MUMBAI: Mumbai chief selector Salil Ankola has objected to ex-Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) members Lalchand Rajput and Raju Kulkarni’s statements in their petitions to the Mumbai Cricket Association‘s (MCA) Ombudsman that “the selectors are willing to testify for the interference of the MCA secretaries in the selection of the Mumbai team.”
In their petition to MCA Ombudsman-cum Ethics officer Vijaya Tahiliramani, Rajput, who headed the previous CIC, and Kulkarni, while asking for their committee to be reinstated, have alleged that “the MCA secretaries started interfering in all the selection processes (junior and senior).”
“The selectors are willing to testify for the interference, for eg, the inclusion of two players in 20 selected by senior team selectors for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 after the BCCI allowed 22 players due to Covid instead of 20. However, the same two extra added players, who were supposed to be standbyes, were included in the playing 11 in the tournament, meeting out gross injustice to the players selected in the original 20 of the Mumbai team a week before SMAT.”
“Rajput and Kulkarni should have clarified with me before saying this in their petitions. They haven’t spoken to me about this, nor have they asked me to testify anything. So, how can they say that the selectors will testify, when I’m the chairman of the selection committee? I have not spoken to them, neither have I agreed to testify,” Ankola, a former India fast bowler, told TOI.
“These are cricketers who I’ve played with. They’re my friends and I’ve immense respect for them. However, I’ve been forced to talk about this because they have named the selectors in their petition,” said Ankola, who played one Test and 20 ODIs for India in the last 80s and 90s.
He also denied that the MCA secretaries interfered in the selection of the Mumbai team for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy in January. “It was the BCCI’s decision to include two extra players in every team for Mushtaq Ali, considering the covid situation. The decision to include the extra players was taken by the selectors after consulting the captain and the coach,” clarified Ankola.
“In our petition to the MCA Ombudsman, we’ve mentioned that the ‘selectors are ready to testify.’ We have not mentioned any names, so there is no need for any selector to clarify that it’s not him. If required, we will do the needful,” Kulkarni told this paper.
Aarey CC objects to MCA AGM’s circulated minutes
Meanwhile, Aarey CC has objected to the minutes of the MCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on December 27 last year, which have been circulated by the cricket body amongst its members and urged the MCA to provide it with a video transcript link of the AGM.
“After having gone through the minutes of the 84th MCA AGM that was held on December 27, 2020, I do find some discrepancies in some of the minutes that were circulated. So, kindly send me the video transcript link over email for the verification of minutes. Please share the video link ASAP and record my official objection on passing the AGM minutes,” wrote Neil Savant, the hon secretary of Aarey CC.