There's some news for those in Mumbai cricket who want to see Sandeep Patil relinquishing the post of Mumbai's chief selector: He won't quit. Patil, who also heads the national selection committee, squashed rumours of him quitting as chairman of the senior Mumbai selection committee.
Mumbai cricket is experiencing turbulent times which got amplified at the start of the season when the Ranji Trophy team lost convincingly to Jammu and Kashmir. After a rain-affected drawn game against Railways in Delhi, Mumbai beat Uttar Pradesh by eight wickets in Kanpur followed by a draw against Bengal at Kolkata.
The last game — against Madhya Pradesh — at the Wankhede Stadium earlier this month was drawn. To sum up, Mumbai have won only one of their five games. They now face Tamil Nadu at Chennai from January 21 to 24.
"I won't run away from challenges. I am concerned about Mumbai cricket and won't turn my back on it. Mumbai cricket needs me and if I don't help, who will?" Patil told mid-day yesterday in response to the rumour mills.
"I took up this job to help Mumbai cricket. If I fail, I will admit failure but I won't run away. I am committed to Mumbai cricket," said Patil, warding off any controversy talk and only sounding positive about the future.
Patil began his tenure as chairman of Mumbai selectors when he became the head of the national selection committee in 2012 but quit in April 2013 since he was not able to watch matches. He returned to the big seat earlier this year and was not needed to watch local matches.
However, there has been some heartburn in this regard at the MCA. Patil's response to this is that he returned as chief selector on the condition that he would get the right kind of feedback from his fellow selectors on the talented players.
On his terms
"I quit in the first place because I could not watch matches but MCA approached me to return despite knowing fully well of my busy schedule towards my India job and I laid down my condition given my problem (of watching matches)."
Patil stressed that Mumbai cricket is going through a transition stage: "We don't have Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan; Wasim Jaffer is in and out (through injury), Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma are on India duty.
Just because we have won the Ranji Trophy for 40 years, it does not mean we can win for another 40 years. It is a crucial stage. What is required is patience now and a time for investment in players."