Favourite Ajit Agarkar has been ruled out of the race to become Team India’s chief selector as his name doesn’t feature among the list of shortlisted candidates who have been called up for the interview today. Many reports have confirmed that five players will be interviewed for two vacant positions. Sunil Joshi, Harvinder Singh, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Venkatesh Paraad and Rajesh Chauhan will appear for the interview.
The primary reason behind Agarkar missing out is the BCCI’s zonal policy. Though it doesn’t exist now, the presence of two selectors from West Zone – present selector Jatin Paranjpe represents West Zone – could have been questioned by those in BCCI. Hence, Agarkar wasn’t considered for the job for now. He will be the frontrunner to replace Paranjpe when his tenure comes to an end later this year.
Among the shortlist candidates, Sivaramakrishnan seems to be the front runner to join the panel. He was tipped to be the next chairman even before the process started but that might not happen as he played nine Tests. Should CAC pick a former player who played more Tests than him, the other candidate will lead the panel.
Prasad also holds a strong chance to join the panel but he will not be able to serve for the complete duration as he has been the chairman of the junior panel in past. The board will surely avoid appointing a selector who will not complete his tenure.
Joshi, the former left-arm spinner, leads the race to head the panel. He played 15 Tests and 69 ODIs from 1996 to 2001.
Rajesh Chauhan is also another strong candidate. He played 21 Tests and 35 ODIs. He will lead the panel if he makes the cut along with any other cricketer, barring Prasad.
Harvinder Sigh, the fifth player to be shortlisted for the job, played three Tests and 16 ODIs. He comes from Central Zone
The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) consisting Madan Lal, RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik will interview the shortlisted at BCCI’s office today. The new selection panel will pick the squad for South Africa ODIs this week.
It isn’t confirmed whether they will announce the selection panel for the women’s team today or not.