destination india

Monday, December 12, 2005

quota at the kotla

The present Test series with Sri Lanka seems to be one where records are being set one by one – first it was Sachin’s 35th test century followed by Chaminda Vas’s 300th scalp. Then there was Rahul Dravid, the wall, crossing the 8000 run mark – the third Indian to do so after Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin in less number of outings compared to the little master and the master blaster. It was also good to see yet another successful experiment of the Chappell-Dravid combine – reposing faith in Irfan Pathan by sending him out as an opener, the Indians threw the opposition into a tizzy. The experiment paid rich dividends. It was a surprise element. It is sad that Irfan missed out on a well-deserved century. It boosted his moral and sent out clear signals to other members of the team that this game is not a one-man show but a dedicated effort of a group that can help us regain the lost faith in our abilities.

The BCCI, now, has to put on fresh thinking caps and locate the best of the best to don the caps and discard the quota system. Like quota systems elsewhere, it does more harm than good. Zonal championships help identify deserving candidates; they need to be segregated and groomed for the future. Let us be frank – wherever we have insisted on maintaining a quota system, we have landed up with mediocre or les than mediocre people. That takes its toll in all corners of society. What we finally get straddled with is certainly not what we would have liked to have. It is something that is forced upon us and that we are compelled to swallow.

We are in the twenty first century; today whoever wants to get counted must stand up on his own merit and not rely on crutches for support. Crutches must be discarded if we are to make any sort of impression on the world stage.

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