‘We are not allowed to speak’ – BCCI chief selector Neetu David tight-lipped on Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey’s WC snub

‘We are not allowed to speak’ – BCCI chief selector Neetu David tight-lipped on Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey’s WC snub

Star batter Jemimah Rodrigues and all-rounder Shikha Pandey were the notable absentees.

Neetu David
Neetu David. (Photo by Michael Steele/EMPICS via Getty Images)

The national selectors have come under the scanner after naming India’s 15-player squad for the five-match ODI series against New Zealand and subsequent Women’s World Cup. Star batter Jemimah Rodrigues and all-rounder Shikha Pandey, who have been a vital cog of the national lately, haven’t been included and the same has left the cricket fraternity baffled.

For the unversed, the All-India Women’s Selection Committee picked the squad on Wednesday for the showpiece event. Veteran batter Mithali Raj will lead the last edition’s runner-up team while  Harmanpreet Kaur will serve as her deputy. Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami and Shafali Verma are the other expected faces in the team.

However, Rodrigues and Pandey’s exclusion raised many eyebrows as cricket fraternity couldn’t figure out the logic behind the decision. The lack of clarity on what basis the duo has been left out has opened a room for plenty of debate among the fans and experts. Meanwhile, BCCI women’s chief selector Neetu David refrained from talking about the team selection.

Hemlata Kala refrains talking about the selection

“Right now we are not allowed to speak,” David told UNI after being asked about the controversial selection. It must be noted that BCCI arranges a press conference whenever there’s a squad announcement for such competition. A presser was organized even during the squad announcement of 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup and Hemlata Kala, the then chief selector, led the proceedings.

On being asked about whether the selectors will address the media on the selection, David said: “Right now, I have no idea.”

India squad for 5 ODIs against NZ & ICC Women’s World Cup, 2022: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Renuka Singh Thakur, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav.

Standby Players: Sabbhineni Meghana, Ekta Bisht, Simran Dil Bahadur.

India squad for one-off T20I against New Zealand: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, S. Meghna, Simran Dil Bahadur.