After another disappointing outing in Ranji trophy tournament match, in which J&K lost to Himachal Pradesh by five wickets at Ranchi in Bihar, stakeholders have questioned the below par performance of non-local players in the JK team.
J&K Cricket Association led by its President Moulvi Imran Reza Ansari had roped in Delhi discard Mithun Manhas on big contract to lead J&K in Ranji trophy. Though the idea was ridiculed by many but JKCA persisted with the decision kept him in the team and even went ahead with same idea this season. Manhas this year roped in two more non-local players in wicket keeping batsman Puneet Bist and bowler Harmeet Singh. It was despite the fact that there were many local talented players who were left out of the team. However, JKCA persisted with the decision and went ahead with the team having three non-local players.
In the four matches played this season Manhas has only scored, 74 runs with scores of 18, 28, 4, 7, 5, 0 and 12. Bist has scored total 305 runs in five matches with scores of 2, 86, 2, 40, 87, 15, 20, 0, 12, 41. Harmeet in the only match he played took only one wicket and scored four runs in two innings.
The three non-local players were included in the team despite having some of the talented players like Ahmad Omar Banday, Owais Shah, Obaid Haroon, Mudassar, Mehjoor, Sameer Ali, Abid Nabi and others available for selection.
After playing five matches this season, J&K is sitting at ninth place in points table of Group-C with only 10 points.
“It is irony that when J&K has got talented players like Banday, Shah, Haroon and Abid sitting at home, while selectors and JKCA have opted for non-local players. Manhas is Delhi discard after having giving prime of his career to that side. Whatever he is earning from JK is bonus for him,” said a former selector wishing non to be named.
“JKCA roped in non-Local players to boost the performance of our State team. However, the players have failed to deliver and it is our own local boys who have performed brilliantly. Isn’t it better to stick with our own players. Better to go down without youngsters then with old horses like Manhas,” he added.
Another former player said that he is not against roping in non-local players but they should be at least be worth it.
“You are allowed to rope in non-local players in Ranji side. However, JKCA has roped in below par players. It would have been better to rope in only one top notch player than three if JKCA is serious about development,” he said.
Selectors after going through the performance of these non-local players are also considering a move to drop them in the remaining matches.
“We are keeping close eye on their performances and chances are that we may opt for our own players in the upcoming matches. Manhas is injured and is likely to miss rest of the season. Among local players Owais Shah and others can also be given a chance,” said Ranji trophy selector Zahoor Bhat.
“We tried to select best available squad and if that would have clicked then everyone would have praised us. It happens with every selection and we can’t satisfy everyone,” he added. (Courtesy Greater Kashmir)