Selection panel to be trimmed
The current five-member selection committee is all set to be trimmed to three with the Justice Lodha panel reiterating on Wednesday that only Test cricketers qualify to become national selectors. The current selection committee includes former wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as chairman, with off-spinner Sarandeep Singh and batsman Devang Gandhi meeting the criteria. Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjpe are the two non-Test players in the committee.The ouster of Khoda and Paranjpe was imminent since the Supreme Court verdict on January 2. The ruling had also resulted in the removal of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke.
The landmark judgement did not go well with the board veterans, many of whom lost their positions in the body. The ruling created some confusion about the terms of a member which delayed the selection committee meetings on January 6 for the upcoming one-day international and Twenty20 series England. Former joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary had created an uproar and questioned the legality of the meeting.It prompted the intervention of the Lodha panel which clarified that BCCI CEO Rahul Johri would convene the meeting. The panel, this day, also stated that it will be the responsibility of Johri to ensure the smooth conduct of all the matches.”Cricket will not be affected at all. We discussed the issue with the Board CEO and directed him to ensure smooth conduct of the series (England and Australia),” Justice Lodha said.The January 2 verdict had also attracted veiled protests from some of the sacked officials, who met in Bengaluru recently to explore the way forward. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, in a letter to the board, had stated that it would be unable to host the under-19 matches between India and England in February. The Lodha committee has taken note of these occurrences. However, 21 state associations have already given their consent to adopt the Lodha reforms and have approached the panel with several queries.The Lodha panel acknowledged the confusion of these state associations. In order to help them, the committee assured that all the queries from state associations would be answered in FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on its website. However, it also made it clear that it would not be addressing any individual questions.