Transition from one generation to other has to be smooth: selector

September 28th, 2008 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 28 (IANS) Indian cricket is now at the crossroads, with the old warhorses gradually making way for the youngsters. And with an eye to the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent, new national selector Raja Venkat feels the transition has to be smooth.”By the time the next World Cup comes, there will be lot of changes in the side. And this transition has to be smooth. It has to be done properly,” Venkat told IANS here Sunday.

The former Bengal left hand middle order bat is clear that “performance should be the only criterion in choosing the national squad”.

“The records of the players should speak for them,” he said, a day after being appointed a paid senior national selector from the East Zone.

Asked about former skipper Sourav Ganguly’s chances of being drafted into the national squad when the team for the Australia series is decided Wednesday, Venkat replied: “Let’s see. And why only Sourav, the records of all those who have a good record will be considered”.

However, Venkat feels a national selectors job is to pick the best in the country, rather than only East Zone.

“I am now a national selector. And my first priority, along with my colleagues, is to put the best Indian team in place,” he said.

Venkat, who represented Bengal from 1980-93 and scored 2261 runs at an average of 44 runs per innings, says East Zone now has lot of young talent

“The scene is quite bright. There are a lot of youngsters. There is a lot of talent. But the scenario can be improved,” he said

Known for his bitter opposition to Jagmohan Dalmiya, Venkat’s appointment has come at a time when the seasoned cricket administrator has made a return as Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president and is trying to regain a foothold in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Venkat, who had unsuccessfully contested to the post of CAB secretary two years back against Dalmiya’s triumphant panel, sidestepped a query on the issue.

“No comments,” was all he would say.

But already Venkat faces a peculiar situation.

Traditionally, every former Bengal player making it to the national selection panel from the East Zone has been made the chairman of the state selection panel. However, Venkat is an exception.

Without waiting for the BCCI AGM, the CAB appointed former Bengal captain Sambaran Banerjee as its selection committee chief.

But Venkat appeared cool. “The ball is in CAB’s court. I have an open stand. If the CAB feels that it needs me, I am there. If, however, they feel that Raja Venkat does not fit in their scheme of things, I’ll accept that”.

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