Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad apply for national selector’s job

Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Chetan Sharma and Abey Kuruvilla have applied for the two vacant slots in the senior national selection committee.

Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar has applied for the post of national selector.   -  EMMANUAL YOGINI

A quartet of former India pacers - the most prominent being World T20 winner Ajit Agarkar and Venkatsh Prasad - submitted their applications for the national selectors’ post hours before the window closed at midnight on Friday.

Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Chetan Sharma and Abey Kuruvilla entering the fray has made the process of appointing replacements for M.S.K. Prasad and Devang Gandhi even more interesting. At the moment, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to appoint the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). Once the CAC is in place, it will have to consider some of the high-profile entrants on the last day.

Agarkar and Prasad both have played a lot of cricket with and under Sourav Ganguly, who has now been elevated as the BCCI chief. It remains to be seen whether proximity to Ganguly ends up helping the duo or works against them. Agarkar confirmed to Sportstar for having “submitted” his application on Friday, a BCCI official stressed Prasad “has applied” despite the 50-year-old preferring to be non-committal.

While Prasad has served three years as a national junior selector, Agarkar’s two-year stint as the chairman of Mumbai’s selection committee was far from smooth sailing.

Prasad has also served as the bowling coach of the national team towards the end of the last decade but in the last three years, has lost out in the race of high-profile posts including bowling coach, general manager - cricket operations and the team manager. Agarkar, meanwhile, is renowned for his cricketing acumen and ability to communicate with cricketers in no uncertain terms.

Besides the duo, Kuruvilla and Sharma have also entered the fray. While Kuruvilla was the chief of junior selection committee for the 2012 Under-19 World Cup-winning squad, Sharma has been serving as a commentator of late.

Prasad and Agarkar will thus join L. Sivaramakrishnan as the top three contenders for the two vacant posts, should the BCCI decide to deviate from the convention of including a selector from each of the five zones.

But if the BCCI decides to stick to the tradition, Prasad and Sivaramakrishnan will vie for one slot, while the likes of Agarkar, Kuruvilla and Sharma will drop out of the race.

The three existing members of the selection committee are Sarandeep Singh (north zone), Devang Gandhi (east zone) and Jatin Paranjape (west zone).

List of notable former cricketers who have applied

Ajit Agarkar (Mumbai)

Venkatesh Prasad (Karnataka)

Chetan Sharma (Haryana)

Nayan Mongia (Baroda)

Abey Kuruvilla (Mumbai)

Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (Tamil Nadu)

Rajesh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh)

Amey Khurasiya (Madhya Pradesh)

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