Cricket Board president N Srinivasan said on Thursday there was increasing interest among former players to become national selectors after it has become a paid job while maintaining there was no intrigue in the lead-up to the nomination of the new panel here.
"There is no intrigue, but a lot of interest (from former cricketers) as it has become a paid job. There is interest from many cricketers. We try to pick as good a selection commitee as we could," said Srinivasan after the BCCI appointed a new-look senior selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil here at its 83rd AGM.
He was asked why the step of excluding someone like Amarnath from the new panel was taken while he had three years left in his term. He said, "We wanted a person of sufficient stature, a tall man as chairman. No one can question Sandeep Patil’s credentials. The issue is not about credentials of a person, just that BCCI want a new face. The five selectors are chosen for a maximum four-year term and elected annually. I cannot go into the reason (behind Mohinder Amarnath’s exclusion) and don’t want it to go into a public debate. Appointing selectors is a decision of the BCCI," he was quoted as saying in The Hindu.
Interestingly, The Indian Express says that an incident during India's tour Down Under in 2011-12 may have been instrumental in Amarnath's contract not being extended.
Amarnath had presented a bat belonging to his father, Lala Amarnath, to Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, reportedly telling him that the memorabilia would be treasured more by CA than by BCCI, says the IE report.
The report adds that the incident triggered the rift between Amarnath and the BCCI, which is also in the process of setting up a cricket museum.
Former batsman Patil represents West Zone in the panel that also includes another 1983 World Cup winning team member Roger Binny (South), Syed Saba Karim (East), Vikram Rathore (North) and Rajinder Singh Hans (Central).
There was intense speculation in the media with so many names doing the rounds before the BCCI sprang a major surprise by nominating the 56-year-old Patil to replace Krishnamachari Srikkanth as chairman of the new panel.
Patil's name was not forwarded by his parent association MCA, whose choice was Abey Kuruvilla, but it has now become the Board's prerogative after getting feedbacks from the zonal representatives to nominate the paid selection panels.
According to sources in West Zone, the name of Karsan Ghavri too was forwarded by a few associations, before Patil was nominated from the Zone.
Likewise, quite a few other former cricketers were touted as candidates from some other zones before the Board zeroed in on its choice.
The senior panel selectors' annual take home packet was also raised from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 60 lakh while that of the junior panel, to be headed by former India stumper Chandrakant Pandit, was doubled to Rs 40 lakh.
With inputs from Agencies