Sehwag: 'Kumble should be chairman of selectors but BCCI needs to raise pay'

Former skipper Anil Kumble’s ability to boost confidence of the players makes him an ideal candidate for the role of chairman of selectors, said Virender Sehwag, who also advocated a hike in remuneration for the job.

Virender Sehwag during a promotional event in New Delhi on Wednesday.   -  PTI

Virender Sehwag has always been known to keep it simple and straightforward, with the bat or words. It was no different at a promotional event on Wednesday with the former India opener being at his witty best.

“Batsmen have a bat in hand and a helmet, what else do you need? I never used a chest guard all my life so I don't think I need neck guards. ICC also allows only two bouncers,” Sehwag commented when asked about the new safety rule.

Speaking at the launch of The Selector App, also backed by West Indian legend Brian Lara, the 40-year old expressed his views with Sportstar on several subjects:

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The role of the selection committee has come under a lot of scrutiny recently. How do you see its role in terms of promoting a player over some time?

A: I think every time a player has been selected, it is proof that the selectors back him. It is the job of the team management to play them and give them enough opportunities to prove themselves. A player puts in a lot of hard work and years through the grind, playing in the domestic circuit and India A tours before getting into the national side. To drop him after just a couple of games is not fair. I think every player should get at least 5-10 games to prove himself – that should be enough to see if he is good at the international level. If he doesn’t perform, then you can drop him.

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So how does one get this co-ordination between selectors and team management?

I think the selectors should send a clear message to the team that if we select a player, we are not going to drop him for at least 5-10 games. But the management also has to ensure he is given those chances regularly, consistently – playing a game and then warming the bench for the next five is not going to help.

Who would be your choice to be a selector? Would you be interested in being one?

Anil Kumble, according to me. He was captain of the team and has a very good record. Later as a coach also he won us so many series. But I don’t see myself as a selector. If you become one, there are a lot of restrictions – you cannot commentate or write columns plus there is the conflict of interest thing. I do not understand that. If players won’t do things for cricket, who will?

Women’s cricket has been included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, cricket has been in Asian Games also earlier. The ICC has also been interested in pushing it into Olympics. Your views.

I think cricket should be there in Olympics or Commonwealth games or other such multi-discipline events. If even T20 seems long we can have a T10 which is a great format, smaller and consuming less time. I also think we, as BCCI, should take the initiative to get it done. It makes a lot of difference. If the Indian team is capable of winning a CWG or Olympic gold then it is a big thing and it makes a huge difference because every medal counts at that level.

Your reactions on BCCI agreeing to come under the ambit of NADA for dope-testing, which is mandatory for being part of the Olympic movement.

The whereabouts clause and privacy was the only issue for players. Otherwise, we have had dope testing before also for a long time. I have myself been subjected to it. Even now it's only the ICC, BCCI and NADA talking, no current player has commented on it so far. Let us see how it goes.