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Rediff.com  » Sports » Are India's selectors biased?

Are India's selectors biased?

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August 02, 2006 13:48 IST
The selection of the Indian cricket team has always been a controversial issue in this country.

Many Indians suspect factors other than ability and talent often overwhelm the selectors as they choose the Indian side.

In his new book, Indian Summers, former Indian coach John Wright has revealed what many Indian cricket fans suspect -- that zonal bias sometimes dominates the selection process.

To the handful of Indians who may be unware, the selection committee consists of five selectors, each representing a zone: Central, East, North, South and West. The captain and coach attend selection committee meetings but do not have a say in the final selection.

Wright writes that selectors at times tried to push players from their respective regions into the Indian team, because the selectors were under pressure to retain their posts.

'My peeve with the selection process is that I have never liked the system,' Wright told a television interview. 'The coach and captain participate in selection meetings but have no vote.'

Wright's comments provoked expected reactions from former selectors, some of whom have labelled him a 'foreign mercenary'.

On Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India expectedly dismissed Wright's comments without probing them further, simply saying that all selection decisions are taken by a committee.

The former New Zealand captain, India's coach for almost five years until April 2005, didn't find support from current players either. Vice-captain Virender Sehwag rejected Wright's claims and insisted that talent is the most important criteria for selection.

Do you agree that India's selection committee is affected by regional bias? Or is John Wright using the issue to promote his book?

Tell us!

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