Reacting to a media report by The Wire that pointed out the fact that in 86 years since India has achieved Test status only 4 players have come from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes categories, former Indian cricketer Mohammed Kaif lashed out the online news organisation for making such a connection to begin with. According to him, this was an attempt at inciting hatred by bringing up the caste card, and he insisted that playing for India transcends the need to focus on the aspects of a player’s social origins or classification. In a tweet on this subject, he said, “How many prime time journalists are SC or ST or for that matter how many senior editors in your organization are SC or ST. Sports is perhaps one field which has successfully broken barriers of caste, players play with inclusiveness but then we have such journalism to spread hatred.”
The editors at The Wire went on to respond to these comments by stating that calling to attention something that was otherwise never brought into the public domain for any kind of attention, while focusing on the solutions for this, were not in any way divisive.
The original article (Link: https://thewire.in/caste/does-india-need-a-caste-based-quota-in-cricket) took an in-depth look at the history of the sport and the decline in the number of dalit players who found a place on the national team in the early days, as well as making comparisons between marginalized minority communities who had fared differently in comparison to one another. One of these was the Muslim community, which while still under-represented, had managed to work itself into the initial contests and competitions that pitted predominantly British, Hindu and Parsi teams against them during the days of colonial occupation in places like Lahore, Karachi, Mumbai and Delhi and had seen a fair deal greater representation than the Dalits, for example, who had to overcome caste restrictions to feature on a Hindu team, for example.