NEW DELHI: If the Lodha panel’s recommendations in its 159-page report are brought into effect, Central Zone may have to find a new candidate for the job of national selector. With the SC-appointed panel suggesting that the three-member selection committee should comprise of only Test cricketers, Central representative Gagan Khoda may get the boot.
Even though he played two ODIs for India, former Rajasthan cricketer Khoda didn’t play a single Test match in his career. The panel also recommended that the five-member selection committee should be reduced to three, making things difficult for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Going by the proposed plan, the BCCI will then have to give the boot to anyone among Vikram Rathour, Saba Karim and MSK Prasad, to form the three-member panel. While, Sandeep Patil, who played 25 Tests, is likely to complete his term as the chairman of selectors, there’s a clear sense of uncertainty for others. “This will actually be a difficult situation. Now despite having five selectors, some of the zones feel neglected. Think what will happen in a three-member system,” a senior BCCI official told Express.
But there’s also another side to it. If the reforms suggested by the panel are put to practice, the captain will be appointed as the ex-officio member, thus empowering him more. “The captain, however, shall not be entitled to vote. In the event of there being no majority agreement over the selection of players, the captain’s wishes in the regard shall prevail,” the annexure of the report said.
Though it may look like a strenuous job for the three men, the Lodha panel felt that with the different talent-development committees functioning, there was no need for a five-member selection panel. Even though if looks quite promising, former national selectors are wary about it. “It is definitely a forward-looking initiative, but we must ensure that there’s enough integrity among the selectors. A good Test cricketer may not be a good manager,” former selector Raja Venkat said.
More Power to CEO
And not just the captain, the entire process would give more powers to the CEO as well. The CEO will have to play a key role in appointing the coach and the support staff in coordination with the selection committee. The introduction of CEO, however, would make clip the powers of the secretary. According to the BCCI constitution, the secretary handles all these duties, but now if a CEO is brought in, the secretary could well be a ‘signing office-bearer’. “It’s not that easy to load off responsibilities. All the members must agree,” the senior official said, indicating that for now, Anurag Thakur will continue to have his say.