Sunil Gavaskar thinks Ashish Nehra's selection is not merit based

Sunil Gavaskar thinks Ashish Nehra’s selection is not merit based

In his view, most stadiums in India need to upgrade their standards and make the best use of the funds they have in hand.

Sunil Gavaskar
Former Indian cricketer and commentator Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

An era is set to end in Indian cricket as Ashish Nehra has announced that he will retire from professional cricket on November 1 after the first T20I between India and New Zealand at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi; his home ground after a career span of 18 years. He was a part of the Indian squad for the three-match T20I series against Australia but wasn’t picked for the first two matches while the third was washed out.

It is likely that the left-arm pacer will be picked for the New Zealand series more so now as the team management would want to allow him the opportunity to retire with glory. But former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar thinks selection should be based ‘not on emotions but simply merit’. He questioned how he will find a place in the XI in Delhi when he wasn’t picked for either match in the last series.

“Ashish Nehra announcing his retirement also makes a bit of an issue, for with him not being selected for the first two games, how are the selectors going to pick him in the playing XI in the first T20 match of the new series against New Zealand?” Gavaskar wrote in his column for The Times of India.

Bumrah, Bhuvi cannot be dropped

The legends things though Nehra deserved to play against the Aussies neither of the two Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Jasprit Bumrah can be dropped as they have been the best bowlers for the India in limited-overs cricket.

“Selections are not done on emotion but simply on merit. Nehra deserved to play against the Aussies but wasn’t picked and Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah can’t be dropped, so how will Nehra be given the farewell he deserves? That will be interesting to see,” Nehra added.

Need to upgrade stadiums

Along with that Gavaskar also felt if the Hyderabad Cricket Association had used the funds given to them by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) judicially they could’ve built a facility where a game would’ve been possible. The third T20I in Hyderabad was washed out as the outfield was too damp to play despite no rain on the day of the game.

In his view, most stadiums in India need to upgrade their standards and make the best use of the funds they have in hand.

“The facilities at most stadia are way below acceptable standards and that has to be looked into. The new stadiums are poorly maintained and the spectators get very little for the money they pay to buy a ticket. It is understood that with the revenues from TV rights, even if a single spectator turns up, the associations won’t lose anything by way of BCCI subsidies. But such an attitude will slowly but surely drive spectators away from the sport,” Gavaskar concluded.