The Chairman of the National Selection Committee Chetan Sharma revealed on Tuesday that players in the Indian men’s national cricket team use injections to speed up their return to international cricket and often call up doctors on their own to get injected.
The chief selector made these shocking revelations during a sting operation with a popular news channel on Tuesday.
“Even if players are 85 per cent fit, they ask us to let them play even though the medical science does not clear them. Players never refuse to play matches and want to play. There is Bumrah (Jasprit Bumrah) who cannot even bend properly right now. There are one or two such major injuries that happen. Otherwise, at 80 per cent of fitness, these players take an injection, come to us and tell us that they are fit to play,” said Sharma.
The chief selector said that players do not take painkillers as one has to take a prescription for it and it comes under anti-doping policies. The players are well aware of the injections that do not come under the anti-doping policies.
“They do not take painkillers. They take injections and nobody gets to know about it. They will have to take prescriptions for painkillers and will get caught in anti-doping. Players are well aware of the injections which do not come under anti-doping,” said Sharma.
The chief selector revealed that players often call up doctors to get injected.
“They are big superstars. Do they really face shortage of doctors? They can have them come to their house after making a phone call and he will give them an injection,” he said.
But Sharma said that he is not aware who are breaking the rules by taking injections since it is difficult to track them all the time.
The chairman of the BCCI’s national selection committee Chetan Sharma landed in a major soup after he disclosed behind-the-scenes talks regarding team selection and also made startling revelations on star batter and former skipper Viral Kohli’s alleged feud with former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to a television channel in a sting operation aired Tuesday.
Sharma claimed that the allegedly strained relationship between Ganguly and Kohli involved “ego issues”.
The chief selector claimed that Kohli had started considering himself “bigger than the Board” and had tried to “hit back” at the former BCCI president as he felt that Ganguly had removed him from ODI captaincy.
“When the player becomes popular, he considers himself to be bigger than the Board and thinks that nobody can touch him. He feels that cricket in India would stop without him. But has that ever happened? Some of our biggest cricketing stars came and went but cricket remained the same. So he (Kohli) tried to hit back at the (former) president at that time. It was a damaging controversy. It was a classic case of a player going against the BCCI. The president represents the BCCI, isn’t it? As to whose fault it was will be judged in time but it was an attack on the BCCI. All our players are discouraged from doing this because the loss will be theirs as everyone will go against them even if the president is at fault. There has to be some respect for the chair,” said Sharma during the sting operation.
He further claimed that ahead of the 2022 India tour of South Africa in January, Kohli brought up the matter of being removed from ODI captaincy on purpose in front of reporters because he felt that Ganguly had played a role in removing him from leadership in the 50-over format. He also accused Kohli of lying in front of the media about being removed from ODI captaincy without any communication, in order to defame Ganguly.
“Virat was going to South Africa as captain (of the Test side). Press conferences should be about team matters and not selection. There was no need to bring up this topic (Virat being removed from ODI captaincy) during the press conference. But he did so intentionally. He felt that he had lost his ODI captaincy because of Ganguly. Ganguly told reporters that he had asked him not to step down (as ODI captain) but Virat claimed before the media that the president never said this to him. This created a major controversy,” Chetan said.
“Ganguly had told him once during a video conference to think it over (stepping down as ODI skipper). But Virat did not pay heed. There were nine people at the conference, including all the selectors. I am not sure if Virat heard Ganguly correctly. Ganguly later claimed that Virat lied to the media about him. As to why he did so, nobody knows. It is his personal matter. It sparked a controversy and matters escalated to the extent where it became an issue of a player against the Board,” Sharma said.
“Rohit Sharma had volunteered (to take over ODI captaincy). It was an ego clash. Virat felt he was removed from captaincy by Ganguly and wanted to teach him a lesson. So he made the statements to the media to defame him but it backfired on him,” Chetan Sharma said.
Chetan Sharma said that the reason why Virat was removed from ODI captaincy was that the board did not want two skippers in two-white ball formats, but rather one for red-ball cricket and one for white-ball cricket.
“Removing someone from the captaincy is the job of selectors. Selectors removed him from the ODI captaincy because we wanted to have one white-ball captain. This is normal procedure and even he (Virat) knows it. When Virat announced that he was giving up the T20I captaincy, the thinking of the selectors was to remove him from the ODI captaincy as well,” said Chetan.
“When the captain is changed, then the board and selectors select the captain together. Virat knows this, so he felt that Ganguly had a big role in his removal from the captaincy. But the thinking of selectors was different as we wanted one captain each for red-ball and white-ball cricket, instead of mixing both,” concluded Chetan.
Following this, Chetan Sharma also elaborated upon the relationship between Virat Kohli and current all-format skipper Rohit Sharma, who have been accused of having a rift with each other previously.
“There is no rift. It’s just media speculation. When there are two big leaders, there is a bit of ego between them. It is like Amitabh Bachchan ji and Dharmendra ji. It is just ego. Whatever does not happen is made to happen by the media,” said Sharma.
The chairman of selectors also revealed that both players have supported each other in their bad times.
“Rohit had supported Virat the most when he was going through a lean run of form. When Rohit had a problem, Virat supported him,” said Chetan.
Both players will be seen in action during the second Test against Australia in Delhi from February 17 onwards. (ANI)