Srinagar, December 7: As former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina concluded two-day selection trials in Kashmir on Sunday, cricketers have expressed disappointment with how the process unfolded.
They alleged the trials were ‘held hurriedly and without planning’, even though hundreds of cricketers from far-flung areas of Kashmir turned up at the venues of Mattan and Doroo in South Kashmir.
Cricket aspirants from districts of Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Baramulla, etc showed up at the trials, apart from those living in the South Kashmir districts.
For hundreds of cricketers, trials were held for just a few hours with Suresh Raina being assisted by local cricketers Parvez Rasool and Abid Nabi.
However, with large number of cricketers turning up and Raina spending too little time at the venue, it left a sour taste among the cricketers and aspirants of Kashmir, who have now termed this trial as a ‘joke’ and ‘mockery’ in the name of cricket trials.
“The Suresh Raina trials were totally different from the previous such clinics held by another former cricketer Irfan Pathan, who came for trials and spent a lot of time with cricketers and in preparation,” Faisal, a cricketer who took part in both the selection camps, said.
Nonetheless, it is pertinent to mention that Pathan was working under JKCA after being inducted as coach-cum-mentor while as Raina is holding these camps to select players for his cricket academy.
Even the venues of trials have been questioned by one and all as the Sports Council had to rush to make venue ready for the trials.
Soon after Suresh Raina held trials at both the venues of Kashmir, local cricketers showed their anger on social media.
“Only till 2 PM trials were held while as Suresh Raina left early, ” wrote Eidu Wani, an aspirant, on social media.
Another aspirant commented that mostly players from Bijbehara were given chance during trials in Mattan.
“Trials were held only till 2 pm and mostly Bijbehara players were given chance. Once Raina left, the trials were also closed with number of cricketers not given proper chance,” commented Burhan, another aspirant.
Scenes were no different in Jammu as participants said Raina did not spend much time in ground,
“He (Raina) is doing publicity stunt in the name of trials. More than 1000 players attended trials, but he just spent minutes in the ground and then left,” Nikhil Sharma, a Jammu cricketer claimed.
A former J&K cricketer blamed lack of planning and coordination at ground level for trials turning out as a ‘joke’.
“No one knew the process of trial. No one knew proper venues. No one knows future venues of trials. No planning, no criteria, no standard. Suresh Raina trials have turned out as a total joke that played with emotions of our local youth, ” said a former J&K cricketer, wishing anonymity.
“When Irfan Pathan arrived in Kashmir, there was proper plan in action and also he spent a lot of time on ground. On contrary, Suresh Raina came out as guest and left out as guest grabbing a lot of media attention and giving damn for the emotions of hundreds of youth who had came out for trials. Also he had no plan, structure in place,” he said.
Another former cricketer blamed Sports Council’s cricket academy for not helping Suresh Raina much.
“Everyone knows Sports Council cricket academy is a joke with a Education Department Lecturer heading it. If they can’t do anything themselves, at least they should have helped Suresh Raina with it. They could have held initial trials and then Raina left out to see shortlisted ones, ” he said.
“That is what happened with Irfan Pathan. He came and saw shortlisted players and worked with them. While as Suresh Raina came out of nowhere and went nowhere, ” he added.
Sports Council sources also said that they were left without any idea what is happening and what is going to happen.
“We don’t know the proper plan. We were told that trials are going to be held in Mattan and Doroo. We were asked to prepare A field and help Raina in the process. Nothing was discussed and we were only directed, ” said a Sports Council source.
“Itt was an unorganised event, without any plan structure. Hundreds of players turned up leading to chaos. Even Raina couldn’t help and had to leave midway, ” sources added.
KSW tried to reach Raina for comments on the issue via email. As soon as the response arrives, the story will be updated.
Meanwhile, KSW is also recieving hundreds of messages with cricketers asking questions about these trial camps. As there is no clarity and information available, we are unable to give a proper reply.