Hyderabad: This was not what the doctor ordered after Mohammad Azharuddin rode to victory as president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA). There were high expectations with the former Indian captain at the helm of affairs, but the script seems to be going horribly wrong, much to the amusement of the followers of the game. HCA is once again in the news for wrong reasons.
There was also an air of excitement as it was the first elections in the post Lodha Committee reforms, but nothing seems to change. As a club secretary said it is old wine in a new bottle, particularly in the selection matters. There are complaints of players of lesser merit being selected and deserving players being overlooked. But there is some twist in the story. There are reports of selectors picking the 15-member team but at the last minute, one or two members are added without the knowledge of the selection committee.
In a related development, the junior selectors picked 40 under-19 probables and they asked them to report to Uppal Stadium on Wednesday. To the surprise of onlookers and selectors, apart from 40 probables, 20 more turned up reportedly at the behest of secretary Vijayanand leading to the embarrassment to the parents and players. Even two coaches Ghouse Baba and Shiv Shankar were appointed, but in the end the five-man junior selection committee had the final say. The 20 players were asked to practise separately.
Some of the coaches are even being appointed or sent with the team without proper procedure, much to contrary to Lodha Committee reforms which spoke of transparency and fairness.
Time is running out for Azharuddin. He has to rise to the occasion to come up clean, particularly in the selection matters. In fact, he had promised transparency in selection, but that has not been translated in true sense. Sometimes the teams are not sent to the media leading to the confusion and anger among the club secretaries.