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Arjun Tendulkar - Pranav Dhanawade U-16 West Zone side Selection: What is the controversy all about?

Social media exploded when Arjun Tendulkar was selected in U-16 West zone squad, supposedly over Pranav Dhanawade.

Arjun Tendulkar and Pranav Dhanawade
Arjun Tendulkar (left) and Pranav Dhanawade (right)

Social media recently erupted when Arjun Tendulkar was selected in the Under-16 West Zone squad, supposedly over Pranav Dhanawade. The former is a member of Mumbai’s under-16 team and the latter stormed the cricketing world earlier this year with his 1000-run knock in a local game.

The news caused uproar across various social media sites as people constantly questioned the identity of these two young starlet’s fathers. Pranav is a son of an auto driver where Arjun is the son of Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. Many believed that Arjun’s inclusion in the squad was simply because his father was a well-known cricketer. 

However, very few people checked the facts about Arjun’s selection before turning crusaders for Pranav. The batsman to hold the record for scoring the highest number of runs in an innings was not selected simply because he was not eligible.

Selection procedure stops Dhanawade

According to the selection procedure, the candidate needs to play for the Mumbai in order to be considered for selection in the zonal side. Unfortunately, Dhanawade, who recently turned 16, played his record-breaking innings after the Mumbai Under-16 side was picked and thus he doesn’t have a Mumbai cap yet.

Pranav's father Prashant Dhanawade said, "The selection for Mumbai's U-16 team happened before Pranav's record. They had also played a few matches. So since Pranav didn't feature for the Mumbai U-16 team, he cannot be a part of the West zone side, that's the procedure."

He also clarified that his son will complete his zonal matches before moving to the Under-19 category. He said, "Arjun and Pranav are good friends, they speak regularly with each other. Pranav too has now moved under the U-19 category, but since the selection was made when he was under the age of sixteen, he will complete his zonal matches before moving to the U-19 category, as per the BCCI rule."

Pranav’s coach Mubin Sheikh also gave a frank and detailed assessment of his student by saying, "Pranav still has time. Maybe another two years to even make it to the U-19 team. We don't need to pressurise him. Just let him enjoy the game."

Sheikh also said that both Arjun and Pranav should be allowed to play freely.  He said, "They are kids and they should be allowed to play freely. Let them prove themselves on the field."  

This recent media turbulence will surely add more pressure on Arjun to perform. But does the 16-year-old all-rounder need any more pressure? He is the son of Sachin Tendulkar, that in itself puts a lot of focus on every move he makes on the pitch.    

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