Agarkar should not have left the Mumbai squad: Sandhu

Ajit Agarkar returned home from Mumbai’s Ranji tie against Orissa after he was not named in the final XI Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Dec 1, 2011

Former Mumbai and India cricketer Balwinder Singh Sandhu on Thursday agreed that Mumbai coach and selector didn t convey Ajit Agarkar s axing in the right way, but also added that the veteran cricketer should not have left Mumbai s squad during the match.

Agarkar, who was disappointed at his axing from Mumbai s Ranji Trophy match against Orissa, returned home on Wednesday.

The right-arm medium pacer was informed a day before the match that he will have to make way for Avishkar Salvi by captain Wasim Jaffeer, coach Sulakshan Kulkarni and selector Ravi Thakkar.

“As an ex-player, my heart bleeds for Mumbai cricket. It is now left poorer on the image front. All this could have been avoided had there been better communication between Ajit, the team management and the selectors,” Sandhu wrote in his column for MiD DAY.

“I write this, not as a member of Cricket Improvement Committee, but a former Mumbai and India player. I ask myself what I would have done if I were in coach Sulakshan Kulkarni’s shoes? Firstly, if players are to be told that they must make room for younger players — which has happened in the case of Ajit — it must be done at the end of the season. So, the player and selectors know what path they are taking,” he added.

The former Indian cricketer said the 39-times Ranji champions, Mumbai, needs a good manager.

“The manager’s role is very vital here. A professional manager has to be appointed right from the start. It is a critical appointment. However, the current trend is to ‘reward’ individuals with a manager’s appointment. There cannot be any monkeying around when it comes to this area,” he said.

Sandhu said Agarkar did no good to the team and himself by leaving the team.

“He believed that his presence would not have helped the dressing room environment. He could well be still seething and hurt. But I am sure down the track, he will realise that it was not a good decision to leave because had he stayed, he would have been very helpful to the other bowlers,” he wrote.