M.S.K. Prasad to Head Selection Committee, Ajay Shirke Re-Elected as BCCI Secretary

M.S.K. Prasad to Head Selection Committee, Ajay Shirke Re-Elected as BCCI Secretary
File-PTI Photo by Mitesh Bhuvad
M.S.K. Prasad to Head Selection Committee, Ajay Shirke Re-Elected as BCCI Secretary

In defiance of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee recommendations, the BCCI today named a five-member selection committee headed by former wicketkeeper-batsman MSK Prasad and comprising two members with no Test experience. While, incumbent Ajay Shirke was elected unopposed as the BCCI Secretary at the Board's 87th Annual General Meeting here.

Shirke was the lone BCCI functionary to file his nomination for the post yesterday.

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The 62-year-old became the secretary in July after Anurag Thakur was elevated as the President with Shashank Manohar opting to quit BCCI for the ICC chairmanship.

Shirke is the supremo of the Maharashtra Cricket Association and known to be close to former BCCI and ICC President Sharad Pawar. 

Prasad, who was a part of the previous panel as the South Zone representative, replaced Sandeep Patil as Chairman of the selectors.

The 41-year-old Prasad, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, played six Tests and 17 ODIs in his brief international career.

Gagan Khoda, who has not played any Test cricket has been retained in the committee from the central zone.

Devang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjpe and Sarandeep Singh were the new additions to the selection panel. Of the three, Paranjpe does not have Test experience and has only played ODIs.

The move is in complete defiance of the Lodha committee recommendations, which had called for a three-strong panel with all members having Test experience.

The 45-year-old Gandhi, who has four Tests and three ODIs to his credit, will be representing the east zone, while Paranjpe will be west zone's representative. Former off-spinner Sarandeep is the selector from north zone, replacing Vikram Rathour.

The 44-year-old Paranjpe, a former left-handed batsman, has only played four ODIs. Sarandeep, on the other hand, has three Tests and five ODIs under his belt, making him compliant with the Lodha committee recommendations.

In overall analysis, the new selection committee has a combined international experience of 13 Tests and 31 ODIs.

Former India seamer Venkatesh Prasad has been retained as chairman of the junior selection committee.

Asked whether BCCI will adopt the revised constitution for which an SGM has been fixed on September 30, Shirke told reporters, "That is part of the performance, I mean our compliance report, and we are sticking to that. It is subject to all factors that are external to the BCCI."

For the first time, the Board had called prospective candidates willing to serve as selectors for interviews and the BCCI secretary said it was a fruitful process in which the Board's officials came to know about their vision for the national senior and junior squads.

"For the first time we had thrown it open through an application process. In the past, members representing their associations used to recommend names and then we would see whether they fit the criteria and they were appointed," Shirke said.

"This time we have gone through this process. We got a lot of people, a lot of applicants came. We also got a first-hand insight into what their ideas are, what they wish to do and what their visions are. Naturally, the number of applicants were far more than the number of selectors we can appoint.

"But we have got an insight into the kind of manpower that is available to take up different positions in different places within the BCCI. We were very much impressed with the inputs by all the candidates who came."

He defended the choice of the new selection panel members who don't have the sort of international experience of previous committees and said, "That will be judged by the performance of the team. The proof of the pudding is ultimately in the eating."

Asked about the Board buying additional land at Dharamsala for NCA in addition to Bengaluru, Shirke said that this will come in handy with weather conditions varying in the two places.

"It is being considered for an additional facility because sometimes the weather is different. As you know when it rains in the south, it does not rain in the north or for certain types of specific development work we may have a second academy or even two more academies. The president, in fact, wishes to have even a separate academy for the north east.

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