Why have the big names in Indian cricket opted to stay away when it comes to applying for the national selector`s job? Remuneration has a lot to do with that and BCCI is unlikely to get a reputed name from north zone to replace Chetan Sharma unless it significantly raise the pay package.
Sharma lost his job in February following a sting operation, where he was seen discussing confidential information related to the Indian players and team selection.
Former India opener Shiv Sunder Das, who has 23 Tests to his credit, then replaced Sharma as chairman of the panel that also has S Sharath (South), Subroto Banerjee (Central) and Salil Ankola (West).
The chairman of the senior selection panel earns Rs 1 crore annually while the four other members are paid Rs 90 lakh per annum.
The last time the selection panel was headed by reputed former cricketers was when former captains Dilip Vengsarkar (2006-2008) and Krishnamachari Srikkanth (2008-2012) were at the helm.
Vengsarkar`s job was honorary and it was only after Srikkanth took over that BCCI began to pay its selectors.
Mohinder Amarnath also became a part of the panel while Sandeep Patil also headed the committee later.
Amarnath`s position became untenable after developing difference of opinion with then BCCI President N Srinivasan on MS Dhoni`s future as captain after Indian team`s twin debacle in England and Australia.
As of today, there is only one big name eligible for selector`s job from North Zone and that is legendary Virender Sehwag.
The former opener though will think about the job only if BCCI approaches him with a decent pay package.
“During CoA`s time, Viru was asked to apply for head coach`s job and then it went to Anil Kumble. It is unlikely he will apply himself and also the pay package isn`t something that will be financially viable for someone of his stature,” a BCCI official, privy to developments told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“But if we talk about stature, only he makes the cut from North Zone.”
Former cricketers with notable international achievements are either associated with broadcast channels or with IPL teams as experts.
A few are involved in running academies while others write syndicated columns and also do a lot of sponsored work, all of which cumulatively helps them earn much more compared to BCCI`s annual package.
“It is not that BCCI can`t pay a chairman of selectors at least Rs 4-5 crore. It can actually solve a lot of these conflict of interest issues which prevent prominent players from even thinking of coming into selection committee,” the source reasoned.
Some of the other North Zone stalwarts are Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh but the trio haven`t yet fulfilled the criteria of five-year retirement period unless BCCI relaxes it and makes it five years since last international game.
It`s often mentioned in Indian cricket circle that a chairman of selectors, without a certain pedigree, finds it difficult to stand his ground when a Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri or a Rahul Dravid is sitting across the table during selection meetings.
“When Dilip bhai was chairman, he had to make a choice between S Badrinath and Virat Kohli. He saw a few India A games in Australia and he knew whom to back. Rest is history. He could stand his ground in front of Greg Chappell before that,” the veteran official recollected.
In case BCCI doesn`t get a big name from North Zone, then former stumper Ajay Ratra is an option. He was one of the candidates interviewed by Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Ashok Malhotra, Sulakshana Naik and Jatin Paranjape when Chetan Sharma got reappointed.
(With PTI inputs)