New Delhi, Dec 5: In a sudden turn of events, the BCCI on Tuesday climbed down in its standoff with chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, saying it will go into his “legitimate” demands for compensation for not writing columns.
Trying to effect a truce, BCCI president Sharad Pawar said he wanted Vengsarkar, who had demanded relaxation of the stiff guidelines that barred selectors from writing columns or adequate compensation for the ban, to continue in the post. In an unscheduled press meet, he said the working committee will meet on Dec 16 in Mumbai and look into the chief selector’s “legitimate” demands.
Hoping that the miffed chief selector — sulking after asked to comply with the board’s seven-point guideline and stop writing columns — would continue in the post, Pawar said Vengsarkar’s demand for compensation was a “legitimate” one.
Vengsarkar had also set Tuesday as deadline for the BCCI to reply on his demands. Earlier, the board had retorted saying he was free to quit.
Vengsarkar has claimed Rs 40 lakh as compensation. The BCCI had initially rejected it and Pawar too at the press meet said the amount is quite big. But he agreed that the selectors should be paid.
“We don’t pay selectors, like some other countries do. But selectors need to travel a lot and watch a number of matches. Vengsarkar said he would incur a loss of Rs 40 lakh, which is not a small amount. So we have to decide on how to compensate the loss.”
“Actually there is a legal problem and we can’t pay selectors who are our elected office-bearers. Vengsarkar himself is an elected vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, while the case is the same with Sanjay Jagdale (Madhya Pradesh) and Ranjib Biswal (Orissa), who are officebearers with their respective state associations.
“His (Vengsarkar) is a legitimate demand and we want to compensate too, but we can’t violate the law. So we’ve convened a working committee and office-bearers’ meeting on Dec 16 to find a way out,” he said.
Heaping praise on Vengsarkar, he said, “Under him, the selection committee has done an extremely good job, right from the day he assumed office. Apart from Australia, we have won against all opponents. While I compliment the players for the achievement, I think equal credit should go to the selectors.”
“Vengsarkar was one of our finest batsmen and his commitment cannot be questioned. I wanted him to be the chief selector some two years ago, but he then had other responsibilities. I sort of pressured him to take up the job last year and I have full trust in him.”
But Pawar did not buy Vengsarkar’s theory that if Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar could write columns despite being associated with the board, so could he.