U19 selection panel: Ashish Kapoor likely to replace Venkatesh Prasad

Kapoor, along with Punjab batsman Amit Sharma, was a part of the five-member junior selection panel before it was pruned to three as per Lodha Committee recommendations.

Ashish Kapoor had played 4 Tests and 17 ODIs for India.   -  K. Pichumani

Former India off-spinner Ashish Kapoor, in all likelihood, will make a comeback in the junior national selection panel, after chairman Venkatesh Prasad resigned from his post on Friday.

It is all but certain that Prasad will be joining Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) as its bowling coach and in order to avoid potential ‘Conflict of Interest’, the former seamer stepped down, less than a month, after India won the ICC U19 World Cup.

The other two members of the panel currently are former Uttar Pradesh all-rounder Gyanendra Pandey and former Baroda batsman Rakesh Parikh.

Kapoor, along with Punjab batsman Amit Sharma, was a part of the five-member junior selection panel before it was pruned to three as per Lodha Committee recommendations.

READ: Venkatesh Prasad resigns as chief junior selector

“In all likelihood, Ashish will make a comeback into the junior selection panel now that Venky has resigned. In case of Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda, they can’t be senior national selectors again as they are not Test players. But in case of Ashish and Amit, there was no problem with eligibility criteria,” a senior BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

“They had to make way because the other three (Prasad, Pandey and Parikh) were appointed in September 2015 and these two (Kapoor and Sharma) in 2016. Now with Venky gone, it’s only fair that Ashish makes a comeback as he has better credentials than Amit. He will in any case be the only Test cricketer in junior panel. Unless Committee Of Administrators (COA) has something completely different on their mind, it’s going to be Ashish,” said the official.

Kapoor had played 4 Tests and 17 ODIs for India. He had played the 1996 World Cup semifinal against Sri Lanka. Punjab batsman Sharma has played 53 first-class and 40 List A games between 1993 and 2003.

While Prasad opted for the greener pastures of cash-rich IPL, it is widely believed that not being considered for the GM’s (Cricket Operations) post was one of the primary reason for his resignation.

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Also the BCCI did not announce any cash reward for the junior panel despite the U19 side winning the World Cup. The senior panel and women selectors, however, got richer after both men’s and women’s team finished runners-up in ICC Champions Trophy and World Cup respectively.

Having worked 30 months as the junior selection committee chairman, the former Karnataka medium pacer was looking for a new challenge and wanted to get back to coaching.

“Look, everyone also looks at the financial benefits of any deal. One can’t fault Venky if he is looking at an opportunity with an IPL franchise where he would get paid significantly more for a period of 7 weeks compared to what he draws as per annum salary from the BCCI.”