One of the greatest matchwinners for India, Harbhajan Singh has never minced his words while criticizing the state of affairs in Indian cricket. Recently, in an interview with noted sports journalist Boria Majumdar, Bhajji expressed his ire over BCCI. He called the organization to have been biased in their times. He questioned why the 2011 WC-winning squad members never got another opportunity to play together after such a historic triumph.
Was that team good enough just to win the 2011 World Cup?
While speaking on the show ‘Backstage with Boria ’, the Turbanotor accused the BCCI officials to have endorsed favoritism by axing veteran cricketers. This he feels, eventually led to sabotaging their careers. Several star players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Harbhajan Singh himself were dropped from the Indian Team soon after the 2011 WC. Yuvraj Singh, the Player of The Tournament of 2011 WC however made a couple of comebacks thereafter but like most of the remaining players, they could not play another WC post-2011.
“You also know what those officials were doing, what was happening in Indian cricket at that time and which section of people were playing, and how others were being ignored. If we were good enough to win the World Cup in 2011, why didn’t we play even a single match together after that? Was that team good enough just to win the World Cup and became worse after that?”,
By 2012, the Indian cricket team had transitioned to a younger side after several senior players were sidelined. In 2013, MS Dhoni-led the team to victory in ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales. The accomplishment made Dhoni the only captain to have all the mega ICC events in the history of the game. In 2015, India remained unbeaten in Group Stages of the ODI WC but faltered in the semi-finals against hosts Australia.
It’s a sad story of Indian cricket , feels Bhajji
Bhajji made the sensational remark on the BCCI to have treated champion cricketers as “use and throw”. Describing the episode to be a sad story of Indian cricket, the off-spin maestro denounced the policy of BCCI of being partial to certain specific players. Over the past few years, several cricketers like Irfan Pathan, Gautam Gambhir, and Yuvraj Singh have expressed similar views on the BCCI for their treatment of players.
“Were 31-year-old Harbhajan Singh, 30-year-old Yuvraj Singh, 32-year-old Virender Sehwag, 29-year-old Gautam Gambhir who played in 2011, not good enough to play in the World Cup team of 2015? Why were they removed from the team one by one? Why were they treated like ‘Use and Throw’? It’s a sad story of Indian cricket. I don’t know what’s happening now but till 2011 a lot of people helped me, a lot of them pulled my leg. But after 2012 they pulled my leg to throw me out completely”,
In a country where cricket is a religion, cricketers deserve the respect for their contribution to sports. It is important for us, to support players irrespective of their sport and stand for their cause. Furthermore, organizations like BCCI must understand that perspicuity in team selection and ideas on the future need to be discussed so that players can get the clarity of thought and not feel belittled.
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