From: Neeta Sankholkar <>
Date sent: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 09:22:22 -0800

Bombay bias

It is not surprising to read about the dissent shown by the ex-cricketers /officials from other parts of India-it has always been this way.

I remember a match between Bombay-Hyderabad way back in 1975 played at the Wankhede Stadium- a match which Bombay was on the verge of losing.You should have seen the likes of Raj Singh Dungarpur,who incidently lived just across the stadium,enjoying themselves thoroughly at the prospect of Bombay losing the match.

This has been the attitude towards Bombay cricket for ages now and I am really happy that the likesof Mantri,Wadekar etc. are joining in to show their anger. I wish I was there too.It is a known fact that the lack Bombay cricketers in the Indian team has meant a lack of "attitude" in the national team.I absolutely agree with Sunil Gavaskar(pl. refer to his article in India Today) that the present team barr the likes of Tendulkar,Dravid,Prasad,Kumble and a couple of others lacks exactly that.

But at the same time I disagree that adding Kambli to the team is in any way the solution to the problem.I would never have him in my team.He is a total showman and however much he promises to behave himself I could never get to trust him.

SD/- An ardent Bombay fan and an ex-Bombay women's team captain now sitting in Norway -

Neeta Sankholkar

From: Sadiq Yusuf <>
Date sent: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 07:43:34 -0600

L'Affaire Vinod Kambli

Just a note. Kambli played all the league games in the Ranjis for Bombay. He also played RSA (got 98) in the 3dayer, and then got 87* vs Lancashire. Then, he gave the BCA a certificate saying he had a sprained and swollen ankle and would be missing the first 2 Superleague games (vs Bihar and UP). For some reason, the BCA refused to accept this - they insisted he provide another certificate before the UP game, to prove he was still unfit. He didn't. He was then "dropped" from the UP game, for not "showing up at nets prior to the UP game". But, of course, Kambli had already said earlier that he wouldnt be playing the UP game regardless.

It makes no sense to me. Kambli was in contention for the ODIs to RSA, and he knows it. I doubt he would miss nets at that time, unless he really was hurt. He's been hurt quite a bit this yr and still played - he was very sick vs Baroda, came in to bat at #8 due to it, but still scored a 60 with 5 sixes.

Personally, I think Sardesai in particular (he is now Bombay selector) is not much of a Kambli fan. He was inducted into the BCA selection committee only this yr, in place of Vengsarkar. He was the guy who made the public statement that Kambli had not shown up for nets for the UP game, and so would be dropped from that game. IMHO, it could all have been worked our relatively amicably - heck, maybe Kambli just didnt want to go all the way to Kanpur to play, I dont know :-) Its just unlikely, considering he is now in Hyderabad playing, and had always said he would be.

From: Arnab Guha <>
Date sent: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 11:21:43 -0800

Bombay bias

Ref your writeup about the Bombay lobby being up in arms.

While I fully sympathise with Vinod Kambli, I strongly resent the unprofessional behaviour of ex Bombay cricketers with Ajit Wadekar amongst them.It's a shame that this has been taken to the streets.

Bombay had produced great cricketers and had dominated cricket for a long time but no longer. The power equations have also changed. Many Bombay cricketers earlier like Suru Nayak,Sudhir Nayak to name a few have played Test Cricket just because the captain at that point was from Bombay. Even the great Vengsarkar got umpteen number of chances before redeeming himself.

Look at East Zone. Gopal Bose never got a chance to play Test cricket. Ambar Roy played just 4 Test matches. Anand Shukla never got a chance. Dilip Doshi started playing only after Bedi was gone. Arun Lal was picked and dropped. No one did a Padyatra for them.

There are other innumerable instances. VV Kumar, P Shivalkar,M Amarnath...

I feel these people have other ulterior motives.They should be severely reprimanded for such behaviour. We NRIs feel ashamed at the sorry state of Indian Cricket.

From: Abhijit D Neogi <>
Date sent: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 13:41:26 -0800

Bombay bias

Do you recall the early Test days of Dilip Vengsarkar? How come he was selected match after match when he was so shaky? You will argue that a player with such talent should be given enough opportunity, and I will definitely agree. But then why not for Gopal Bose? He was also very talented... why did we have a different yardstick for Bombay players?

Do you recall how Ravi Shastri was suddenly called in for New Zealand tour? How may people outside Bombay knew his name at that time? What were his records in domestic cricket? There are quite a few other players who are much more proven in domestic cricket who were ignored. Is it not the performance in domestic cricket which is the basis of team selection?

I could give you much more examples of such nature like Suru Nayak etc. You know who suffered for all these... players like Sambaran Banerjee - who now has a chance to turn the table on Bombay players. I definitely will not side with them because this attitude of revenge is always disgraceful, but I must point out that this is human nature.

I hope this regionalism ends - lets select a team for India purely on performance basis. Because no one wins in such cases, and India loses.

From: Saikat Mukherjee <>
Date sent: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 15:05:34 -0800

More on Bombay bias

This is regarding the news item "Bombay lobby up in arms against biased selection"

I would like to say that this type of attitude from our respected cricket personalities is not expected, and definitely deserves condemnation.

Zonal (or State) based selection has been a part of Indian Cricket for a long time. The fact is that the Bombay players have got many undue advantages for long time because of such selection procedures. We can recollect how Ravi Shastri was introduced in the Indian team, players like Sudhir Nayek represented the country, Suru Nayek travelled to England, Ashok Mankad was retained in India team after many poor performances and Dilip Vengsarkar got so many chances in the initial stage. At the same time we also remember how Rajinder Goel could not get his Test Cap, the well known tragedy of Mohinder Amarnath, the fate of Samar Chakraborty (one of the best Pace bowlers in early '70s) and Gopal Bose. In fact, even Sambaran Bannerjee (I am definitely not supporting his recent statement regarding the Bombay players) was competent enough to appear as a member of the Indian team.

My point is, the zonal basis of selection was promoted and retained by the group that wanted to take advantage out of this. Now that the process has boomeranged on them, the Bombay lobby has begun protesting.

Needless to add, the zonal based selection procedure should be abolished as early as possible, but it is also not acceptable that just to counter one mistake, one should make another mistake which will eventually damage Indian cricket. Is this protest of cricketers not similar to the separatist movement, or a movement for undue reservation quotas? We expect our respected cricket personalities to fight for the development of "Indian" Cricket, and make sure that whenever a team is selected, it is an Indian team in the true sense. We should not forget that a person from Bombay or Delhi or Bengal or Madras is first an Indian, and only then anything else.

From: Abhijit Biswas <>
Date sent: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 03:35:42 -0500


I read with interest your article on perceptions of biases in selection of the Indian cricket team.

I wonder where these flag bearers of justice and fairness were when other zones have complained about unfairness and discrimination in the team selection process? People from the east, particularly Calcutta, have been labeled as volatile and overly emotional at the slightest hint of protest against team selection procedures or other forms of injustice. I wonder what the Indian press thinks about the whining of Sardesai et al now? Well, Mr. Sardesai, discrimination surely tastes bitter - doesn't it? And, by the way, I didn't think there was a quota for Bombay on the Indian cricket team - am I mistaken?

From: Ijaz Mohammad <>
Date sent: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 16:00 -0500


I would like to start out by saying that the Australians are the biggest crybabies in cricket today.

Their attitude while playing in South Asia has been that we are the untouchables of some sort and there is none better than the pampered Australians. The Pakistan team took care of that and defeated them in the recent CUB Series Down Under.

I think sledging of any kind should not be allowed in cricket and umpires should reprimand anyone found guilty of sledging or making any rude comments to another player. I have seen Donald point and sledge on the field many a times South Africa seems to be getting a swollen head as well. It is merely a matter of time before the fury of Pakistan runs them over and teaches them a lesson they will never forget.

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