Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blind cricket: Discipline-related issue led to Ketan's omission, says selector

Despite playing a vital role in India's three blind World Cup triumphs, Gujarat all-rounder Ketan Patel failed to get the selectors' nod for the forthcoming ODI World Cup to be held in Pakistan and Dubai from January 7, 2018. Patel was a key member of the Indian team when the Ajay Reddy-led side won the T20 World Cup in Bangalore last February. He claimed two for 29 against Pakistan to help his side win the final by nine wickets. Patel is a B-1 category (fully blind) all-rounder from Gujarat, who won man-of-the series awards in the 2015 ODI series in England and in India's triumphant 2014 T20 World Cup held in South Africa.

Ketan Patel
Ketan Patel

'My father was unwell' "Yes, I'm hurt over my omission," Patel told mid-day over the phone from Valsad on Monday. "I had attended selection trials for the Indian team in Pune recently. After informing captain Ajay [Reddy], I returned to Valsad because my father was not well," Patel said. However, the team's chief selector John David said that Patel's case is a discipline-related issue. David is also the secretary of Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). "If discipline is lacking, we don't bother about performance. He [Patel] left the selection trials without informing us. Why should we call him? You will get thousands of Ketan Patels," David said from Bangalore.

Recently, Patel and Mumbai-based Anish Baig, who was also a member of the T20 World Cup-winning team, alleged that they were dropped from their respective state teams which played the Nationals because they refused to pay their establishment 30 per cent of prize money earned at international events.

No Maharashtra players
Though five players from Maharashtra attended the selection trials in Pune, none of them made the 17-member World Cup-bound Indian team. Naresh Tumba from Gujarat and Karnataka's Basappa Vadgol got selected for the first time. David said that the Maharashtra players did not have the performance to back their selection.

The Indian team's preparatory camp will begin in Bangalore from Friday and will leave for Pakistan on January 5. However, the CABI has yet to receive the green signal for the tour. "We have written to the Ministry of home, external affairs and sports for necessary permissions and we are awaiting clearance," said CABI president GK Mahantesh.

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