and in the first week of November, Vengsarkar was asked not to write his column "Cover Drive" since it was not proper to make his views as selector public.

"I believe that the members of the selection committee and the members of the team should stay away from the media and should not give any statements to the media," said Niranjan Shah.

But Vengsarkar is peeved with the board for interfering with his right to earn a living, considering his selection job is honorary.

He also feels he is a victim of double standards, seeing that people like NCA chairman Ravi shastri are being allowed to continue with their newspaper columns.

Despite the ban and directions until Thursday last week Vengsarkar's views continue to be aired in vernacular dailies like Sakaal, owned by the BCCI chief Sharad Pawar's brother.

It is learnt that the BCCI's tough message sent through an email hasn't gone down well with selectors. It also remains to be seen if Vegsarkars next column, due to appear on Tuesday will see the light of day.

But its clear that that the team chosen to select Team India is in the middle of an unsavory battle with the board.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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