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'Internal reason' stopped Dhoni's sacking

New Delhi:, Dec 11, 2012 (PTI) 23:15 IST

Amarnath says selectors were ready to remove the skipper

 Former cricketers Mohinder Amarnath and Dilip Vengsarkar at a show in Pune on Monday. PTI Photo
Former national selector Mohinder Amarnath created a flutter on Tuesday by admitting that “certain internal reason” stopped the selection committee from replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Indian captain after eight successive Test defeats in England and Australia.

“Definitely, there were discussions to replace Dhoni and people were agreeing to do so but for some internal reason, it didn’t happen. I will not like to divulge what were the reasons. But when the time is right, I will let the people of this country know about the reasons,” Amarnath, the hero of India’s 1983 World Cup victory, said.

In a roundabout manner, Amarnath also admitted that there were external pressures on the selection committee when the topic of Dhoni’s removal was broached. “In Indian politics and cricket, it’s always the same. There are people who are controlling the game and other people are scared to take a stand,” he told a TV channel.

“I believe that Dhoni should be removed as captain from the Tests. He hasn’t set the Test stage on fire. A captain’s place in the team should be secure and I don’t see his place secured in the side. He doesn’t have the technique for Test cricket,” Amarnath said.

It was widely believed that the veteran of 69 Tests and 74 ODIs, who was in line to become the chairman of selectors, was removed at the behest of BCCI president N Srinivasan as he had a fall-out on Dhoni issue.

To a question whether someone showed him the constitution to overrule the decision of selection committee, he smiled and replied, “I would neither agree nor deny this.”

“But I don’t think that any selector is aware about the constitution. I am a person who doesn’t believe in being controlled. I love to do my work freely. I don’t think there should be interference in selector’s job,” stated Amarnath.

Amarnath also believed that selectors need to speak to Sachin Tendulkar. “Look age has everything to do in life. Even players like Javed Miandad, Brian Lara found it difficult once they crossed mid-30’s. So selectors should sit and speak with Sachin.”

Amarnath was critical of Dhoni at a promotional event in Pune, accusing the Indian captain him of blocking entry for other deserving wicket-keepers.

“Who is Dhoni to say that I want to stay there (in the team) and take this challenge (of captaining the side). What has he done?” he asked.

Dhoni had refused to step down from captaincy despite the team’s humiliating loss to England in Kolkata, insisting that he doesn’t want to run away from the challenge.

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