Vengsarkar bows to BCCI diktat, stops column

Dilip Vengsarkar bowed to the Cricket Board's diktat and has stopped writing columns for a Marathi daily owned by BCCI chief Sharad Pawar's brother.

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MUMBAI: After being on collision course with the BCCI, chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar seems to have bowed to the Cricket Board's diktat and has stopped writing columns for a Marathi daily owned by BCCI chief Sharad Pawar's brother.
"Vengsarkar has stopped writing his column 'Cover Drive' that used to appear as a preview before a ODI played by India. The last one was scheduled on the day of India's fifth and final ODI against Pakistan at Jaipur (Nov 18) but did not appear," said a source in 'Sakal' newspaper on Tuesday.
Vengsarkar and four other selectors have been banned from writing columns or talking to the media by the BCCI but the chief selector defied the gag order and continued to write his column in 'Sakal'.
When it was brought to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah's notice, the official promptly sent a missive to the former India skipper seeking explanation for defying the order.
Miffed at the board's directive, sent as a seven-point dos and don'ts, Vengsarkar and a few of his colleagues threatened to quit the post.
"We are not servants, we cannot be treated in such a way. If such a gag order continues, some of us may step down", one of the selectors told PTI yesterday on condition of anonymity.
He said Vengsarkar, who has been writing newspaper columns for nearly 15 years, was 'extremely angry' with the gag order and two of his colleagues also shared his views.
"The selectors have been made to look like jokers. While we have been banned from interacting with the media, the BCCI officials have been selectively leaking news. We cannot compromise with our dignity," the selector had said.
While the selectors have taken a tough stand, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla has said it was not aware of any such development while another source informed that the chief selector's request to continue writing columns was being considered.
"The BCCI has not received any communication from the selectors in this regard. We are not aware that they have threatened to quit," Shukla said.
Vengsarkar, who took over as the chairman of the selection committee from Kiran More, has often found himself at the centre of controversy for his statements which ultimately prompted the Board to issue the gag orders.
Among the guidelines, the selectors were not allowed to attend customary press conference to announce the team or interact with media in any way and go to players' dressing room.
Vengsarkar was conspicuous by his absence in a press conference last week to announce the Test team for the Pakistan series.
The selectors have also been asked to watch the players in domestic matches as they would not be sent on the foreign tours as per the new guidelines issued by the BCCI.


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