India news September 26, 2012

Amarnath in running to head selection panel


The BCCI holds its annual general meeting in Mumbai on Thursday with the constitution of a new national selection committee dominating the agenda. Only one member of the current selection panel, Mohinder Amarnath, is eligible for retention, and even his position is not guaranteed given the number of contenders from all five zones.

Amarnath, who turned 62 this Monday, was the North Zone representative in the five-man committee, which was Indian cricket's first paid selection panel. The committee was headed by former Indian opener Kris Srikkanth (South) and included Narendra Hirwani (Central), Surendra Bhave (West) and Raja Venkat (East). Amarnath replaced the former Indian batsman Yashpal Sharma last year.

Logic would suggest Amarnath is the frontrunner to head the new panel given his experience, pedigree and credibility. "Where he has to be soft and polite, he was exactly that and when he needed to be firm he was not shy about speaking his mind," a co-selector from current selection panel said about Amarnath. According to him, being part of the current panel gave Amarnath an advantage as he can guide the new members.

However, if the BCCI top brass decides against Amarnath, or if he opts out, the next best option is likely to be former Indian fast bowler Roger Binny, the unanimous choice from the South Zone. Binny, a contemporary of Amarnath's, spent some time at the Asian Cricket Council in Kuala Lumpur before moving back to Bangalore, where he is part of Anil Kumble's team running the Karnataka State Cricket Association.

Another straightforward decision is likely to come from the West Zone in Abey Kuruvilla, the Mumbai fast bowler who featured in 10 Tests for India. Kuruvilla is chairman of the junior national selection committee, which picked the Under-19 World Cup winning squad. He is also chairman of the Mumbai selection panel.

The outcome of the remaining two zones is not so clear, though, with a lot of lobbying taking place to finalise a name from the East and Central Zones. Members from the various states from each of those zones were reportedly locked in late-night meetings on Wednesday to pick the eventual candidate. For the East Zone, the one-time Indian opening pair of Deep Dasgupta and Devang Gandhi are pitted against each other. Former Bengal left-arm spinner Arup Bhattacharya is also in the running.

Similarly there is a tussle between former Uttar Pradesh captain Gynanendra Pandey and Sunil Chaturvedi, a former UP wicketkeeper who is one of the longest serving match referees in domestic cricket. Unconfirmed reports also have brought Praveen Amre, the former Indian batsman, into the fold. Though Amre originally hails from Mumbai, he played for Rajasthan for seven years and for Railways for three. He was the coach of Mumbai between 2007 and 2010, during which Mumbai were the Ranji Trophy champions three times. He also coached India A at two Emerging Players' tournaments and on a tour of England.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Anil Kumble is the best candidate for chief selector position because he is the only one who played for country not for personal achievements. He can take hard decisions and can handle stubbornness of Gambhir, Sehwag and Dhoni

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    The one thing selector need to do is to ask sehwag change his attitude, play with responsibility & stop throwing away his wicket otherwise he will be out of the team. They should also remind the players that the team comes first and players should put team's interest ahead of their personal achievements. Selectors also have to take some initiatives to build up indian fast bowling bench strength

  • RAJARAMAN on September 27, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Is losing 0-8 overseas ONLY due to captain's failure ... MSD was also one of the numerous reasons for that debacle ... the new selection panel can utmost implore him to show some grit and consistency in batting in tests ... other than that, there is no complaint on MSD

  • RAJAN on September 27, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    terrible,amarnath was dropped just because dhoni didn't like him.dhoni should have been removed from test captaincy after 8-0 test white wash against england and australia.

  • RAJAN on September 27, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    just heard,amarnath not in the panel.binny,rathore,kuruvilla,chaturbedi and saba karim are the new panel of selectors.shame nothing will happen to Indian cricket and Dhoni will rule,only csk players will get chance.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    The first criteria for being a member of the panel is international experience. How will Pandey or Chaturvedi or Devang Gandhi ever know what the pressure of international cricket is?

    In an ode to Tendulkar's longevity in the game, it is interesting that Kuruvilla - who made his debut when SRT was captain, will now be a selector on a panel that may have to take a call on his retirement.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    I think Jimmy would do proper justice with the head selection role. However it has to be seen if BCCI cooperates with him or not. I feel U.Chand, Baba Aparijit, Varun Aaron and specially Smit Patel should be looked and nutured wel.. Smit Patel is the keeper India is looking for since Nayan Mongia. He is orthodox. getting behind the line of the ball and catching rather than the Aussie way of collecting it by your side. I hope BCCI top bosses let the selectors run the show without any hiccups..

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    if jimmy is in....dhoni u're gone....i totally agreed wid jimmy dhoni is less skilled batsman in case of test cricket..dinesh krthik,robin utthappa in present tym haas better batting nd wicket keeping abilities than mahi...srinivisan nd srikant alwayz can u retain that captain who was d prime failure in away test series..8 match losses in a row..rediculous!!!!

  • Sachin on September 27, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Amarnath (North Zone) Chief Selector, Binny (South Zone), Kurwilla (West Zone), Deep Dasgupta (East Zone) and Gyanendra Pandey (Central Zone) this commitee will look and hopefully will work good for Indian cricket.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    I hope the new selection committee has a vision for the future and has the guts to address core issues which have been haunting indian cricket for quite a while...

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