Monday, October 1, 2012

Indian cricketers lobbied to have ex-player named selector

Three cricketers who are part of the Indian team at the World T20 are learned to have called up senior BCCI officials to lobby for a former India player to be chosen selector from Central Zone. Not just that, even officials of the Enforcement Directorate who are investigating alleged irregularities in IPL-II (which was held in South Africa) apparently lobbied with the BCCI on behalf of this former cricketer. One of the players who made the phone calls is an explosive batsman, while another is a handy middle-order player. The person they were lobbying for had played for India in one-day internationals, though not Tests. However, the lobbying backfired as the furious board members made sure the former player was not considered for the post. Instead, former Uttar Pradesh player and coach Rajinder Singh Hans was named the selector from Central Zone. Hans was one of the candidates nominated by Central Zone before the BCCI annual general meeting last Thursday, which chose the new five-man team of selectors, headed by Sandeep Patil. The cricket board officials were stunned when some current Team India stars lobbied to have a former India player appointed selector. They pointed out that there was a clear conflict of interest in players trying to influence the choice of men who would subsequently decide on their fates. "Students can't be examiners," one of the board members remarked in the meeting. Officials said such an incident was unprecedented. However, with each selector now getting a package of Rs 60 lakh per year (Rs 70 lakh for the chairman), the post of a selector has suddenly become much sought after. Interestingly, there was already controversy shrouding the choosing of the new selection panel. Mohinder Amarnath, who was spoken of as being in contention to be the next chairman of selectors, was abruptly removed from the panel itself. The board rejected the candidates suggested by East and West Zones. And new chief selector, Patil, was not among the candidates suggested by West Zone.

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