Laxmi Ratan Shukla criticises national selector for dropping him

Laxmi Ratan Shukla who has scored 291 runs in seven Vijay Hazare Trophy matches AFP

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Mar 12, 2012

All-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who played a pivotal role in Bengal’s triumph in the Vijay Hazare final against Mumbai, on Monday took a dig at the national selector from east zone Raja Venkat for having dropped him on disciplinary grounds.

Shukla who has scored 291 runs in seven Vijay Hazare Trophy matches including two centuries along with 11 wickets was overlooked from the East Zone squad for Deodhar Trophy on “disciplinary grounds” by the zonal selection committee headed by Venkat.

“They are talking about indiscipline and I don’t know what they are talking about. To the best of my knowledge, I have never been indisciplined. The problem is that people who select the team haven’t even come to the ground and watched me play,” Shukla said, taking a dig at Venkat.

The reason of indiscipline cited by zonal selection committee was that despite being picked for Duleep Trophy on two occasions, Shukla had pulled out at the last moment.

“On the first occasion, I was injured and on the second occasion, I had a very private ceremony at home which I couldn’t have avoided. I am not accusing anyone but may be Mr Venkat was not present when I played matches in Calcutta,” Shukla told PTI.

Even Bengal captain Sourav Ganguly was a bit surprised when he was asked about Shukla’s exclusion on disciplinary grounds.

“Is it so? That’s very surprising,” he stated.

National selectors Mohinder Amarnath, Narendra Hirwani, Surendra Bhave were present at the Kotla and Palam ground respectively during the knock-out matches of Vijay Hazare.

Even chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth was present during one match to assess Ishant Sharma’s fitness but Venkat has not been seen too often during zonal matches.

When contacted, Venkat sounded defensive.

“I have been getting a lot of calls but I should specify it that it was not his performance that led to his exclusion but disciplinary reasons. We have no problems about his performance and now he has been selected as an additional member of the team,” Venkat said. (PTI)