The BCCI has invited applications for the post of one national selector for the senior men’s team. However, the board’s advertisement, published on their website, doesn’t specify which of the active selectors would be replaced from the current five-member panel chaired by Ajit Agarkar.
The convention has been to pick one selector from each zone (north, south, east, west and central) with the most experienced member – in terms of Test caps – heading the panel. No selector can have more than a combined term of five years (junior and senior panels taken together).
Since Agarkar was brought in as chairman to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Chetan Sharma – from the north zone – last July, there are two selectors for the west, belonging to the same association (Mumbai Cricket Association), with no-one from the north. The other members currently in the panel are Salil Ankola (west), SS Das (central), S Sharath (south) and Subroto Banerjee (east).
It’s possible the BCCI will want to have someone from the north in the committee, and one of the two men from the west might have to make way. Agarkar, it was understood at the time, was the unanimous choice of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Ashok Malhotra, Sulakshana Naik and Jatin Paranjape.
Applicants have until 6pm IST on January 25 to submit their candidature. The BCCI will then screen the applications before inviting shortlisted candidates for an interview. Applicants should have played (a) a minimum of seven Tests, or (b) 30 first-class games, or (c) ten ODIs and 20 first-class matches to be eligible. No date has been set for the interviews.
The Agarkar-led committee has picked the India squad for the first two of five Tests against England at home beginning January 25, with the squad for the subsequent three Tests likely to be picked after the second Test in Visakhapatnam, ending February 6. India’s next assignment after the England Tests is the T20 World Cup which follows immediately after IPL 2024.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo