Sunil Gavaskar has questioned Ashish Nehra's selection for the latter's final game against New Zealand stating that players should be selected on the basis of merit and not emotions. The Indian legend also added that the BCCI should ensure all grounds are fully covered before an international match.
Nehra was picked in the T20 squad for the Australia series but couldn't make it to the final playing XI. After the second T20, the 38-year-old announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, in a press conference, adding that he would play his final match in Indian colours against New Zealand at his home ground in Delhi. While many would agree that Nehra deserved a chance to bid the game adieu in his home ground, Gavaskar said that it would be interesting to see who would make room for Nehra in the Kotla game.
“Ashish Nehra announcing his retirement also makes a bit of an issue, for with him not being selected for the first two games, how are the selectors going to pick him in the playing XI in the first T20 match of the new series against New Zealand?” Gavaskar wrote in his TOI column.
“Selections are not done on emotion but simply on merit. Nehra deserved to play against the Aussies but wasn’t picked and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah can’t be dropped, so how will Nehra be given the farewell he deserves? That will be interesting to see.”
In the recently concluded tour, Australia had finally shown some fight in the second T20I in Guwahati to level the series 1-1 with an eight-wicket victory after being thrashed in the ODI series. However, the final match of the series in Hyderabad had to be abandoned after constant rains had left the outfield unplayable. While Gavaskar voiced his disappointment on the match being washed out, he was quick to point out the remedies so that such instances are not repeated.
“The Hyderabad game could have been a terrific one, but rains over the last couple of weeks meant that the outfield was never going to recover in time for a game to take place. What needs to be done immediately is for the BCCI to ensure that each international centre arranges for the full ground to be covered,” Gavaskar added.
“The BCCI is very generous with subsidies to every associate and if those funds are not going to be used to better the infrastructure then that associate should not get a game. For far too long the paying spectator has been taken for granted by the centres and it’s about time that was rectified.
“The facilities at most stadia are way below acceptable standards and that has to be looked into. The new stadiums are poorly maintained and the spectators get very little for the money they pay to buy a ticket. It is understood that with the revenues from TV rights, even if a single spectator turns up, the associations won’t lose anything by way of BCCI subsidies. But such an attitude will slowly but surely drive spectators away from the sport.”