Former captains differ on skipper selection

Published: Friday, June 17, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Two former Test captains had differing views about newly-appointed national cricket coach Greg Chappell's comments on how the India skipper should be selected in future.

While Polly Umrigar supported the view of Chappell, who wants the squad to be chosen first and then the captain picked from among the team members, Chandu Borde was against the idea.

Chappell, in his first press conference at Bangalore on Thursday after taking over as the new coach, said: "Speaking on cricket in general, one has to pick the team first and then the best person to lead the team."

He added that he felt quite strongly in favour of this procedure.

"It's a good idea and the correct procedure to choose the squad members first and then choose the captain from among them," said Umrigar, who led India in the late 1950s.

Borde, however, held a different view.

"It's something new to Indian cricket, but I don't know whether this is a good idea or how this would work out, as during selection committee meetings both the captain and coach are present and their views are given weightage (by the selectors)," Borde said.

"How could you get the captain's views about the players who are to be chosen if he himself has not been chosen in the first place," he queried.

Both the 79-year-old Umrigar, scorer of 12 centuries in 47 Tests, and the 70-year-old Borde were not in favour of the coach having a vote in selection committee meetings.

"It's not the case in even Australian cricket. Anyway the selection committee meetings are attended by the captain and coach, whose views are listened to and considered (by the selectors)," Umrigar pointed out.

Agreeing with his erstwhile teammate's views, the Pune-based Borde said, "I don't feel the necessity for the coach to have a vote. Anyway, his and the captain's views are given good weightage by the selectors."

The two ex-India stalwarts were reacting to Chappell's comments that he is keen to have a say in selection matters and would discuss the issue with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

"I have got an open mind about that; I don't have a particularly firm view," Chappell had said.

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