BCCI to pick national selectors through interviews

"This move will allow us to interact with more [former] players than in the past. It will ensure the best get picked and it will also allow every player a fair platform to stake his claims," BCCI president Anurag Thakur said.

BCCI president Anurag Thakur said selecting national selectors through interviews will ensure "the best get picked."   -  Kamal Narang

The new panel of national selectors will be finalised by a process of individual interviews, putting an end to the existing practice of zonal associations nominating candidates.

The move is a part of the reforms being put in place by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur.

Is it a consequence of the Lodha committee insisting on transparency in the Board’s functioning?

“Let me make it clear that this was our decision,” Thakur told Sportstar on Wednesday. “It has got nothing to do with the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations. Our review petition is pending with Supreme Court, but I insist that this move is not because of anyone but the Board.”

The Board will invite applications from all eligible cricketers wanting to become national senior selectors. The criteria for eligibility may differ, but both senior and junior selectors will have to go through an interview process before being appointed.

“We picked the National coach by inviting applications and conducting interviews. The process was transparent and I think the Board did a professional job in giving the responsibility to Anil Kumble,” said Thakur.

ZONAL REPRESENTATION REMAINS

The established norm of having zonal representation will not be disturbed, however.

“This move will allow us to interact with more [former] players than in the past. This was my idea to pick selectors through interviews conducted by an elite panel of greats.

"It will ensure the best get picked and it will also allow every player a fair platform to stake his claims. If they feel they are good they can approach the BCCI directly and impress the [elite] panel. I am sure it will give us the best of players for the selection committees in senior and junior sections,” said Thakur.

What if the panel picks two candidates from the same zone on the basis of the interviews?

“We shall cross the bridge when we get there,” said the Board president.

Was the BCCI — battling to redeem its image after the Lodha committee recommendations — trying to make an impression on its critics?

“Not at all,” said Thakur. “We are not trying to show anyone anything. Reform in the Board is a continuing process. The Board has brought in many reforms and I have always said that the most important stakeholder for me is the fan. It was my insistence to have seats numbered for the cricket fan and also give tickets free/or on concession to certain sections. The Board is trying everything to reach out to the fans.”

The decision to interview cricketers for selectors’ positions is, in Thakur’s view, a move to recognise their work. “They can contribute by taking up these jobs on a professional basis,” he said.

A former Test cricketer was delighted at the move. “It is a very encouraging development for some of us who don’t make daily trips to the State association office and seek favours. Now only competent people will find a place on the selection panels,” said the player.