NEW DELHI: After leading a virtual revolt against the DDCA, star batsman Virender Sehwag on Thursday made it clear that he decided to stay with Delhi after being given a categorical assurance that selection malpractices would be brought to an end.
Sehwag, who created a flutter by threatening to quit the Delhi Ranji team, said it was his ‘moral’ duty to clean up the system being the senior most player of the team.
In an interview, Sehwag said Delhi and District Cricket Association president Arun Jaitley had assured him during his meeting that selectors with “ethics, integrity and spine” will be appointed.
“I am happy to note that Jaitley has stressed on the need to have selectors with ethics, integrity and spine. Following this resolve, I am sure that those on the fringe and aspiring to play for the Delhi can now hope for a fair deal,” Sehwag said.
“I would like to reiterate that I would love to continue to serve Delhi cricket in the improved environment,” he said.
The swashbuckling batsman said being a senior player he felt “morally bound” to set things in order as the malpractices in DDCA were required to be addressed without delay.
“It has been a matter of great pride to be part of the cricketing legacy of the Capital. That’s why, I felt most hurt unfair practices creep in the selection matters and the voices of deserving names were not heard,” Sehwag said.
“As the captain of the Delhi Ranji Trophy team and also as a senior cricketer of the side, I thought I was morally bound to throw light on the dark areas of Delhi cricket.
“Fair selection is what every sportsperson, whether promising or proven, hopes for. Having noticed an unacceptable trend that was setting in selection matters in Delhi, I thought it was time to raise the issue. I am glad it was taken in the spirit in which it was meant,” Sehwag added.
Sehwag also called on selectors not to succumb to pressure and approach higher authorities in case somebody interfered in their job.
“Serious cricketers have, for years, regretted the role played by the members of DDCA Sports Committee in selection matters. This continued interference/pressure in the Sports Committee on the selectors to influence the selection of some undeserving names at the expense of deserving ones must end at once.
“I request the selectors in all age groups to resist pressures. If they are subjected to any pressure, they should immediately bring it to the notice of the DDCA president,” he said.
Sehwag appreciated former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi “for lending solidarity by his presence in the meeting” and teammate Gautam Gambhir for his support in the entire episode.
“I hope this small initiative taken by my colleagues from the Delhi team, particularly Gautam Gambhir who was with me all along in this tirade, will help in putting Delhi cricket back on track. I am sure the measures taken by the DDCA will also help its reputation,” Sehwag said.