mid-day editorial: Why is the vice-captaincy such a secret?

In an era where there is so much emphasis on leadership, it is ironical that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chooses not to announce Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s deputy for an event as big at the ICC World T20.

In New Delhi yesterday, Sandeep Patil and his fellow national selectors picked a 15-man side for a tournament, but the list of players does not include a vice-captain, a role that will presumably be performed by Virat Kohli, who is the Test captain. Or will he?

This is not the first time that Kohli has not been given the official designation. When this newspaper checked with a selector back then, the selector said it was up to the Board.

Why should the vice-captain be a secret? On one hand, the BCCI and the team do not appreciate any negative publicity, but a large percentage of uncomplimentary stories emerge due to a lack of transparency by the establishment itself. Though Kohli is India’s Test captain, isn’t it an honour for him to be the deputy? If India emerge champions, wouldn’t Kohli take pride in the fact that he was vice-captain of the team?

The BCCI may be the richest and most influential body in world cricket, but that does not mean it should depart from tradition. Ajit Wadekar, who was India’s coach during the 1996 World Cup, found it strange the a vice-captain for next month’s World T20 was not announced. He reckoned the argument that the vice-captain does not need to be named does not hold good because each team has a think-tank and the vice-captain is an integral part of it. He recalled Sachin Tendulkar being named as Mohammed Azharuddin’s vice-captain in that 1996 World Cup held in the sub-continent.

The media now get an opportunity to interact with the chief selector as well as BCCI secretary. Unfortunately, the Capital’s media yesterday preferred to ask questions about how the BCCI will implement the Lodha Commission recommendations. Pertinent points keep getting sacrificed on the altar of Breaking News.

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