Chetan Sharma retained as chairman of selectors; Ankola, Das and Banerjee in panel

PTI, Jan 7, 2023, 8:40 PM IST

Image credit: Twitter / @BCCI

New Delhi: Chetan Sharma was on Saturday reappointed as the chairman of the senior selection committee, exactly two months after his entire panel was disbanded by the BCCI for the Indian team’s semifinal exit in the T20 World Cup.

Chetan’s new team, though, would have entirely new faces with junior chairman of selectors S Sharath of South Zone being promoted. The others in the panel are former seamer Subroto Banerjee from East Zone, Salil Ankola from West Zone and Test opener Shiv Sunder Das from the Central zone.

Das qualified from Central for being a former Vidarbha player after he finished playing for Odisha.

”Central and East are two such zones where there aren’t too many worthy names. Hence BCCI had to use the best possible option. Das’s Vidarbha representation made him eligible from Central Zone,” a BCCI source explained the rationale behind the move.

Also with Bengal’s Ranadeb Bose being in junior panel, the convention was to have someone from another eastern state.

”Subroto had played for Bengal but better part of his cricket, he played for erstwhile Bihar. So that solved the issue,” he added.

Chetan’s last committee colleague, Harvinder Singh, also reapplied but wasn’t considered after the interview as he was believed to be not up to the mark.

The PTI had reported earlier this week that Chetan will retain his chairmanship after he was asked to reapply for the post.

”You can look at it from this angle that BCCI invited applications as the contract is renewed every year. But then, it has been a convention to seek applications only after four years. So this year when BCCI asked for application, it was certainly sacking,” a BCCI insider tracking the development told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

However, with the BCCI not offering more than Rs 1 crore as salary to the chairman, the board failed to attract bigger names, some of whom earn 5 to 7 times that amount through commentary, IPL coaching and other commitments.

”The board received around 600 applications following its advertisement for the five posts issued on its official website on 18th November 2022,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a release.

”Upon due deliberation and careful consideration, the CAC shortlisted 11 individuals for personal interviews. Based on the interviews, the committee has recommended the following candidates for the senior men’s national selection committee,” he added.

It must be mentioned that both Das and Chetan had played identical number of Tests –23 — but Chetan has played 65 ODIs (4 by Das) and is also the senior of the two. While Chetan got his first Test cap in 1984, Das made his debut in 2000.

In the case of former Tamil Nadu captain Sharath, the board has specific aim in mind as he is the only one without an India cap in the panel.

”Sharath has a fantastic eye for talent. Since he has watched a lot of U-19 cricket, his in-depth knowledge of junior talent pool will help the committee when transition takes place,” said the BCCI official.

In the case of Banerjee, he had also applied the last time but had lost out to Debasish Mohanty.

Banerjee had been a reputed bowling coach and is also current India seamer Umesh Yadav’s personal coach.

He was the bowling coach of Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy-winning squad.

As far as Ankola is concerned, his experience of being the chairman of selectors of a high-profile first-class team like Mumbai worked in his favour.

The West Zone went unrepresented for one year during the tenure of the last panel after Abbey Kuruvilla became the GM, having finished combined five years as junior and senior selector.

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