The senior selection committee of DDCA today dropped Bihar politician Pappu Yadav's son Sarthak Ranjan and brought back seasoned Unmukt Chand for the knock- out phase of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, starting January 21 in Kolkata.
Ranjan's selection for the zonal leg of Mushtaq Ali Trophy created huge controversy as the Atul Wassan-led committee ducked for cover having selected him without seeing him in a single competitive match during the season.
Ranjan, in fact, got scores of 31 off 20 balls and 25 off 17 against two of the weakest sides Jammu and Kashmir and Services respectively. Interestingly in one match, Gambhir didn't come out to open while in the other he didn't play in the eleven.
However having copped flak, the selection committee had an alibi of dropping Ranjan as Delhi senior team's matches clashed with Delhi U-23 squad's one day league matches in Himachal Pradesh.
"Sarthak, Himmat Singh and Tejas Baroka were put in the U-23 squad knowing that they are not an automatic selection in the senior team's playing XI.
Also, Unmukt, Varun Sood and Milind Kumar are senior players, who can beef up the senior team," a senior DDCA said.
Many in DDCA alleged that the selectors got an escape route in U-23 with regards to Ranjan once the purpose of him being a part of IPL auction was served.
"He was strategically played against two of the worst teams in the competition -- J&K and Services. Now that he has played two games, he is eligible for IPL auctions," a DDCA official said.
What was more baffling was Wassan going on social media about Chand's non-performance in past 30 matches when twitteratti reminded him about the former India U-19 World Cup-winning captain's performances in white ball cricket.
Squad: Pradeep Sangwan (Captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant (wk), Nitish Rana, Dhruv Shorey, Unmukt Chand, Milind Kumar, Lalit Yadav, Pawan Negi, Varun Sood, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Subodh Bhati, Vikas Tokas, Khistiz Sharma.