The Mumbai Cricket Association named former India opener Sudhir Naik as the new chairman of the senior selection committee on Wednesday.
It was no surprise considering the former India opener and 1971-Ranji Trophy winning Mumbai captain’s name was doing the rounds in the media as well as in cricket circles. Naik, with due respects, finds himself as an undeserving chosen one.
Naik has replaced Abey Kuruvilla, who was part of the selection committee which picked the last Ranji Trophy team that clinched the national championships. Kuruvilla has gone on record to stress that his term was not over. If that is indeed true, where is the need for a change?
Kuruvilla, it must be remembered, was a name the MCA was pushing to be national selector last September, but to everyone’s surprise, BCCI picked Sandeep Patil.
Apart from this being unfair, it reflects poorly on an association which has produced the maximum number of players who have gone on to play for India. By picking Naik, the ruling group of the MCA has virtually ensured a vote from National Cricket Club which Naik runs at Cross Maidan. This vote-ensuring exercise has also influenced appointments in other panels. This is something which the MCA should be ashamed of.
One-upmanship is not a bad thing in administration, but when it is unfair, it becomes an evil act.
The MCA is in a position to make changes to their constitution. If the men who run the association want to be seen as absolutely fair, the constitution should disallow inducements by way of appointments or handing over memberships of new projects to affiliated clubs six months prior to the elections.
Mumbai cricket should be making more headlines through the performances of their players rather than such issues. Doubtless, the MCA requires a massive scrub down. Chances of that happening continue to depressingly remote.