Mohinder Amarnath’s disclosure that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was retained as India captain during his selectorial term due to a “certain internal reason” inevitably links up the fact that he plays and captains the same Indian Premier League team that the Board of Control for Cricket in India president N Srinivasan has stakes in.
In a way, Amarnath’s view takes the conflict of interest issue one step further.
Srinivasan would do well to clear the air about this issue, but the BCCI suffers from a perennial loss of form where clarifying matters are concerned. It has now become monotonous to report on their lack of communication with the media, who are now very used to terse press notes and statements that are seldom elaborate.
It can be recalled that the Board did not offer a convincing explanation for Amarnath not being retained as a selector last September.
Nothing can hide the fact that the Board has been tolerant with Dhoni. Not many establishments in any era would have put up with a captain who loses nine Test matches in 18 months. Sure, Dhoni is a World Cup-winning captain and has led India to the pinnacle of Test rankings, but captains with similar achievements have been replaced. Ask 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who lost the captaincy twice.
Mohinder isn’t being blatantly unfair to Dhoni because he doesn’t have a problem with him being skipper in limited overs cricket.
Each time the present skipper takes the liberty of speaking his mind about pitches, his critics attribute his straight-talk to the Srinivasan connection.
The BCCI chief would probably do well to explain to the media himself (or get chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil to do so) as to why Dhoni is being persisted with as Test captain. The reasons could well make sense and it will end all innuendo.
Until then, Mohinder’s ‘across-the-line strokes’ will be lapped up.