Last Update on: July 5th, 2023 at 10:59 am
The BCCI, on Tuesday (July 4), announced former India allrounder Ajit Agarkar as the new chairman of the selection panel. The Cricket Advisory Committee consisting of Sulakshana Naik, Ashok Malhotra, and Jatin Paranjape unanimously recommended him to head the selection panel after interviewing him.
The position was vacant since Chetan Sharma stepped down as the chief selector in February this year following the sting operation conducted on him by a television channel. Ajit Agarkar has now joined Shiv Sunder Das, Salil Ankola, Subroto Banerjee, and S Sharath in the selection panel. With Ankola already in the panel, the 45-year-old became the second selector from the west zone.
While Ajit Agarkar will be donning the selector’s hat for the Indian team for the first time, he is not new to the role. From 2017 to 2019, he served as the chairman of selectors for Mumbai. From 2022, he was also associated with the IPL franchise Delhi Capitals as a part of their coaching staff before parting ways last month.
Did BCCI break the rules for Ajit Agarkar?
Ajit Agarkar is one of the most high-profile names in India’s selection panel in recent years. And while his appointment has been well received by the Indian cricket fraternity, questions are also raised on the same. The reason behind it is two selectors from the same zone in the selection panel.
Ajit Agarkar’s appointment has ended an age-old tradition in the BCCI. With Ankola already representing the west zone, Agarkar’s inclusion will have two selectors from the west in the panel and none from the north. Ideally, a former cricketer from North Zone should have replaced Sharma as Ankola was already there from the West Zone.
So did the BCCI break any rule in appointing Agarkar? Well, the answer is no. The Indian cricket board did not break or change any rule to appoint Agarkar. With no high-profile candidate applying for the role from the north zone, the BCCI had no choice but to do away with its long tradition of appointing five selectors from five zones.
There are also no such rules in its constitution, drafted as per the RM Lodha-committee recommendations, that specify the appointments on the basis of zones. This is why the BCCI did not mention anything about the zone when it released the advertisement for the post last month.