Ever since Sunil Gavaskar called India’s selection panel ‘lame ducks’ , the panel has been under scanner. Sanjay Manjrekar opposed Gavaskar’s views saying “integrity was more important than stature”. Gavaskar argued that MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh, Gagan Khoda, and Jatin Paranjape all have a combined experience of only 13 test matches which are not enough.
Is it justifiable to comment on stature when the job requires an eye to spot talent?
Prasad said, “if one is talking about stature and international experience, Ed Smith, who is current chairman of England and Whales Cricket Board has played only one test. Trevor Hohns, who is the chairman of Cricket Australia’s selection committee for over a decade and half with a couple of years break in between, has played only seven Tests. And oh yes, Mark Waugh, who played 128 Test matches and 244 ODIs, worked under Trevor. Legendary Australian player and captain Greg Chappell, who played 87 Test matches and 74 ODIs for his country, is also working under Trevor now. When stature and international experience doesn’t come into picture in those countries, how will it come in the way in our country? The point that I am driving here is that every job has its own demands.”
Prasad also highlighted Raj Singh Dungarpur’s successful decision of selecting Sachin Tendulkar in 1989.
“if vast international experience is the question then our beloved late Sri Raj Singh Dungarpur wouldn’t have been the chairman of the senior selection committee as he never played international cricket. Maybe a diamond called Sachin Tendulkar wouldn’t have been unearthed at only 16 years.” Prasad said that if international experience was the only basis to become an Indian selector then it would not have been possible for many ex-cricketers to even possess such a dream.
Coaches never play
Prasad’s rage against Gavaskar made him answer with stiffness. He told the media that it is a misconception that those who have played cricket more have better knowledge and power. “if that is the case then the entire coaching unit, selection committee and all other relevant fields should be filled with only those people who have had vast international careers as players. I don’t think this is right.”
Prasad maintained his composure saying comments like that by Gavaskar only made his team stronger. He was disappointed by Gavaskar’s comment as he expected such legendary cricketers to have made some strong commitments towards motivating players of the country. The opinions of such senior players matter a lot and their viewpoints are well-received.
Though the committee failed to solve the middle order mess in the 2019 World Cup and got eliminated in the semifinal, Prasad, instead, chose to focus on their success over the last three years since 2016. “Out Test team won 11 out of 13 Test series and we are now ranked No. 1 in ICC for the last 3 years. We have had an 80-85 percent success rate in ODIs. We were No1 in ODI rankings till semi-final loss in the World Cup. We have reached finals in the champions trophy (2017. We have won two Asia Cups (2016 and 2018)”
“You know more when you have played more” is a myth- MSK Prasad