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   Since this morning, a lot of people may be wondering... (January 9, 1986)

Since this morning, a lot of people may be wondering how Sunil Gavaskar was dropped by the selectors. I have with me a recording of the proceedings at the selectors meeting. I am giving here the relevant excerpts from it:

Chandu Borde: Gentlemen, let us being by deciding our opening pair of batsmen. Yes Kripal.

Kripal Singh: I would say that there can be no tow opinions among us gentlemen here that Srikkanth should be one of the openers.

Manmohan Sood: I beg to differ, Srikkanth has been given enough chances, mainly through the persuasions of the South Zone selectors, and he has failed more often than succeeded. It is time we looked around for a more reliable opener.

Hanumant Singh: There are a lot of promising openers knocking about in Rajasthan. We could possibly select one of them, instead of Srikkanth, especially as the first match is to be played in Jaipur. The selection of such an opener would at least bring the crowds in, instead of sitting at home and watching live TV.

Borde: I don't think we should worry about the gate money. We have enough to worry about selecting a good opening pair. If you ask me, we should replace Srikkanth by Lalchand Rajput. He deserves another break.

Kripal Singh: I protest and on that issue I am prepared to walk out of this meeting I think the chairman of the committee is trying to impose his choice on the south by replacing Srikkanth with Lalchand Rajput.

Manmohan Sood: If anybody is staging a walk-out, it will be me. Though the North Zone has repeatedly proved that it is the zone that has changed the face of Indian cricket, there is this persistent step-motherly treatment of it by way of opening batsmen. I ask you, and I will ask the entire sporting press, why should Raman Lamba not be made the opening batsman instead of Rajput or Stikkanth!"

Borde: Gentlemen, gentlemen, there is no need for us to lose our tempers. After all, we are selecting a team to play only against Australia. The chances be considered by this committee.

Ambar, Roy: I would like to point out that the choice is not restricted to Srikkanth, Rajput, Lamba dn whatever Central Zone has to offer. These are some good opening batsmen shaping up in the East Zone also.

Borde: We haven't got the whole day, we are still arguing about the opening batsman and we have got the whole team to select. My I suggest that we select both Srikkanth and Lamba for the first two matches, then we may consider the claims of the other zones for the remaining matches.

Kripal Singh: Hear, hear.

Manmohan Sood: Hear, hear.

So, it was only after Chandu Borde came out of the committee room and announced the team to the press and somebody asked about Gavaskar that he realised that they had all forgotten about him. And it was quite correct when he told the press: "Gavaskar has not been omitted as such."

 
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