Mohali, Jan 25 (PTI) Officials with vested interests, players with myopic views where IPL contract is all what matters, undeserving players using convenient cliques to force themselves into playing XI, it couldn't have gotten worse for Delhi as they take on Uttarakhand in an important Ranji Trophy fixture starting Friday.
With a solitary point from three games with two deflating defeats, the team is staring at relegation, something that would be first in the history of Delhi cricket, if it attains that ignominy.
A team that has presented more bonafide match-winners than any other state over last three decades, the sorry state of affairs will certainly make the ardent fans of Delhi cricket sad.
Run by a powerful group of Directors, none of whom have ever held a bat in their lives, the dubious selections over the seasons have messed it up but this time it has gone to another level.
"Each powerful official wants to get his players in the playing 15. It is not that Delhi team's selections were transparent in the earlier years but then officials would reach a compromise and have 14th and 15th member, who perhaps didn't get selected on merit. But we never compromised on first 13. Here first XI is getting compromised," a senior DDCA official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
One disgruntled parent has already lodged a police diary against multiple DDCA bigwigs, alleging corruption in selection process.
There is a possibility that Khsitiz Sharma, one of the most controversial selections in Delhi cricket, will again be thrust into playing eleven at the behest of powerful people. Many believe Khsitiz at best is a club level cricketer but year after year, he is believed to be blocking the slot of a deserving youngster. Salil Malhotra, a consistent scorer in DDCA league, has been dropped after three innings, one of which was against Jammu and Kashmir, where match started on the fourth day.
There is a talented boy Pranav Pant, who scored 293 for Delhi U-19. Leave aside blooding him young, the boy hasn't been picked even for U-23.
Anuj Rawat, the second best student from Virat Kohli's coach Rajkumar Sharma's stable, is yet to prove his worth after good seven years in first-class cricket.
With veteran Ishant Sharma playing only home games, Shikhar Dhawan intimating that he is not available for domestic season, Rishabh Pant, still some time before he can get going and Navdeep Saini completely losing form, the side coached by Devang Gandhi don't have too many options that they can look at.
Adding insult to injury, the second line of pacers like Harshit Rana, Divij Mehra (in last match) and Mayank Yadav are out for the whole season.
Delhi might go with an entirely new opening pair and time will tell how they stand the test of time.
As of now Delhi's players and support staff would expect not just for a weather to open up in chilly Mohali, but also a bit of luck going their way. PTI KHS KHS SSC SSC