The Dinda Surprise

An article on Cricinfo about Sourav Ganguly being dropped from the Rest of India side for the Irani Trophy contains the following words:

Meanwhile, Ashok Dinda, the Bengal medium-pacer, got a surprise call-up to the squad…

Surprise? It ain’t no surprise to me, given the kind of horse trading that happens on zonal considerations. One east zone man, Ganguly, got dropped; compensation was due. And since Ganguly was replaced by Mohammad Kaif, I’d wager that the central zone selector supported the east zone selector on picking Dinda.

This kind of horse-trading happens when it comes to picking the marginal spots in a squad, the four or five players left after the certainties are picked. Dinda bowled well in the IPL, and I hope he makes the most of this chance. But I absolutely hate the zonal system of selection. And I remember what Sharad Pawar, the president of the BCCI, said on the subject a couple of years ago:

If I have to change the zonal system, I have to amend the constitution. And ultimately if I have to amend the constitution, then I have to get support from zonal representatives. (Laughs).

Who would cut the branch he sits on?