National chairman of selectors MSK Prasad on Tuesday said that he doesn't believe "you know more when you have played more", hitting back at his detractors for constantly demeaning his panel owing to its modest international record.
The chairman of the selection committee spoke on a variety of issues ranging from the jibes on his stature (his Test record is six matches), allegations that the Indian team management bullies him, lack of vision and the 'lame duck' jibe by none other than the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. The five-member panel has a combined experience of 13 Test matches.
The selection committee was questioned on the stature and experience as they have played few matches during their days, but the chief selector hit back stating that if it fits the criteria, it is eligible.
"Let me tell you that all the selection committee members have played for the Indian team in different formats which is the basic criterion to be in the selection committee at the time of our appointments. Apart from international cricket together, we have played 477 first-class games. Together we have watched more than 200 first-class matches during our tenure. Don't you think our experience as players and as selectors after watching those number of games are good enough to pick the right talent?," Prasad told PTI.
Citing examples of players who haven't had much experience in cricket and are currently sitting on high positions in their respective boards, Prasad feels that if the stature doesn't come into the picture, how can it come in the way of the country.
"If one is talking about stature and international experience, Ed Smith, who is the current chairman for Engand and Wales Cricket Board has played only one Test. Trevor Hohns, who is the chairman of Cricket Australia's selection committee for over a decade and a half with a couple of years break in between, has played only seven Tests. And Oh yes, Mark Waugh, who played 128 Test matches and 244 ODIs, worked under Trevor. "
"Legendary Australian player and captain Greg Chappell, who played 87 Test matches and 74 ODIs for his country, is also working under Trevor now.
When stature and international experience doesn't come into picture in those countries, how will it come in the way in our country? The point that I am driving here is that every job has its own demands."
"If vast International experience is the question then our beloved late Sri Raj Singh Dungarpur wouldn't have been the chairman of the senior selection committee as he never played international cricket. Maybe a diamond called Sachin Tendulkar wouldn't have been unearthed at only 16 years."
"If International experience is the case, then many ex-cricketers, who have played lot of first-class matches can never ever dream to become India selectors. How far is it right and justifiable to comment on stature and international experience of the selection committee when the job actually demands different expertise to spot talent?" questioned the chief.
On being asked whether the selection committe has been bullied by coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli, the chief selector stated that every person has their roles and responsibilities cut out and at times there have been differences, however, at the end of the day they look at the larger picture.
"Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli are the coach and captain of our senior team and Rahul Dravid looks after India A team. They have their roles and responsibilities cut out. We as selection committee have our roles and responsibilities."
"Working in tandem and in solidarity with Ravi, Virat and Rahul cannot be taken as being bullied. There were several occasions we had difference of opinions which we may not bring into the public domain. What happens within the four walls has to remain there. At the end of the day, we move on in the larger interest of the Indian team and the country."
"It is a common misconception that people think players who have played more cricket have more knowledge or more power and can bully anybody but it is not the fact. If that is the case then the entire coaching unit, selection committee and all other relevant fields should be filled with only those people who have had vast international careers as players. I don't think this is right," Prasad concluded.
(With PTI Inputs)