Sachin Tendulkar writes in his autobiography Playing It My Way (published by Hachette India) that he found learning to deal with the national selection panel during his first captaincy stint (1996 to 1997) quite a task. “There were occasions when I wasn’t given the team of my choice and did not get particular players I had asked for. For me, the priority was always the Indian team. For some of the selectors, however, things may have been different.
South Zone selector Shivlal Yadav is missing in this picture. Pic/mid-day archives
“I felt there were other factors dictating team selection and at times, I felt disappointed after selection committee meetings.”
The late Ramakant Desai (chairman), Kishen Rungta, Sambaran Banerjee, MP Pandove and Shivlal Yadav comprised the selection committee in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Test series defeats in SA and WI, a poor show in the four-nation tournament at Sharjah in 1997 prompted the selectors to sack Tendulkar as captain after the drawn ODI series against Sri Lanka and recall Mohammed Azharuddin, the very man whom he replaced in 1996.
BCCI didn’t call
Tendulkar writes, “No one from the BCCI managed to call me or inform me of my removal as captain before someone in the media called to say I was no longer captain. I was extremely humiliated to hear this, but the manner in which the whole thing was handled strengthened my resolve to be a better cricketer in the years to come.
“I told myself that the BCCI mandarins might be able to take the captaincy away from me, but no one could do the same as far as my own cricket was concerned. The sense of ignominy and the pain were still there, however.”