The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to reconstitute the entire senior selection committee, headed by Chetan Sharma. It has invited applications for all the positions.
In a release on Friday, Board secretary Jay Shah said, “The candidates should have played a minimum of seven Test matches or 30 First Class matches or 10 ODI and 20 First Class matches.”
Also, the candidates should have retired from the game at least five years ago.
No person who has been a member of any Cricket Committee (as defined in the rules and regulations of BCCI) for a total of five years shall be eligible to be a member of the men’s selection committee. The applications should be submitted by 6pm IST on November 28.
This comes in the aftermath of India’s semifinal exit from the T20 World Cup.
While the position of a West Zone selector was lying vacant since February 2022 after Abey Kuruvilla completed its term, East Zone’s Debasish Mohanty’s tenure was also going to get over soon as he had previously served as the junior selection committee member.
When the selection committee was last changed in December 2020 with Chetan Sharma as its chairman, the BCCI had clarified that the Cricket Advisory Committee will ‘review the candidates after a one-year period and make recommendations to the BCCI’.
However, the selection committee was given another year’s extension last year despite India’s early exit from the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
CAC to be formed soon
According to the BCCI constitution, the selection committee needs to be selected by a three-member Cricket Advisory Committee. But the CAC has been without a chairman since October last year after former India international Madan Lal turned 70. In Lal’s absence, the other two members of the CAC - RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik - had conducted the interview of Rahul Dravid in November last year as the head coach after Ravi Shastri’s term got over.
And even though the BCCI time and again indicated that it will form the CAC soon, there was no progress. But speaking to Sportstar on Friday, a few BCCI officials confirmed that a new CAC will be constituted soon after which the candidates will be interviewed for the selection committee roles.
What went wrong?
With the Indian team faltering in two major events - the Asia Cup and the just-concluded T20 World Cup in Australia - the current selection committee was under scanner. The fact that the selection committee ‘rushed’ Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the Indian team also did not go down well with a section of the BCCI officials. Addressing the media, the chief selector had admitted they rushed Bumrah keeping in mind the fact that the T20 World Cup was nearing. However, Bumrah was ruled out of the ICC event after an old injury resurfaced.
“The selection committee is usually assessed after every year. So, it was quite natural that a change was on the cards,” a BCCI insider said.
The BCCI constitution limits the term of each member of the cricket committee to five years and the Board’s rule of clubbing the junior and selection committee as one has led to a lack of continuity in the selection panel.
While Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh were named as the selectors from south and central zones respectively in February 2020, Chetan, Mohanty and Kuruvilla were inducted into the panel in December that year.
As per the BCCI rules, the selector with most Test caps is automatically elevated as the chairman of the panel, and as a result, Chetan took over as the head of the panel.
But during its two-year stint, the panel drew criticism for quite a few selection gaffes and many in the fraternity felt that with an ‘all-bowlers committee’, the national panel lacked that depth across departments and time and again, questions were raised over their strategy in T20 format.
“We have invited the applications and depending on the candidates who wish to apply, a decision will be taken by the CAC. We will of course keep all factors in mind before finalising on the panel,” the BCCI insiders said.
Some of the national selectors are currently travelling in various parts of the country for the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In fact, Joshi, who is in Mumbai to watch the games, attended the prize distribution ceremony of the Mumbai Cricket Association U-16 Payyade Trophy on Friday and interacted with the young cricketers.
This publication understands that none of the selectors had received any communication from the Board on the development.
Last month, towards the last leg of the T20 World Cup, the incumbent selection committee had announced the India squads for the limited-overs series in New Zealand and the Bangladesh tour in December.