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'Never seen any discrimination in selection for the Indian team'

By Harish Kotian
December 28, 2016 17:42 IST
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'The players who performed were selected.'

Vinod Kambli

IMAGE: Vinod Kambli celebrates a century for the Mumbai Cricket Association President's XI against England XI in a tour game at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, November 18, 2001. Photograph: Tom Shaw/AllSport

Ajit Wadekar, the former India captain and one-time chairman of the selectors, has rubbished the allegation that there is caste discrimination in the selection of players for the Indian team.

Udit Raj, a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Delhi, claimed that Vinod Kambli's Dalit background was responsible for his hit and miss international career.

The Mumbai left-hander played only 17 Tests despite hitting two consecutive double hundreds in his third and fourth Test as he finished with an impressive average of 54.

'On discussion with @vinodkambli349 its confirmed that there is discrimination in selection process in @BCCI @ianuragthakur @ManojTiwariMP,' Udit Raj tweeted on Wednesday.

'Vinod Kambli you should not be shy of accepting that you are a Dalit and that was the reason of your exclusion from cricket,' Udit Raj added.

Kambli, who also played 104 ODIs for India from 1991 to 2000, also slammed Udit Raj's claims.

'Mr Raj, I don't support any of your statements. Hence, i request you to refrain from using my name!!!' Kambli tweeted.

WWadekar, chairman of the selectors from 1998 to 1999, said the Board of Control for Cricket in India has followed the formula of rewarding players who perform in domestic cricket with berths in the national teams.

"I have never seen any discrimination in the selection of players for the Indian team. The players who performed were selected," Wadekar told's Harish Kotian.

While schoolmates Sachin Tendulkar and Kambli were equally talented, Wadekar felt the latter was hampered by injuries through his career.

"It happens. Sachin was destined for great things," Wadekar, a Mumbaikar like Kambli and Tendulkar, said.

"Vinod was equally good, but somehow he could not (achieve his full potential)."

"Basically, it was because of injuries. You got to look after yourself properly. Sachin was completely devoted to cricket, Vinod was the same, but you got to continue it (throughout your career)," he added.

Asked if Kambli didn't push himself enough, Wadekar replied: "Yes, right."

Participating in a television reality show in 2009, Kambli admitted that he was a victim of discrimination in selection.

'I always felt discriminated because of my caste and colour by the cricket board, he was reported as saying on the television show.

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Harish Kotian /