The Indian domestic cricket season for 2018-19 has not begun yet, and the competition has already started finding themselves in news. However, most of the news that is actually coming out, is not of a good kind, which is worrying for Indian cricket.
On one hand, we have the North-East teams struggling to keep things under control and successfully bring themselves in for their debut Ranji participation. On the other hand, there is the murky situation at the Hyderabad Cricket Association where complaints related to power misuse and related struggles have become the order of the day.
And now it is the turn of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to hog the spotlight - and again, not in a good way. The latest controversy is on the seemingly-illogical selection of players for the Mumbai team's fitness camp ahead of the pre-season. It was on yesterday, August 8th, that Ajit Agarkar, chief selector, announced the list of 27 probables who would make it into the camp.
The list from Agarkar has come up against protests by the likes of Khodadad Yazdegardi, chief of the Parsee Gymkhana Club, who accused Agarkar and his subordinates of not watching local matches and ignoring some really talented players that way.
Yazdegardi was also in news for recently submitting a petition to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) asking for the removal of the current selection panel of the MCA. The petition included signatures of 30 different people from the Mumbai Cricket administration circles - the same required number for a petition to be deemed effective by the CoA.
Several famous names have now come out in support of Mr. Yazdegardi, out of whom the most prominent is former India cricketer and national selector Dilip Vengsarkar. He was on a personal vacation in Greece, and yet found time to talk to the Times of India on the issue at hand.
"The turn of events is very unfortunate. It's never happened in the history of Mumbai cricket. The unfortunate part is that the selectors had to pick the players that they'd picked before. This is the first time that they had to do it," said the veteran. He went on to lament at the lack of commitment allegedly displayed by the Mumbai selectors, in not watching local matches and taking the players' talents for granted. "If the selectors don't have time to watch local matches, they shouldn't be there," he remarked.
"If the players aren't picked because the selectors don't follow their performances, they'll feel disheartened."
With the domestic season set to begin next month, the Mumbai Cricket Association better sort things out as early as possible, if they want to give the other teams a run for the various titles on offer, just like they have been doing so in the past.