Selection into the team is not always on merit

Virender Sehwag Jat

Virender Sehwag was selected on the insistence of Madan Lal even though did not score big in Ranji Trophy at No 7.

You can call a spade a spade, because a spade is a spade is a spade.

But then in this era of being politically correct and everything else incorrect legally and morally, that can assume significance.

Mickey Arthur, the coach of  the hard-nosed Australian team, penalised four players by suspending them from the third Test against India. Right or wrong, too harsh or going overboard is a subjective call that can be discussed for ages but the fact of the matter is that Arthur came across as someone willing to do that extra mile on his homework even if his wards did not.

That is an utmost professional example on … professionalism.

And then we had our own cricket board official, former BCCI general secretary Jaywant Lele.

The dimunitive, roly-poly Lele became notoriously famous when he said matter-of-fact that India will lose to Australia ahead of their departure Down Under in 1999-2000 and since has always opened a can of worms whenever he has spoke.

Pertinently he has never lied or exaggerated nor has been countered. So when he spoke of how Virender Sehwag got his breakthrough in the Indian team, there is no doubting the authenticity of the story which implied  that Sehwag would not have perhaps been where he is, had not a few strings pulled in the selection committee room.

You can call it a corrupt and unprofessional practice to trade favours when it came to matters of selecting those who represent the country. Or you could colour it as a genius bit of talent scouting that was rewarded by chance.

Sehwag did go on to become a gem for Indian cricket. Which brings us back to the matter of professionalism and at what cost?

To put it in an analogy: If Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Question is, will you use tap water and just pour it in a glass or use bottled mineral water to ensure it is ultra-safe for drinking, package it in a nice bottle and throw in the calorie intake count as extra show of professionalism?

What say?

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