Javagal Srinath was the spearhead of India’s fast bowling after Kapil Dev retired from the game. He retired as the second Indian pace bowler (after Dev) to take 200 Test wickets. Also, he is still the second-highest wicket-taker for India in ODIs. Recalling his old days, Srinath revealed that selectors without informing him snubbed him ahead of the West Indies tour 2002.
As per the former pacer, selectors dropped him because they wanted him to take a break. It was not a mutual decision but they forced him to take rest. So, he was upset with the selectors’ decision. He said that he didn’t want his career to be played in the hands of anybody.
“I think before the World Cup, we had toured West Indies Without my knowledge, the selectors told me I had to take a break,” Srinath told SporstKeeda. “Generally, we used to have a talk and then I used to volunteer saying ‘look I need a break’. But this time they just said ‘we’re giving you a break’ and that didn’t go well with me. Obviously, I was a little upset. I didn’t want my career to be played in the hands of anybody.”
I wanted to play the World Cup: Javagal Srinath
After the West Indies tour, India was set to play the four-match Test series against England. The then captain Sourav Ganguly wanted Javagal Srinath to play in that series but the speedster went against the skipper’s wish. The upset Srinath disagreed to play for India and went to play the English County cricket. However, later as the thing cooled down, he made the comeback and played for India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003. India reached the grand finale of the mega event but failed to register the victory against the strong Australians in the final.
Srinath said, “I missed the England tour. Of course, Ganguly called me and said ‘look, you better be part of England tour’. I was upset and told me ‘No, I wouldn’t be.”. I should have played for India than playing County. Later when things cooled down, I decided to come back. I wanted to play the World Cup. See every World Cup is like a generation.
“My strength in India was diminishing and there were hungry fast bowlers. So, I did not want to block their way. I was happy. I did not regret anything. It’s always good to walk out with your dignity.”
Javagal Srinath played a significant role in the WC 2003 tournament as he picked up 16 wickets in 11 matches. After the mega event, the veteran announced his retirement from the game. Currently, he is an ICC match referee.