After J&K suffered crushing Ranji trophy defeat against Hyderabad last week questions are being raised over the inclusion of Mumbai ‘discard’ Harmeet Singh in the JK team during current Ranji trophy season.
Sidelining local talent, J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) this year had included three non-state players in the squad. Mithun Manhas, who acted as coach cum captain, after couple of dismal performances he opted out of playing eleven. However, Harmeet Singh and Puneet Bisht the other two players continued to be a part of the squad. Both the players have failed to deliver for the team and particularly it is Harmeet Singh whose inclusion in the squad has evoked criticism from cricket followers and experts in the state. Though Puneet gave couple of decent performances but overall he is also a failure that puts question mark on his inclusion as well.
In the three matches played for J&K this season, Harmeet has taken only three wickets in six innings. Picked up as frontline bowler he has miserably failed to do justice with his inclusion. It is not as such that he is a failure only for J&K this season, but the reality is that he was not even considered for his home team Mumbai. His record in domestic cricket is not that great that would have made him a non-state inclusion in JK team. In his 14 first class matches he has picked 46 wickets while as in his last seven matches he has picked only 10 wickets. That sums up his story why he was not considered for inclusion in Mumbai team.
The fact is that J&K has got some of the best talent in reserves and couple of them were made to sit on the bench. JKCA this season did not include Muhammad Muddasar, Mehjoor Sofi, Abid Nabi, Waseem Raza, among others in bowling department while as Umar Nazir and Zahoor Sofi have been sitting on bench. In wicket keeping Obaid Haroon is considered best in the state. While Harmeet is paying as bowler, Puneet Bisht has been included in place of Obaid Haroon which according to experts is injustice.
“Mumbai Ranji discard is enjoying royal treatment for what is not even a mediocre performance. State’s own talent left to rot. Meanwhile, JKCA Ranji team loss to Hyderabad by 287 runs has proved to be yet another setback.
Only couple of years ago, J&K Cricket was being considered to be one of the emerging challenges in domestic circles and today the same challenge has nosedived like a failed jet. People enjoying the power are hardly bothered. For them even wreckage is going to fetch fortunes,” wrote Mubashir Hassan, BCCI qualified Coach on his facebook page.
A sports journalist, Waheed Mirza while commenting on Mubashir’s post wrote, “Controversies, chaos, selection dramas have become JKCA’s currency of (un)popularity! Cricket has taken a backseat. Giving Manhas coach cum captaincy band was a huge mistake which undid all the good work that Parvez and company had done in previous years. Wonder why senior players aren’t making any cry over this disaster!”.
Former selector Nisar Ahmad commented, “Coach is experienced and he is looking for weak points of local talent. Till then all discarded players will enjoy royal treatment”.
Another former cricketer from Jammu Ashwani Gupta commented, “Senior players are going to have a say if Lodha committee recommendations are implemented. Otherwise the voice of chamchas only will prevail.” (Source Greater Kashmir)