India player and a household name in cricketing circles Irfan Pathan has in a surprising development been dropped from the Baroda Ranji side. Irfan was earlier named the captain of the side for the whole season and performed pretty well in the two concluded games. He won’t take the field in the team’s upcoming encounter against Tripura. Young Deepak Hooda has been appointed the new skipper.
Simply Shocking and unjust
This kind of decision and move by the selection committee hasn’t quite gone down too well with Irfan’s admirers and well-wishers. The concerning issue is the lack of substantial and concrete clarifications and reasoning for this act.
The Term Injustice
Interestingly the Baroda selection committee also features one man who I above 70 years of age. This gentleman is Leslee Fernandes. And we very well know that according to the Supreme Court order on Lodha recommendations Leslee has no authority to sit there. And those commanding roles will take decisions of this foolish magnitude, questions will naturally be raised and they must be. It is time for the BCCI and COA to intervene and take stock of the situation. If the Lodha recommendations have to be adhered with, then Leslee Fernandes needs to be on his way out with immediate effect.
At the moment, Baroda cricket is being governed by people who aren’t even aware of the players they have selected. It is believed a certain selector by the name Vikram Hazare congratulated a certain Shoaib from the Baroda Ranji team for a century in the last game, thinking him to be Atit Sheth (who actually scored the century). Such is the state of affairs in the Baroda cricket association at the moment.
Irfan Pathan the Fall Guy in Indian Cricket
Irfan Pathan has always been at the receiving end and it is very unfortunate that despite Irfan being a team man, he has never found support from his contemporaries and the fraternity. Be it Baroda Cricket association or even the IPL.
Irfan who made a roaring comeback in 2012 post his injury was again jolted with an injury and was pushed to the sidelines. No efforts were made by the system for his comeback. Neither was he monitored and allowed to prove himself.
The IPL is a case in point where he was made to sit in the CSK camp all through the last few IPL’s. This at a time when he had a realistic chance to showcasing his all-around abilities. Irfan’s ouster on many occasions through the IPL defied conventional wisdom and once again his ouster from the Baroda Ranji team after only two games defies logic. One thing is obvious, his exclusion has more than just a cricketing reason and precisely why the BCCI should intervene in this matter.
A captain’s go-to man once upon a time has no one to go to at the moment. Why is the ax everytime hanging on Irfan Pathan? Why is it that he is not given his due? IPL or Ranji Cricket, why is he being pushed out by the system? How much of support has Irfan got in recent times from the fraternity?
As the saying goes, one should hatch eggs and not smash eggs. In Irfan’s case, the latter holds true. Neither is Irfan allowed to prove his worth nor is been given a fair chance to show his mettle. Yet again the dirty politics in Baroda Cricket is smashing a career which is eager to stage a comeback into international cricket.
Make no mistake, we are talking about a World Cup winner, a team man, an all-rounder who has played for over a decade for the country. This is not the kind of treatment one deserves, this after he has represented his country at the highest level consistently.
BCCI should intervene
The BCCI needs to intervene and it is important, the BCCI is aware of what the state cricket associations are up to. The season has only begun and every player should be given a fair chance. To begin with, the Board should look into the BCA selection panel and act swiftly according to the Lodha recommendations. A thorough investigation needs to be carried out in this case by the Board.
Huda to be the new man at the Helm
Deepak Hooda also led the side last year when Irfan was not available for selection. Baroda hasn’t begun the season in style and despite Yusuf Pathan’s twin hundreds, the team lost their first match against Madhya Pradesh. It seems the clock isn’t correct for the Pathan brothers at the moment. Irfan has been unceremoniously shown the door while elder brother Yusuf is down with Typhoid.
Baroda has entered the season with a new coach Atul Bedade this time and is currently at the bottom of the Group C standings on the points table. Irfan was equally perturbed and taken aback by the move. He questioned “Fitness is certainly not an issue and I have performed pretty alright, to be honest. Neither is this an episode of disciplinary conduct. Then what exactly was the issue?”