The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is quick to hold a five-member national determination council in spite of the Lodha Panel prescribing a three-member body. A BCCI source told TOI on Sunday (September 11), “You can’t have three selectors in a country as vast as India. The Board wants to pick five selectors because reducing the numbers to three isn’t going to help Indian cricket.”
The board has set September 14 as the due date to apply for the posts of selectors. Hopefuls expected to satisfy the criteria set around BCCI, which incorporates an age top of 60 years with an ordeal of one Test or ODI or 50 first class matches.
Even the criteria decided by BCCI is different to what has been suggested by Lodha, which wants only Test cricketers to become selectors. “The fact that BCCI has laid down the conditions for the selectors means it is serious about appointing a fresh bunch. Lodha panel’s suggestions on governance are being considered by the board, but the panel can’t dictate even in cricketing matters,” a BCCI official said.
A source close to the Lodha panel, however, defended the reform about forming a three-member team. “Three members would be enough, because they’d be supported by a three-member ‘Cricket Talent Committee’, which would be responsible for scouting talent around the country, and informing the selectors about it”.
“This committee would consist of three former first class players (who would’ve played a minimum of 20 matches), so it’s not as if we are ignoring the credentials of former first class players.”
“We recommended ex-Test cricketers to be selectors, because they’d have an idea of all the conditions around the world. Don’t you look for similar experience when you hire an India coach?” said the source. “We’re happy though that the BCCI is at least setting the reforms suggested by us in motion, even if partly. Their move to hire the selectors in a professional manner is an encouraging sign for the future,” he concluded.
Defending the age cap of 60 years for the national selectors, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke told TOI: “Most of the former players who’ve served their four-year term as selectors are older than 60. We need to encourage fresh faces.We don’t want ex-cricketers who’re too old (above 60), and who would’ve never played much of the shorter forms of the game.”