Cricketzine prediction: DDCA selector Sidana goes on strike after conference, opening speakers remain in hotel

On Wednesday, there was a meeting to select the Delhi U-25 team by DDCA’s senior selection committee, and Sidana walked out of the meeting without signing the squad sheet.

The Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) is once again in the news for all wrong reasons as senior and U-25 men’s selector Mayank Sidana staged a walkout from a selection meeting after a fallout with the chairman of selectors Gagan Khoda and secretary Siddharth Sahib Singh.

If that is not enough, Delhi head coach Abhay Sharma’s role in promoting specialist middle-order batter Ayush Badoni to open on his Ranji Trophy debut on a damp track against a domestic doyen like Jaydev Unadkat is also under the scanner.

The 19-strong Delhi squad has two specialist openers — Vaibhav Sharma and Salil Malhotra — who are currently sitting in the team hotel as BCCI rule doesn’t allow more than 15 players to be present in the dressing room.

The senior Delhi team was on the verge of getting bowled out for less than 20 against Saurashtra at Rajkot before managing 133, with Jaydev Unadkat getting 8 /39, including a record first-over hat-trick. Koda, a former national selection chief and former top-flight player Velma’s secretary, countered that Sidana was trying to shove a “suspect candidate” for the U-25 team that will face off against the CK Nayudu Trophy.

On Wednesday, there was a session on the selection of his Delhi U-25 team by the DDCA’s senior selection committee, and Sidana left the session without signing a team sheet.

“Yes, I protested certain selections by chairman Gagan Koda and another selector, Anil Bhardwaj. Even Chief Siddharth Verma ignored my objections. So I left without signing the team sheet. Everything is on camera,” Sidana, who has played 30 games for Punjab, 33 List A games and 22 T20 games, told PTI.

Asked what the stumbling block was, Sidana said: “Mr Koda didn’t watch any of the U-25 friendly matches and the other picker, Bhardwaj, said he had one player in the team, Vikas Solanki. I only want

“My argument was that when he got his chance in the BCCI (U-25) tournament, his performance was not good, but they insisted that the results of the test match be taken into account. Koda, who played his ODI for the India national team in 1998, was upset when asked about Sidana’s allegations.

“I have played enough cricket and am a national selector. I don’t want to embarrass myself by refuting Sidana’s claims. Go to him who doesn’t say a word and ask him why he stopped the meeting,” Coda said.

Coda, however, did not have a convincing answer as to why Badoni was forced to open the season with a difficult turn, sending two professional openers who were not even in the top 15.

“Look, we pick the team and the coach picks the eleven to play. We will not interfere,” said Coda.

When contacted, DDCA Director Verma said there was no wrong choice.

“Mayank Sidana wanted a player named Gagan Vats. Vats, you can see the scoresheet where Solanki scored more goals in friendly matches. It was a real shame it wasn’t there,” said Verma, son of the late former Delhi CM Sahib Singh Verma and younger brother of BJP lawmaker Pravesh Verma. Another allegation leveled against Velma is that he did not allow former Indian pacesetter and U-25 coach Pankaji Singh to physically attend the selection session.

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