Members meddle in selection process, humiliate young players, say cricketers
Srinagar: The three members of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) have not only been allegedly meddling in the selection process but have also been accused of humiliating young cricketers, denting their confidence.
Besides, a completely opaque selection process is further irking the young cricketers, including the ones who have already played for Jammu and Kashmir and have performed brilliantly.
The three-member CAC was formed by the JKCA earlier this year to ensure “smooth” working of the association and bring “transparency” into the system.
On the contrary, neither has there been any transparency in the system nor has the functioning been smooth, the cricketers that Kashmir Reader talked to alleged.
“These CAC members should technically have no say in the selection process but ironically not only are they calling the shots but they are also humiliating young cricketers for apparently no reason at all,” the cricketers told Kashmir Reader.
Recently, a video of former Jammu and Kashmir captain Qayoom Bagav, who is one of the CAC members, went viral on social media where he could be seen being rude to a young cricketer.
“We play cricket but are treated like we are some roadside thugs by the CAC members, whenever they get a chance. Nowhere in the country are cricketers treated like that,” the cricketers said.
Most of the complaints are tumbling out against Bagav, often seen accompanied by an employee of the education department, who brokers land deals in his “spare” time.
“This land broker, who has nothing to do with cricket or JKCA for that matter, is sadly calling shots because of his friendship with certain people in the JKCA,” the cricketers alleged, adding that Bagav keeps humiliating cricketers at every chance he gets.
Kashmir Reader talked to Bagav to get his side of the story. He rubbished the allegations and said he had nothing to do with the selection process, despite being seen calling shots at every trial conducted by the JKCA – including at the Under-25 trials a few days back.
“I have not even been in Srinagar for the last ten days. Why would I humiliate someone while I am not even a part of the selection process,” Bagav said.
Asked about the video that went viral over social media, Bagav said it was nothing and he was only directing the cricketer to do things properly, while he was on the ground to help the trainer.
The cricketers also allege irregularity in the selection process, as some people with great past records are being ignored and novices are being picked up to play.
“Like the recent U-19 team, that was filled with inexperienced cricketers with official patronage. How else would you explain the team losing all four matches against Pondicherry, a newly formed team not even good enough for JK’s Under-12 kids,” a senior cricketer told Kashmir Reader, on condition of anonymity.
The same thing, the cricketers say, was now happening with the ongoing Under-25 selection process where relatives and children of some of the CAC members are due to be picked up in the playing eleven, leaving out the deserving candidates.
This reporter talked to Sunil Sethi, one of the 3 members overlooking the working of JKCA. Sethi said that any cricketer facing such a thing should come forward and talk to him.
“I remain in Srinagar most of the time and I assure you no one’s name is going to be made public or leaked. Please ask the cricketers to come forward and raise their issues. We are here to help,” Sethi told Kashmir Reader.
He acknowledged that the CAC members had no say in the selection process while asserting that the process was free and fair. “Even if someone’s kid gets to play, he should play purely on the basis of merit and not because he is related to an official at the JKCA,” Sethi told Kashmir Reader.
The cricketers, however, do not want to register their complaints for the fear of reprisal and being dropped out for flimsy reasons, “like it has been happening for the past year now,” they said.