New faces in selection panel soon
The national selection committee will have certainly one, and possibly two, new faces when the BCCI's annual general meeting takes place in Mumbai on September 27 and 28. Kiran More, the former Indian wicketkeeper who's currently the chairman of the committee, has completed four years, and will make way for someone else from the West Zone. VB Chandrasekhar, from Tamil Nadu in the South Zone, could also be out, as it is Hyderabad's turn to nominate someone from South Zone to the national selection panel.
"I am tired of answering this question. He [More] has been selector for four years, as per the constitution, and his term is over," Niranjan Shah, the board secretary, emphatically told Cricinfo, scotching all speculation that this committee could continue intact till the end of the World Cup. Earlier there were suggestions that this committee should continue, with an extra-constitutional extension as a one-off case, as it would benefit the team if there was a sense of continuity in the selection panel till the World Cup was over.
"How can the term be extended? Can a secretary's term be extended just like that?" asked Shah, "[this is ] unnecessary speculation in the media. Why should there be any confusion?" As per the board's constitution, which is to be amended in September at the forthcoming annual general meeting, the term of office is two years with a possible extension for one year. This means that future selectors could have a three-year term, but that would not be applicable till the constitution is amended.
In the current system each of the five zones - North, South, East, West and Central - nominates a candidate to the national selection committee. In the South this is done in rotation among the major teams - Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Hyderabad. At the end of this term, it is Hyderabad's turn to nominate someone from the zone, and the name of Venkatapathy Raju, the former Indian left-arm spinner, is doing the rounds. Raju is currently head of the Hyderabad selection committee.
In the West, the front-runner is Dilip Vengsarkar, but it is unclear whether he wants to take up the post. The West Zone does not follow the tradition of rotation among teams, and could nominate anyone. The name of Dhiraj Parsana, the former Gujarat and India allrounder, has also cropped up. If he becomes a selector Parsana will be the first from Gujarat.
Ranjib Biswal (East), Sanjay Jagdale (Central) and Bhupinder Singh (North), the three other members of the selection committee, are likely to continue as they have not completed their terms yet.