The BCCI has deferred the selection meeting that was to finalise the squad for the four-Test series in Australia on Tuesday. Sanjay Patel, the board secretary, said the decision was made to allow the selectors to watch two more ODIs against Sri Lanka. The meeting will be reconvened on November 9 or 10.
"Right now, only one match is over, and we were thinking of involving the other seniors who are out, or some of the juniors who are out, but then we came to the conscious decision to wait for another two ODIs because for three games the team is already there and this particular injury [to Varun Aaron] required a replacement, which we have decided," Patel told reporters in Mumbai.
Though he didn't specify the reason for delaying the Test squad selection, Patel said the selectors had discussed the possible team combination for the tour to Australia. He said he had a detailed discussion with chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil about player contracts as well.
"[For] three hours we were discussing at length every thing," Patel said. "What can be the combination for Australia, some discussion with the chairman of selectors regarding our contracts also. We also discussed about the timeline of the entire programme because everything is in line."
The BCCI's annual player contracts expired on September 30 and the retainers for 2014-15 are expected to be finalised at the annual general meeting on November 20. The player grading is decided by a committee including the BCCI president, the secretary and the chief selector.
With the Test selection being deferred by almost a week, the logistical wing of the BCCI will get less than a fortnight to ensure smooth arrangements before the team's scheduled departure for Australia on November 21. Patel was confident there would be no hurdles. "We have time. There is still a fortnight to go for the team's departure. We have enough logistics supports and if not we will manage."
Despite Patel's explanation, it turned out to be a strange day at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. As reported by ESPNcricinfo on Monday, the confusion over whether the team for Australia would be selected continued even after the selectors entered the office. After spending close to two hours with his colleagues and BCCI officials, Patil was the first to leave. The four other selectors left together after an hour, following the BCCI's announcement of the deferment through a media statement.
The announcement was followed by some news reports linking the selection postponement with the submission of the Mudgal Committee report on corruption in IPL 2013 to the Supreme Court, but Patel denied that was the case. "Selection committee meeting has nothing to do with the Mudgal Committee report and we haven't been restrained by the court in that regard," he said.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo