Presently, the BCCI is in the process of recruiting new members for the national selection committee, and as per reports, several renowned cricketers have applied for the job. Former spinners Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Rajesh Chouhan, and left-hand batsman Amay Khurasiya have already submitted their names for the vacancies. Sources suggest that former India assistant-coach Sanjay Bangar and former Junior-Chairman of Selectors Venkatesh Prasad, are also considering to apply for the vacancies.
The terms of the national committee’s chief MSK Prasad and his colleague Gagan Khoda had already expired last year in December. In fact, the team for the home-series against the West Indies was their final, official-assignment. While the committee as-a-whole works as a 5-member team, presently the BCCI is only hiring replacements for Prasad and Khoda. Both had joined their offices back in 2015, so as per the BCCI’s new policy, there tenures have expired. Interestingly, back in 2016, the Indian Supreme Court had appointed former Chief Justice RM Lodha to monitor the BCCI’s functioning. Lodha personally chose some members to form the Lodha panel, which made certain recommendations to the Indian cricket board.
One of the recommendations the Lodha panel made, was to increase the tenure of national-selectors to five-years. This was one of the recommendations the BCCI actually seemed keen on implementing. However, back in December 2019, the newly-appointed BCCI president Sourav Ganguly restructured the tenures back to 4-years, as originally prescribed by the body’s constitution. Since the other selectors Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh and Jatin Prapanje joined the committee in 2016, they have a year left in their terms.
“Laxman front-runner for the post”-Sources
As per rumors, at the moment, Sivaramakrishnan appears to be the front-runner to replace Prasad as the chief selector. The former Andhra-born leg-spinner has been doing commentary for 20-years, but has previously coached at the National Cricket Academy. Not to mention, he is also a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s Cricket Committee. Sivaramakrishnan himself sounded quite optimistic about taking up the job. “I have spoken to my family and have decided to apply for the national selector’s position.”, he explained. “I believe if I get four years, I would leave Indian cricket in a better space. In terms of bench strength, in all the three departments; especially spin bowling-I think I can do a good job.”
When asked about what special he brings to the table, Sivaramakrishnan spoke about his vast experience. “I haven’t only watched a lot of international cricket but also covered domestic cricket as a broadcaster for 15 years. I feel that I can help in developing a pool of wrist spinners in the country,” he said to the PTI.
Candidates’ rough background
In terms of experience, Venkatesh Prasad is the leading candidate, having featured in 33 tests and 161 ODIs. Laxman, meanwhile, has played 9 tests and 16 ODIs. Both Sanjay Bangar (12 & 15) and Rajesh Chouhan (21 & 35) have considerably more on-field experience than Laxman. However, since each of them had previously occupied a post in the national team’s management, they won’t be eligible to fill in the spots for four-years complete. Venkatesh Prasad, for instance, can only be a selector for one-and-a-half years, since he had previously filled-in two-and-a-half years as a junior chairman of selectors. This actually works in Laxman’s favor, since he can work for four years in one, continuous stretch. Ganguly had previously stated that he didn’t want to appoint new selectors on a yearly basis. In any case, there’s limited time left for new candidates to apply, since tomorrow is the final date to apply.