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Double fault by BCCI


The selectors and action-assessors in India are working at cross-purposes, writes Makarand Waingankar


Former Australian umpire Colin Egar, who no-balled Australian left-arm medium-pacer Ian Meckiff four times in his first over in a Test in 1963, is dead.

The day before Meckiff was no-balled, in a get-together he had a drink with umpire Egar but that didn’t influence Egar’s decision making.

Nor did Egar ask for the Australian Cricket Board’s support before no-balling Meckiff.

The Indian umpires however claim not getting the Board’s support if a bowler is no-balled for chucking.

Meckiff went out of cricket when there was no technology to support him. Now that technology is advanced and a bowler is nailed for chucking in the evaluation process, here in India the selectors and action-assessors are working at cross-purposes.

Gujarat off-spinner Mohnish Parmar has been in the list of players who have suspect action and this was endorsed by none other than the BCCI’s Director of Umpires S. Venkatraghavan and his colleagues.

Despite all this, Parmar was not only selected to represent the country on the tour of Israel but also played against the Australia ‘A’ team at Bangalore.

While analysing 9,000 appeals in 120 Ranji Trophy matches in addition to 60 under-19 matches, it was observed by the committee that there were some confirmed chuckers and the respective State associations were advised not to select them until such time they underwent rectification.

Why then has Parmar been picked for the India ‘A’ team? Venkatraghavan and his colleagues sat for 10 hours a day for two weeks using all the angles in the software to identify faults in umpiring and bowlers’ actions, and the national selectors simply ignored the process while picking Parmar.

Warning

Last year in one of the Ranji Trophy matches, one umpire who was in the ICC panel warned the Gujarat team that he would no-ball Parmar if he bowled. Parmar was dropped.

With this history, the Board ought to have closed the chapter, but the selectors seem to be keen on getting him in the side to win matches.

If that’s the purpose, Parmar could be picked for the Indian team in Tests as he is more dangerous than Harbhajan Singh with his vicious d oosra.

When Parmar played in the under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, Match Referee Chris Broad cautioned the Indian team management about Parmar’s suspect action.

Though Parmar was dropped, he continued to torment batsmen in the domestic tournaments. Now that Venkatraghavan’s committee has found Parmar’s action highly objectionable, he shouldn’t be allowed to play till he re-models his action.

Not only are the selectors blocking a place for a genuine off-spinner, but they are not even clear about their plans.

So long as an Indian player’s action is not criticised internationally, faults can be continued to be swept under the carpet.

But Parmar’s action is sure to attract major controversy.

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