BCCI sacks Chetan Sharma-led selection panel
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday sacked the four-member senior national selection committee led by Chetan Sharma after the Indian cricket team failed to reach the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
On October 18, after the BCCI AGM, PTI had first reported that Chetan would be sacked but it is learnt that his committee has not even been told about the sacking.
Chetan (North zone), Harvinder Singh (Central Zone), Sunil Joshi (South Zone), Abbey Kuruvilla (West Zone) and Debasish Mohanty (East Zone) have had the shortest stint as senior national selectors in recent times. Joshi and Harvinder were appointed national selectors in February 2020. After the AGM in January 2021, Chetan took over as chairman of selectors with Mohanty and Kuruvilla joining him.
A senior national selector normally gets a four-year term subject to extension. There was no selector from West Zone after Abbey Kuruvilla’s tenure ended.
Once, India lost in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup, the writing was always on the wall that Chetan was on borrowed time. During Chetan’s tenure, India had also failed to reach the knock-out stage in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup and lost the World Test Championships final.
“For Chetan to save his job, India needed to win the T20 World Cup. Nothing less could have saved him. But once, he was asked to select four squads at one go (New Zealand and Bangladesh away series) which was unprecedented, one could read between the lines,” a BCCI insider, who has been tracking the developments, told PTI.
There are multiple reasons that the BCCI mandarins were unhappy with Chetan and his committee’s shoddy performance.
It is believed that Chetan was never assertive when it came to certain decisions.
Some of the reasons believed to have led to his sacking are: not being able to have a settled squad, allowing eight international captains in just one year with some select seniors turning workload management into a joke, picking KL Rahul after 8-month hiatus from T20 cricket, going on almost each and every India tour but not being able to create a decisive set of players in coordination with team management.
No tangible plan as to whether a 37-year-old senior like Shikhar Dhawan would be carried to the 2023 World Cup when he would be above 38 is among the issues that have never been addressed. Chetan and his team could never reward the domestic or IPL performers and pick specialists across two T20 World Cups. Theirs is a committee under whom India have lost two T20 World Cup games by 10 wickets, something that has never happened earlier.
In what could be a major development, the new selection committee, as and when it takes charge, will be mandated to choose captains across three formats which effectively means that BCCI will be going for split captaincy.
This could mean that Rohit Sharma will remain captain in ODIs and Test cricket for the time being while Hardik Pandya becomes the shortest format leader till the 2024 T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.
The qualification criteria for the selectors’ job remains the same. The age cap is 60 years and the incumbent would have to be retired from active cricket for at least five years. He has to play at least seven Test matches or 30 first-class games or 10 ODIs along with 20 first-class games.
The job domain has two key points which had never been in any earlier selection committee advertisements, prepare and provide evaluation reports of respective team performance to the Apex Council of BCCI on a quarterly basis, and appoint a captain for the team in each format.
Also for the first time, the BCCI job domain description contains that the chairman would have to address the media with regard to team-related queries.
On Friday, the BCCI invited applications for the position of national selectors (Senior Men). The last date for applications is November 28.
(With Agency inputs)