In recent developments regarding the ‘cups of tea’ comment by Farokh Engineer, the former Indian wicket-keeper has backtracked on his remarks which drew flak from Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma and India’s chief of selectors MSK Prasad.
“I just said it in a jest and it’s being made a mountain out of a molehill. Poor Anushka has been dragged into it, she is a lovely girl. Virat Kohli is a brilliant captain and coach Ravi Shastri is extremely good. The entire matter is being blown up unnecessarily,” Engineer clarified on Republic TV.
Earlier speaking to a newspaper on Thursday, the 82-year-old Engineer, who played 46 Tests for India had ridiculed the credentials of India’s five-member selection panel, led by MSK Prasad and comprising Sarandeep Singh and Jatin Paranjpe, Gagan Khoda and Devang Gandhi.
“We have got a Mickey Mouse selection committee. Virat Kohli has a major impact (in the process) which is very good. But how are the selectors qualified?”
“All they were doing was getting Anushka Sharma (Kohli’s wife) cups of tea. I feel people with the stature of Dilip Vengsarkar should be in the selection committee,” Farokh Engineer had also claimed.
Responding to the claims made by Farokh Engineer, Anushka wrote in a post on her social media accounts.
“The latest version of these ill intended lies is that I was being served tea by selectors at matches during the World Cup! I came to one game during the World Cup and sat in the family box and not the selectors box as reported but when has the truth mattered when it’s about convenience!”
“If you want to have a comment on the selection committee and their qualifications please do so as it’s your opinion but don’t drag my name into it to substantiate your claim or sensationalise your opinion. I refuse to allow anyone from using my name in such conversations.”
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) October 31, 2019
Nonetheless with Farokh Engineer taking on damage control, his comments have surely raised questions on the prevailing culture among the selectors of the Indian cricket team. Farokh’s allegation of Indian selector serving chai to Anushka will certainly have far reaching impact ,considering the critical position of selectors in team formation. While selectors have an important responsibility to form the Indian team, lack lustre attitude of selectors has disadvantaged India on a number of occasions, the most recent of which is surely the 2019 ICC cricket World cup.
While the team had steered through the tournament heavily dependent on the top order and the bowling attack, the deficiencies in the middle order were clearly evident and the management fell short of streamlining that critical issue which ultimately cost India in the knock out match against New Zealand. Despite several players performing at their optimum levels, cohesive team performance was has also missing. Poor selection, streamlining the middle order and improper execution at critical no. 4 emerged as major roadblocks towards progress.
Moreover if the comments made by Farokh Engineer regarding selectors serving tea to Anushka Sharma are true, serious reforms are surely mandated. A person wearing the Indian cricket blazer should certainly respect the ethos of the Indian cricket which is followed religiously in India.