Binny gearing up for new role

Binny gearing up for new role

I was expecting the call

The new selection comittee under San­deep Patil has the onerous task of guiding the Indian team through the transition period, ensuring right players replace a few legends. In that context, the presence of former all-rounder Roger Binny, the selector from South, will be invaluable in discovering talent.

Few other cricketers -- in the new selection panel or in the Indian cricket circuit itself -- can boast of a better knowledge of talent available in the country than Binny. The former India and Karnataka cricketer has been in touch with the Indian domestic cricket for well over a decade and half in various capacities -- coach, selector, administrator and talent scout.

A man who left his imprint in every territory he treaded, Binny, perhaps, shone most brightly as a guide to junior cricketers. It was under Binny’s tutelage India won the under-19 World Cup for the first time in 2000, and that squad featured the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Reeti­nder Singh Sodhi -- cricketers who served Indian senior
team with varying degree of success in the subsequent years.

Indeed, the primary duty of a national selector is to pick senior Indian squad and other fringe teams but the job has an equally significant extension -- spot talent to maintain the supply line to Indian team. It can be safely said that the progress of a national team is directly linked with the vision of the selectors, and Binny has shown in the past that he has a sharp eye for talent. The 1983 World Cup hero too agreed the importance of that part of his job.

“I was expecting the call. There is a set of procedure in selecting the players for the national and other fringe teams. It’s vital to keep an eye on the performances at the domestic level to zero in on new talent. At the end of the day, you’re there to select the best who can perform well for the country,” Binny said.

That passion to see and nourish young cricketers have taken him to various parts of this country and the world. Binny had worked for a considerable duration as a developmental officer with the Asian Cricket Council, and at that time his zest to spread cricket in the Asian and middle-east nations had drawn accolades from all quarters. Binny made his return to the Indian circle, accepting the coaching job of the Bengal Ranji team in the 2009-10 season. Travelling with the Ranji team had given him more opportunities to study the ever-changing landscape of Indian doemstic cricket, keeping him abreast with fresh talent coming through.

“Yes, I was away from the country for some time in the beginning of this decade. But that hasn’t prevented me from being in touch with the Indian domestic cricket. In fact, the job with the ACC was a chance for me to further expand my horizons as a lot of travel was involved in it to look at the budding talent. However, my experience in the Indian domestic cricket is going to be my biggest strength taking up the new job,” he said.