Virender Sehwag laments inability of state associatsions to restrict over-aged cricketers
Former India opening batsman Virender Sehwag has recently expressed resentment towards the functioning of state associations in the country. The 37-year old announced his retirement from international cricket last year, and will be solely focussing on domestic cricket leagues. He recently shifted states from Delhi to Haryana, citing in-fighting in the DDCA as the major reason.
Sehwag said, “The biggest problem with Indian cricket is the state associations allowing cricketers over the legal age playing in junior categories. In most states, you have 19-20 year old’s playing in U-16, U-18 categories. It’s not just in Delhi where this is a big problem, all states have it. I won’t take any names, but when I was playing junior cricket myself I remember players who were much older trying to play for national junior category teams. The question is how do they manage to surpass the state association, during the verification process?”
He added, “The best cricketers are not being selected at the junior level, it’s the ones with contacts who are moving up the hierarchy on a consistent basis.”
The veteran opener also spoke about his interests in grooming young talent in Haryana. He said, “I have started a school called Sehwag International school. I always wanted to teach youngsters my style of play, because it’s not a common one. The more the style has exposure, the more to additional variations to the form. However, this will affect other potential cricketing interests.”
On being asked whether he would like to join the administrative side of cricket, he seemed apprehensive. He added, “That is not something I have willingly thought about, but my current role of grooming youngsters will create a conflict of interest. I can be a part of an association, but I cannot be in a governing role such as a selector. I would love to help any cricket association, to develop the sport in India.”
Reinforcing the inefficiency of state association, Sehwag added that fielding overage players has now become an epidemic and needs to be identified immediately.