Vadodara: Rift has surfaced in the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) after chairman Leslie Fernandes, who heads the senior selection committee, threatened to resign on Wednesday.
Fernandes said he was unhappy with the way the selection committee was functioning. He was appointed in the four-member selection committee two seasons ago.
Expressing his unhappiness, Fernandes told TOI that he was upset with how the other selectors united against him over the selection of an Under-23 cricketer. “Earlier, in a discussion over selection of Baroda U-23 team playing the C K Naydu Trophy, it was decided to drop a player and replace him with another in a bid to try a new combination. We had already played four matches and had a winning combination,” he said.
Fernandes further said that he reversed his opinion on the player who was to be dropped after seeing his performance. “I insisted that he should be played in the remaining four matches as he had done well. It was a mistake and I wanted to rectify it by including the player back in the team. But, the other selectors didn’t support my decision. Instead, two days ago they collectively decided to drop him,” he added.
“If my opinion doesn’t matter, why should I be a part of the selection committee?” said the miffed selector who said he is contemplating to resign from the post and may convey his decision to the BCA also.
“There has to be a respect for the chairman’s post,” he said, adding that this issue apart, the other selectors would often veto his decisions. “They often pre-decided on several issues and then attend the Ranji selection committee meetings. They treated the chairman like a puppet!” alleged Fernandes who also said that the top management, too, didn’t support him. “Some selectors take leave of absence from selection committee meetings but communicate their views over phone. Why hold meetings then?” he questioned.
Fernandes’s term as the chairman of the committee is almost at its fag-end as the cricketing season is over. The BCA renews selectors’ contracts every year and sources said that a couple of new selectors may be included in the committee for the next season.