Home > Features >

BCCI need to follow ECB, CA’s process of healthy communication with media regarding squad selection

Geoff Miller Hugh Morris

In the run-up to the selection of the England side for the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, national selector Geoff Miller (left) described the situation as ‘frantic’ © Getty Images

The habit of briefing the press about selections and explaining the vision helps clear the air around a squad announced ahead of an important series. While England and Australia are among the countries that follow this organised process, Indian selectors (under BCCI) surely have a thing to learn from these countries. Abhijit Banare sheds light on the importance of selectors maintaining a healthy communication with the media.

The England squad to tour Australia for the 2013-14 Ashes was announced on Monday and it elicited a variety of opinions right from the inclusion of youngsters to the exclusion of Graham Onions, Nick Compton and the others in contention. For national selector Geoff Miller though it is yet again a litmus test. Choosing a squad which has the potential to become the World No 1 in Tests is certainly amongst the most responsible jobs in the world. The media scrutiny over the selections was evident.

‘Frantic’ is the word to term in the run-up to selections, says Miller. As he further explains in the video below, the selection team spends hours and hours examining various players and then the probables are trimmed to a team of 17. Apart from announcing the squad they have to speak to each player who made it and who didn’t, communicate with the captains, player managers, coaches. While the process may be more or less the same across other major cricketing nations, the ability to explain and justify the selection helps to clear the air to a great extent.

Not that nasty stuff hasn’t been written by players and media about the selections, but at least there is a clear reasoning from one side. There is much to think about someone like Michael Carberry finding a place ahead of an experienced Compton. But Miller explains the potential of the Hampshire player despite his average One-Day International (ODI) run so far. Carberry’s technical abilities and experience to stay put on the wickets found Down Under prompted his selection. Perhaps much of this little reasoning would’ve been unknown if the selector wasn’t forthcoming. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) are classic examples of good communication in these aspects.

It certainly is a thankless job. When we look at the Indian national selectors, it is equally ‘frantic’ for someone like Sandeep Patil and co to pick and finalise a team in a country where talent is unearthed from unheard of places. And once the squad is announced, the thankless job begins, receiving brickbats for harsh calls from the media and ‘disappointed’, ‘I was expecting to be selected’, other disgruntled quotes from players who didn’t make it. These are things which are bound to happen and certainly, not everyone leaves the place happy. But what’s more damaging is the unwanted speculations that fly around regarding the decisions of the selectors which is nothing but blindly pointing fingers in more than four directions. And much of this can be averted by communicating through a simple press conference.

Apart from logical decisions, the selectors are also credited for their vision for a team and how consistently they are able to stick to that. And on many occasions, this vision overrules the form the player is in.

In India though, selections are like a surprise package which lands up in the form of press releases. Selections are often a closed door affair, and for those dropped: it comes as a puzzle for the youngsters. For the seniors, the media criticism over form excludes them from the team much before selectors do. For example, someone like Ajinkya Rahane may still not be able to make sense where his international career is heading. Everytime he finds himself out of the team, there’s not much he can decipher from despite scoring enough runs.

Recently, The Indian Express had published a story on Patil having a word with Sachin Tendulkar over his merit earning a place in the team post the 200th Test. The front-page story created much news and furore until Patil came out in the open and denied it. This story, coming from a paper which enjoys a formidable track record of credibility leaves the reader with no rocket science to infer that either of the two is incorrect. Moreover, a legend like Tendulkar is ultimately human and is going to retire at some point of time. Being forthcoming about his presence in the team might not always go down well in popularity but Patil certainly has the authority to express it.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hardly enjoys a positive relation with media disclosing its internal affairs, or to put it the other way round — it chooses not to maintain a positive relation, the same is reflected in the way they maintain the other issues as well. Purely for the sake of players, explaining their vision and opinions on various players in contention makes sense. All that can happen at the end of the day is a flurry of questions posed by the media but their decision will remain as it is and no one can force them to backtrack. At least the reason is known to everyone.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock will boost New Zealand’s sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Assad Fudadin replaces Darren Bravo in West Indies Test squad for South Africa tour

George Bailey does not expect Test recall for series against India

Kumar Sangakkara asked to review retirement plans: Reports

Brian Lara: West Indies have to handle issues well

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Brendon McCullum happy with his team’s performance

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Highest chases against New Zealand in Test matches

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan’s biggest fourth innings chases

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Saroj Khan birthday special: Top 5 best choreographed songs of the dance maestro!

Saif Ali Khan’s Love Aaj Kal look better than his Happy Ending look, think fans!

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

International programme in Animal Husbandry

George Bailey does not expect Test recall for series against India

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat among the most unsecured mobile messaging apps out there

World Kabaddi League: Khalsa Warriors and United Singhs set to tussle for inaugural title

Microsoft Lumia 535 likely to launch in India on November 26

How many calories do bananas have?

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Puneet Issar becomes the new captain, Gautam Gulati consoles an upset Dimpy Mahajan!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here