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Team India leadership group to constitute the selection on overseas tours

The board, however, is not ready to concede much on the issue.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The team-selection procedure of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could see some controversial times ahead. As per the new constitution that the board handed over to the Registrar of Societies of Tamil Nadu last week, the role of the national selectors during overseas tours seems unclear. The body of a rule says that abroad, it is the coach, captain and vice-captain who will constitute the selection panel and the administrative manager will keep a record of how things turn out.

The ambiguity means the national selection panel will be without work when the team is touring abroad and all the work pertaining to the selection of players will be carried out by the top trio of the squad which is actually playing. Under clause 26 (iv) of the constitution, it is said that “on an overseas tour, the cricket manager/coach, captain and the vice-captain shall constitute the selection committee. The administrative manager shall convene the meeting and keep a record of the proceedings,” a report in Sportstar quoted.

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Needs constructive interpretation

The board, however, is not ready to concede much on the issue. On September 1, the board’s acting secretary, Amitabh Chaudhury, said the said clause should be interpreted in a constructive manner.

Chaudhury, while naming the India squad for the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE, was asked whether it would still make sense for the selectors to travel abroad.

“It depends on interpretation. It needs to be interpreted constructively and if it is felt collectively in the BCCI that the visits of these selectors to witness matches at international venues abroad does actually help or aid the process of selection, then it might be [considered],” he said.

The panel of current national selectors headed by former wicketkeeper MSK Prasad is one of the most inexperienced in terms of international cricket. While Prasad himself has played in just six Tests, East Zone’s representative Devang Gandhi has played in four Tests and North’s Sarandeep Singh has played in three Tests. The other two members – Gagan Khoda (Central Zone) and Jatin Paranjpe (West Zone) have not played in Tests.

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