Why J&K fared miserably in Vijay Hazare Trophy?

  • Asif MD Hajra
  • Publish Date: Oct 8 2018 3:30AM
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  • Updated Date: Oct 8 2018 3:30AM
Why J&K fared miserably in Vijay Hazare Trophy?File Photo

September 8, 2018 - former skipper J&K Ranji Trophy team and presently a senior selector of J&K Cricket Association resigns. Two days later, JKCA receives another blow as one more member of the selection committee – Vidya Bhaskar – tenders resignation. In the week that follows, the remaining members – Zahoor Bhat and Parvez Qaiser also submit their resignations to the JKCA CEO.

But why? What compelled the selection committee to resign en masse? All quote ‘undue interference’ of Irfan Pathan - player and mentor of J&K cricket team.


And the consequences? J&K team suffer six consecutive losses in the trophy, albeit followed by a win against bottom-of-the-table team Rajasthan.   

Another resignation follows. On October 2, 2018 JKCA’s Cricket Committee member Sham Saroop Kalsotra resigns citing that the members are hardly consulted on cricketing matters.     

The reasons for the mess in the state’s cricket as expressed by Samiullah Beigh – one of the longest serving cricketers of J&K who has represented the state side in first-class cricket for around 15 years, are as under:    



Sami, you having served J&K for 15 long years, our readers would like to know the actual crux of the matter? What is the genesis of the mess in the state cricket? 


The actual crux of it began a few years back when out of nowhere, Mithun Manhas was given a lucrative 3-year contract with absolute authority on team selection and playing for JK Ranji Trophy team. At that time when we had a winning combination going on for a few years, wherein we had defeated Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana like string sides, this move was unwanted.

Rendering the state players at the mercy of an outsider who never played for the state in his prime was insulting to Parvez Rasool, and to me as well. The office bearers despite many pleas from our side, ignored our stature and continued with it for absurd and non-cricketing reasons.

After two years of mess with Mithun, Parvez sort of took over the reigns and went on a streak of revenge and with all humility I may add, the best player of J&K (Parvez Rasool) has gone a bit too far. He is doing more harm to his own good work, of past decade and I have communicated the same to him.



Who took the decision of bringing Irfan Pathan and how do you see him? Can he help JK cricket anyway?


I have not been to JKCA office for one year now, as I have retired from shorter format of the game and I was out of station for Hajj pilgrimage, so I have little information about it.

Regarding Irfan I am not sure about how good he is these days, as couple of years back when we defeated his state team Baroda in Baroda, he was not part of his state team, although Yousuf Pathan and Ambati Rayudu were included in Baroda.  

I believe any out of state coach should be given the job to develop grass-root cricket and work with U-16 and U-19 boys in the off-season rather than hand over selection process and upkeep of senior team to him. This solves many problems with one stroke.



Q. What are the reasons for miserable performance of JK team in Vijay Hazare Trophy?


A. The answer is simple. Team unity is missing. Players are not playing for each other, rather against each other. A lot of chopping and changing after every match has developed uncertainty amongst players. A player who is not certain whether he is going to play next match or not, how on earth is he going to perform? 

The same team (plus myself) defeated giants like Delhi, Haryana and Services in 2015-16 Vijay Hazare trophy. And I don't believe absence of one player (me) can cause such a huge difference. It is more to do with the dressing room atmosphere than lack of talent in the team. The present team, no doubt, is talented.




If you are given a chance to suggest corrective steps, what would be your advice to CEO JKCA, being the senior most cricketer of the state?


I haven't met the CEO yet ever since he assumed chair as he has a very busy schedule. But I do not think there is any shortage of advice to CEO from everyone around. It is just about listening to the right ones.

I strongly believe that we have very good pool of players available, and it is just a matter of selecting the appropriate ones and then using them properly in matches i.e. selection and leadership are the areas to be focused upon.



Away from Vijay Hazare Trophy discussion, what are your future plans?


I retired last year from shorter format only to give youngsters a chance to grow. Ever since I have arrived from hajj pilgrimage, I have been focusing on my fitness. Hopefully, I will be fit for the upcoming Ranji trophy and available for selection.