BCCI fires Chetan Sharma-led national selection committee post India's T20 WC fiasco, invites fresh application
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come down heavily on the Chetan Sharma-led senior national selection committee post Team India's fiasco at the just concluded T20 World Cup. The entire selection committee including the chairman Chetan Sharma has been sacked by the BCCI, who has now invited fresh applications for the elite posts.
Following India's 10-wicket thrashing at the T20 World Cup 2022's semifinal, during Chetan's tenure, the Men in Blue had also failed to reach the knock-out stage in the 2021 edition of T20 World Cup and lost the World Test Championships final.
Chetan (North zone), Harvinder Singh (Centra Zone), Sunil Joshi (South Zone) and Debasish Mohanty (East Zone) have had the shortest stint as senior national selectors in recent times. Some of them were appointed in 2020 and some in 2021.
A senior national selector normally gets a four-year term subject to extension. There was no selector from West Zone after Abbey Kuruvilla’s tenure ended.
Earlier, on October 18 it was learnt by Sports Tak that Chetan will be sacked after the BCCI AGM.
When the selection committee was last reconstituted with Chetan Sharma as the Chairman in December 2020, the BCCI made it clear in a statement that ‘the CAC will review the candidates after a one-year period and make the recommendations to the BCCI’.
“Candidates who wish to apply for the said position need to fulfil the following criteria for their applications to be considered. ”Should have played a minimum of a) 7 Test matches; OR b) 30 First Class matches; OR c) 10 ODI and 20 First Class matches. Should have retired from the game at least 5 years ago. No person who has been a member of any Cricket Committee (as defined in the rules and regulations of BCCI) for a total of 5 years shall be eligible to be a member of Men’s Selection Committee," said BCCI in a release.
On Friday, the BCCI invited applications for the position of national selectors (Senior Men). The last date of application is November 28.
It was Sharma who announced the squads for India’s tour of New Zealand and Bangladesh through a video press conference a few days ago.
Back in October 2020, Sharma replaced Sunil Joshi as the chairman of selectors. Under his tenure, India won a number of bilateral series, but failed to perform well in multi-nation tournaments.
Once, India lost in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup, the writing was always on the wall that Chetan was on borrowed time.
During Chetan’s tenure, India had also failed to reach knock-out stage in the 2021 edition of T20 World Cup and lost the World Test Championships final.
“For Chetan to save his job, India needed to win the T20 World Cup. Nothing less could have saved him. But once, he was asked to select four squads at one go (New Zealand and Bangladesh away series) which was unprecedented, one could read between the lines,” a BCCI insider, who has been tracking the developments said.
There are multiple reasons that the BCCI mandarins were unhappy with Chetan and his committee's shoddy performance.
It is believed that Chetan was never assertive when it came to certain decisions.
Some of the reasons believed to have led to his sacking are: not being able to have a settled squad, allowing eight international captains in just one year with some select seniors turning workload management into a joke, picking KL Rahul after a eight month hiatus from T20 cricket, going on almost each and every India tour but not being able to create a decisive set of players in co-ordination with team management.
No tangible plan as to whether a 37-year-old senior like Shikhar Dhawan would be carried to 2023 World Cup when he would be above 38 is among the issues that has never been addressed.
Chetan and his team could never reward the domestic or IPL performers and pick specialists across two T20 World Cups. Theirs is a committee under whom India have lost two T20 World Cup games by 10 wickets, something that has never happened earlier.
That Chetan’s days were numbered was understood when he cut a lonely figure during the T20 World Cup in Australia. He never travelled with the team and would stand at a fair distance from head coach Rahul Dravid at the end of bowlers’ run-up at the nets.
The media in Australia never witnessed any major conversation between the duo.
New chairman to select captains in “each format”, report to Apex Council
In what could be a major development, the new selection committee, as and when it takes charge, will be mandated to choose captains across three formats which effectively means that BCCI will be going for split captaincy.
This could mean that Rohit Sharma will remain captain in ODIs and Test cricket for the time being while Hardik Pandya becomes the shortest format leader till 2024 T20 World Cup in USA and West Indies.
The qualification criteria remained the same. The age cap is 60 years and the incumbent would have to be retired from active cricket for at least five years. He has to play at least seven Test matches or 30 first-class games or 10 ODIs along with 20 first-class games.
The job domain has two key points which had never been in any earlier selection committee advertisements -- prepare and provide evaluation report of respective team performance to the Apex Council of BCCI on quarterly basis, and appoint captain for the team in each format.
Also for the first time, the BCCI job domain description contains that the chairman would have to address the media with regards to team related queries.