Cricketer faults TCA team selection

03Jun 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Cricketer faults TCA team selection

TANZANIA senior cricket team’s mediocre display in this year’s International Cricket Council’s World Cricket League Division 5 has substantially been caused by poor selection of players for the squad, so says an experienced cricketer.

BENSON MWITA

Tanzania finished fifth in the six-team tournament held in Jersey from May 21 to 28, winning twice and conceding four losses to ultimately plunge into relegation to the ICC Division 6.

The player, who opted for anonymity, said several players that made the senior national cricket team for the Jersey tournament hardly deserved a place in the squad, given some of them have been below par in domestic competitions.

He said players including Ashish Kamania and Arun Dagar, who were among the members of the senior national team in the Jersey tournament, did not merit selection as the duo fared dismally in the recent Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA)-organised competitions.

“Kamania, for instance, made the senior national squad without having managed to score 50 runs in any of the domestic tournament’s matches for the whole season. He, as well, didn’t manage any significant performance with the ball,” he said.

“Dagar, as well, didn’t have a great performance at the domestic level. Aga Khan SC’s Jitendra Gatiya and Zafar Khan of General Petroleum Club were better than Dagar this season and the latter would have deserved a place in the senior squad.”

He expressed dismay at TCA’s decision to overlook talented players who would have performed better than several floppy players that made the senior national squad in the WCL Division 5 tournament.

“There was mistake in selection of players for the squad. When you select a team for the 50-over tournament, you need five specialist batsmen, wicket keeper cum batsman and the rest of them should be all-rounders,” he said.

“But the best wicket keeper at the domestic level, Issa Kikasi, was left out of the team. The same could be said of the best bowler, Salum Jumbe, and Athumani Siwa, who is known to be the best straight batman.”

The selection of Dagar, he said, could hardly be justified given that the senior team already had Athumani Kakonzi and skipper Hamisi Abdallah.

“Dagar, Kakozi and Abdallah are identical left arm bowlers, so, why having many left arm spinners in the squad?” he queried.

He said Shaheed Dhanani, who was also part of the senior national squad in the Jersey tournament, was a good performer in the past few years but he was out of action for over two years prior to his selection for the team.

He said Dhanani made his way back to competitive cricket last year and featured in several domestic competitions but he failed to score either 50 runs or 100 runs in the matches he played.

“Dhanani also served as stand in skipper after Abdallah had sustained injury. It was too early to consider him for the role in the senior national team given that he doesn’t even serve in the position at his club in Tanzania,” he said.
“Several other talented domestic cricketers including Zamoyoni Ramadhan, Benson Mwita and Jumanne Mohamed were, as well, left out of the senior national squad.”

“Mohamed, in fact, scored two half centuries and other noticeable performances in the previous season’s Dar es Salaam Regional Cricket Committee (DRCC)’s 50-over tournament.”

In the recently concluded DRCC Twenty20 League, he said, the promising youngster has done extremely well, noting the latter has proved to be a good off spinner, an excellent fielder and batsman.

He said Mohamed can either open or close the innings competently. The youngster, he added, can as well play in the middle of the batting order, where other players have been struggling to handle pace and seam bowling.

“He is a big hitter and loves to face pace deliveries…he has the best pick up around shots and ranges. He could have had a good opportunity to gain experience had he been selected for the senior national squad,” he said.
“Such tournament like the World Cricket League Division 5 is where young players need to be exposed.”

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