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11 candidates shortlisted, Ajit Agarkar frontrunner to become chairman of selectors – cricket

The Madan Lal-led Cricket Advisory committee (CAC) will be interviewing candidates virtually on Thursday, to fill three vacancies in the senior selection committee. Former fast bowler Ajit Agarkar is the frontrunner to bag the selector’s berth from West Zone, and being the most capped Test cricketer (26 Tests and 191 ODIs), he could be next chairman of the panel.

As per the new BCCI constitution, the candidate with the most Test caps becomes the chief selector. Sunil Joshi, is currently the chairman, having played 15 Tests. Harvinder Singh is the other selector from Central Zone. Apart from Agarkar, Abey Kuruvilla and Nayan Mongia have applied from West. From the North Zone Chetan Sharma, Maninder Singh, Vijay Dahiya, Ajay Ratra and Nikhil Chopra and from East—Shiv Sunder Das, Debashish Mohanty and Ranadeb Bose are known to have applied.

A total of 11 candidates have been shortlisted.

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BCCI has decided to retain the zonal criteria for composition of the selection panel. Jatin Paranjpe (West Zone), Devang Gandhi (East) and Sarandeep Singh (North) have completed their terms. Once appointed, the next assignment of the committee will be to pick India’s team for the home series against England.

Thursday’s BCCI AGM could be stormy if members air discomfiture over president Sourav Ganguly’s brand endorsements, some of which are in direct competition with board. With BCCI’s sponsors raising no objections, the question before Ganguly may not be legal, but ethical.

Former India captain Ganguly was on familiar turf on Wednesday leading a team of board officials in a friendly game of cricket at the newly refurbished Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. Board members were not willing to commit whether questions about Ganguly would be asked in the meeting. “If anyone raises the issue in the meeting, Ganguly has a line of defence ready,” said a state unit official close to the president.

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That apart, selection to three posts will be ratified: a BCCI vice-president and two members of the IPL governing council. Rajiv Shukla will return as vice-president and Brijesh Patel will continue as IPL chairman. The BCCI’s players’ body has appointed former spinner Pragyan Ojha to replace Surinder Khanna as their representative in the governing council.

Also on the agenda is the “inclusion of 2 (two) new teams to the Indian Premier League.” The proposal is likely to be passed unanimously paving the way for a bigger IPL.

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