The Delhi and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) complete absence at the annual Ranji Trophy captains’ and coaches’ conclave has annoyed BCCI president N Srinivasan so much that he has expressed his feelings in a letter to DDCA president Arun Jaitley.
Sources said that Srinivasan followed up the letter with an SMS, wondering what could be the compelling reasons that prevented the Delhi captain and coach to abstain from the conclave that he described as “the most important meeting”. This conclave provides the biggest platform for all 27 captains/ coaches to air their views about domestic cricket, particularly Ranji Trophy. DDCA missed this opportunity and, as usual, its officials are now listing all kinds of reasons for the no-show at the March 5 meeting held in Mumbai.
The excuses stretch from bizarre to hilarious.
An official said that the team was in a “ celebratory mood” after winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Visakhapatnam on March 3 and, therefore, the captain and coach could not make it to the meeting. Another was that they wanted to be with their families as soon as possible. Yet another excuse was that the captain ( Rajat Bhatia) and coach ( Vijay Dahiya) couldn’t have reached Mumbai in time from Visakhapatnam, though the meeting was scheduled two days after the final.
But the one that beat all excuses was that there was a “ communication gap” between the BCCI, the DDCA and the team. For the record, the BCCI had announced long ago that conclave would be held on February 28 and it also pays the air tickets etc. to the participants.
Not surprisingly, the proponents of these excuses declined to be quoted, “ considering the way DDCA works”, they pointed out.
When contacted, Srinivasan tried to play down the issue, though he didn’t deny that he had sent a letter and SMS to the DDCA. When told that he has expressed his unhappiness in the letter and the SMS to Jaitley, he told Mail Today : “ How you people think it’s [ DDCA missing the meeting] interesting? Of course, I was present. It’s the most important meeting.” While acknowledging that the BCCI was upset at the turn of events, DDCA sports secretary Sunil Dev admitted that Delhi missed an opportunity. Dev himself has few ideas on the scheduling.
“All teams should travel equally. The Delhi team, for instance, had to travel more than Punjab and Himachal teams. Then, more white balls should be given for practice. At present, the BCCI gives only four white balls for the entire season,” he said.