Before J&K T20 team was announced, on the instructions of JKCA CEO Syed Ashique Bukhari, open selection trial followed by trial matches were held ...
Before J&K T20 team was announced, on the instructions of JKCA CEO Syed Ashique Bukhari, open selection trial followed by trial matches were held in GGM Science College Jammu.
For the trial matches and to give each and every player of State fair chance to be part of J&K T20 team for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy five teams were formed. The teams played matches against each other. In the trial matches the one player who stood apart from rest of the players was young wicketkeeper batsman from Kashmir, Asif Khan. He not only did impress everyone with his keeping skills but also made scores of 81*, 54*, 7* and 4.
After such a consistent performance and having being already part of J&K Ranji trophy team earlier in the season made him automatic choice for the wicket keeping. Everyone was of the opinion that Asif Khan has cemented his place in JK team.
However, to the utter shock of everyone and those who follow JK cricket closely, in the team selection Asif Khan’s name was missing. More surprising and shocking was the name who took his place in wicketkeeping.
To give Ian Dev Singh another selectors selected made excuse of including Ian in team as wicketkeeping batsman thus robbing a talented youngster like Asif Khan from his place in the T20 team.
If selectors did not wanted to pay any heed to performance of trial matches then the whole process of holding them comes in question. Here the whole process of selection comes in question as reputation has been opted over talent.
Moreover during first two matches played, Ian has struggled behind the stumps and even dropped crucial caught behind chance in second match. He continues to fumble and always looked vulnerable. In second match, he played irresponsible shot by stepping out of crease when team needed him to stick to his defenses.
When JKCA CEO and administrators were appointed by J&K high Court, everyone welcomed the decision with the hope that no bias would ne implied during selection. Howvwer all that still holds with new chief selector seems to be more inclined towards Jammu rather than talent.