THE BOARD of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) interviewed more than 90 candidates for positions in the senior, junior and women’s national selection committees over the last two days.
And it’s learnt that during the interviews held simultaneously in Mumbai and Delhi, the board found a consensus among the candidates that a country as vast as India would require the traditional strength of five members on the selection panel instead of the three recommended by the Lodha Committee. The Supreme Court appointed committee had recommended that the number of selectors be pruned to three, with each one of them necessarily being a former Test cricketer, and for them to be supported by a Talent Research and Development officer.
A source in the BCCI, meanwhile, confirmed to this paper that only two out of all those who appeared for their interviews were of the opinion that a three-member panel could handle the massive responsibility of picking the best Indian squad across all formats for the international stage. The rest though felt that it was ‘impossible’ and not ‘feasible’ to expect three selectors to do justice in overseeing the performances of the enormous number of cricketers plying their trade here. The source also added that the feedback of the candidates is likely to be part of the review petition the BCCI will file in the Supreme Court.
All the candidates who appeared for the interviews were asked about their vision for Indian cricket for the next few years and were even asked to present some of their view points in writing.
“Many gave in writing that three selectors can’t do the job. That they need a five-member selection panel. We spoke to many past selectors too, who insisted that despite watching games throughout the week, they could more or less cover only 70 per cent of any given tournament. Therefore, having three selectors for India is not feasible,” the source confirmed.
It’s also learnt that close to 72 former cricketers have applied for the men’s panel while 20 have expressed their interest by submitting their resume for the women’s selection committee. The Indian Express also spoke with some of the candidates to find out the exact procedure of the interviews that were conducted.
The Lodha committee had directed the BCCI earlier this month to restrict their 87th AGM, which will be held at the board headquarters in Mumbai on Wednesday, to matters related to the ‘past year’ and barred them from ‘setting up new committees’. But the BCCI is all set to go ahead with naming their new selection committee after Sandeep Patil, who was the chairman of the previous panel, Vikram Rathour and Saba Karim concluded their respective four-year terms upon announcing the Test squad for the series against New Zealand.
“The Lodha committee says that we should not make any key appointments. Tomorrow if any player gets injured against New Zealand, who will decide upon a replacement? Secondly, who will pick the ODI squad next month? How can you expect two members to pick the Indian squad,” a BCCI official argued.