Amidst speculation over an imminent shake-up of the senior West Indies selection panel, the legendary Sir Vivian Richards has emerged as one of the leading contenders to be on the new committee.

Sir Vivian, the West Indies' most successful Test captain and highly-respected figure, confirmed to SUNSPORT yesterday that he had been nominated by the Leeward Islands Cricket Association to vie for a place on the selection panel.

It's great in a sense to be asked and to be put up by the board that you represent, Sir Vivian said during the second day of the fourth Cable & Wireless Test between West Indies and India at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

From the names that I hear that have been put forward, I believe it will be great to work with such individuals.

Each of the six regional territorial boards is allowed to make nominations for the selection panel which will be chosen at the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) annual general meeting in Jamaica on May 25.

In light of the fact that the international season in the Caribbean ends on July 5, Mike Findlay, chairman of the current selection panel, had made a request to the WICB for its term to be extended until the end of the two-match Test series against New Zealand.

The request was turned down, prompting suggestions from sources that the board was keen on having an almost entirely new panel in place at the earliest opportunity.

Findlay has been a selector for six successive years, the last four of which he served as chairman of a panel that also included fellow former Test players Joey Carew and Joel Garner, along with the team captain and coach.

Sir Vivian, who captained the West Indies in 50 Tests between 1985 and 1991, was hardly involved in the game in the region until he filled in as team coach for a brief period in 1999 for one match of the World Cup and a short tour of New Zealand.

The Master Blaster, scorer of 8 540 runs in 121 Tests between 1974 and 1991, was widely anticipated to land the coaching job on a long-term basis when the post was advertised in 2000, but it went instead to Roger Harper.

Following the election of Reverend Wes Hall as WICB president last July, he immediately said he wanted to have more former West Indies players involved in the game and Richards was among those who attended a WICB coaching workshop in Trinidad in March.