PUNE: If Farokh Engineer could be described in a word, it would be forthright.
The former India wicketkeeper doesn’t believe in mincing words. And he didn’t hesitate in dubbing the Supreme-Court appointed Committee Of Administrators (COA), who were in charge of the BCCI for more than two-and-a-half years, as ‘honeymooners’. The COA was replaced by Sourav Ganguly’s team at the BCCI.
“It is about time we had a cricketer who ran the board, because the COA, in my opinion, were a complete waste of time,” Engineer, who came to visit Dilip Vengsarkar’s Varroc Vengsarkar Cricket Academy in Pune, told TOI. “They had no idea about cricket. (Diana) Edulji has played a little cricket but you need somebody who has knowledge of Test cricket, international cricket, international matches. The intention was good from the Supreme Court and the Lodha Committee, but the implementation wasn’t done properly. It was a very very wrong choice of people (appointed in the COA).
“I read the other day that each one of them (the COA) has pocketed Rs 3.5 crore. It’s criminal. Plus I believe they got paid thousands and thousands for attending meetings and all, I feel they were on a honeymoon. The honeymoon is over,” said the wicket-keeper, who played 46 Tests for India from 1961 to 1975.
Engineer felt Ganguly as BCCI president will change things for good. “He was a dashing player, a captain who took bold decisions and I hope he does the same thing as board president.”
Engineer, 82, isn’t pleased with the current selection committee either adding, “We have got a Mickey Mouse selection committee.” He said team selection has not been a problem for India since Virat Kohli has a strong say in it.
“Virat Kohli has a major impact (in the process) which is very good. But how are the selectors qualified? Between them, have they played about 10-12 Test matches. I didn’t even know one of the selectors during the World Cup and I asked him ‘who the hell he was’, because he was wearing the India blazer and he said he was one of the selectors. All they were doing was getting Anushka Sharma (Kohli’s wife) cups of tea. I feel people with the stature of Dilip Vengsarkar should be in the selection committee.”
Engineer, who played Ranji Trophy for Mumbai from 1958-59 to 1975-76, felt the selectors didn’t handle keeper Rishabh Pant well. “They shouldn’t have dropped him (from the ODI team). They should have picked him ahead of Dinesh Karthik (for the World Cup) for him to get as much experience with MS Dhoni.”