“To put it bluntly, Bahutule has been unethical in his approach,” was the response from Dilip Vengsarkar to former Mumbai legspinner Sairaj Bahutule’s decision to throw up his position with the U-23 squad and take up the offer from Saurav Ganguly to coach the Bengal Ranji side.
Vengsarkar is currently an MCA vice-president.
The Colonel added:
“That he would do something like this behind our back is unimaginable. If he wanted to coach a Ranji team, why did he leave Vidarbha and then Kerala, or was he asked to leave? If he is getting a job to coach a Ranji side, then would he leave the same team halfway through if he is offered to coach say Bangladesh or Zimbabwe? The whole episode has shown him in extremely poor light.”
The former India chief selector may be right to show his displeasure at the sudden turn of events. And can rightly voice his disappointment.
However, to term Bahutule’s move ‘unethical‘ is to stretch a point.
Bahutule has every right to decide whether to stay or leave based on his assessment of the opportunities afforded him in his current position or elsewhere.
Similarly, an employer is well within his right to terminate an employee for a variety of reasons ranging from non-performance, indiscipline to closure of business. Wrongful dismissal can always be challenged but that’s another story for the courts.
Can an employee then not term his employer ‘unethical’?
For Vengsarkar to cavil at Bahutule’s abrupt departure is to ignore the dynamics of an employer-employee relationship.
The right to work is secured under Article 41 of the Indian constitution just after the Right to Privacy.
This should in no way hinder Bahutule’s right to work mobility as well.
The question Vengsarkar and his colleagues within the MCA should be asking themselves is how can they attract and retain the home-grown talent that is currently farming themselves out to various states not just as coaches but also as players.
“The fact is that former Mumbai cricketers are offered huge amounts of money by other associations, not only because of their coaching skills but also because of the way they played the game. They try and inculcate the same values and pride they had when they played for Mumbai. The Mumbai cricketing system makes the players mentally tougher, smarter cricketers. Besides, Mumbai has a great history which no state team in the world can match for the next many decades. As a result, a Mumbai player or coach is always at an advantage while bargaining better deals for himself.”
I have always been a huge fan of Mumbai’s Ranji team. That the side now struggles to even make the knockout rounds tells a tale of declining fortunes in recent times.
Perhaps, it’s time the MCA took steps to shed some of its ‘khadoos’ image specifically when it comes to reclaiming their own.