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September 21, 2006
Dilip Vengsarkar, the former Indian batsman, is set to take over as chief of the national selection committee when the Board of Control for Cricket in India meets for its AGM in Mumbai on September 27 and 28. It is understood that Vengsarkar has accepted the Mumbai Cricket Association's proposal to nominate him as the national selector from the West Zone. Vengsarkar will take over from Kiran More, who has completed his term.
The other change will see the popular SL Venkatapathy Raju, the former Test left-arm spinner, come into the committee in the South Zone slot in place of VB Chandrasekhar. The remaining three members of the panel - Ranjib Biswal (East), Sanjay Jagdale (Central) and Bhupinder Singh Sr. (North), will continue in their posts. But those are expected to be the only two major changes as the elections come around.
After the acrimoniuous elections of last year, where the Sharad Pawar group ran a tight ship in a high profile campaign to edge out the Jagmohan Dalmiya-backed Ranbir Singh Mahendra group with a record margin, this year's AGM promises to be a tame affair. With the president's post not in doubt - under the amended constitution it is the West Zone's prerogative to put forth a candidate against Pawar if they wish, and they certainly do not - there are few, if any skirmishes in the offing. Secondly, as per the amendments that came into effect from June 1, 2006, the candidate must have at least two years' experience representing his zone - in this case West - at BCCI AGMs.
The West Zone comprises the Mumbai Cricket Association, Maharashtra Cricket Association, Cricket Club of India, Gujarat Cricket Association, Baroda Cricket Association and Saurashtra Cricket Association, and it is extremely unlikely that anyone from these associations will consent to contest against Pawar as a proxy candidate for the Dalmiya group. In fact, if sources are to be believed, they have already decided who among them will put forward Pawar's name to continue in the hot seat.
Dalmiya, interestingly, has not yet made it clear whether he would be attempting to oppose the Pawar faction in any way. "Time is too short. I have to hold discussions with people. I shall take a decision within one or two days," Dalmiya was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India, on September 20, after he was questioned by officers of the Economic Affairs Wing of the Mumbai Police in relation to alleged irregularities over some accounts pertaining to the 1996 World Cup, which was held in India and the subcontinent.
All representatives of state associations who will attend the AGM have to send their names to the BCCI before 4pm on September 25, following which they will be scrutinised, and their eligibility determined. A final list of members eligible to vote will be released later in the day. State associations have to then submit their list of candidates contesting posts of office bearers by 4pm on September 26, along with the names of proposers and seconders.
The AGM will take place in Mumbai on September 27 and 28, and sometime during the course of the meeting the elections will be held. It is the prerogative of the president, Pawar in this case, to call for the elections at any time of his choosing in the course of the two-day AGM.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala