Amarnath has shown courage: Gavaskar

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday said it was ‘incredibly courageous’ of his contemporary Mohinder Amarnath to take on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by revealing that the board chief N Srinivasan overruled the national selectors when they wanted to remove Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the team’s skipper.

Gavaskar, reacting to Amarnath’s sensational disclosure, told a news channel that if someone has the courage of conviction, he has to be admired.

“He is prepared to face the consequences. It is a testimony of his self-belief. It needs to be admired. What Jimmy has spoken is incredibly courageous and, may be, lessons need to be learnt from that,” Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar said getting the team’s approval from the BCCI president was an age-old protocol.

“It’s a protocol, actually. Any team selected does go to the board for approval, not just the captain, even the 14 or 16 selected for a Test or for an overseas tour. That’s the protocol not just in India, but I understand that is the protocol even in Australia and England. The final approval is up to the board, so I don’t think it is out of the ordinary.  

“Even in different committees they come to some sort of a decision. It goes to the Working Committee. From the Working Committee it goes to the full board,” Gavaskar said.

The batting great, however, said that any unanimous decision by the selection committee should be accepted by the board.  “Ideally, of course, if you have a committee to take a call, that committee takes a decision, particularly if it is a unanimous decision then that should be taken on board.”

Asked why have the selection panel when the veto power lies with the president, Gavaskar said: “You need a selection panel as it has people who have played the game. They have the required experience. And if you have that in place, then you have to rely on it.”

Asked whether there was not a conflict of interest when the board president owns an Indian Premier League team and the captain of that team happens to be Dhoni, Gavaskar said: “It is a tough call for anyone in that situation but to think that the president will go against the well being of Indian cricket, is  going a little too far.”

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