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Ajit Agarkar, Chetan Sharma, Maninder Singh, Shiv Sunder Das apply for BCCI selectors’ posts

Ajit Agarkar, Chetan Sharma, Maninder Singh, Shiv Sunder Das and Abey Kuruvilla are among the former India players who have applied for positions in the BCCI’s selection committee (senior men). The BCCI advertised for openings after the terms of Jatin Paranjape, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh ended in September. The deadline for applications closed 6pm on Sunday.

Bengal’s Ranadeb Bose is also in the mix despite not having any international experience. Bose, who took 317 wickets in 91 first-class matches, was eligible to apply by virtue of having played “at least 30 first-class matches”. He was most-recently Bengal’s bowling coach.

Sunil Joshi, the former India spinner, is the current chairman of selector by virtue of being senior to Paranjape, Gandhi, Sarandeep and former fast bowler Harvinder Singh, the second member to have been inducted to the selection panel in March this year.

Joshi and Harvinder were appointed after the term of MSK Prasadand Gagan Khoda ended following India’s tour of New Zealand in February.

As per the BCCI constitution, the selector with the most Test caps will become the chairman of the committee. This means, there could be a new chairman replacing Joshi should the BCCI appoint one of Maninder or Agarkar.

Maninder, 55, is not only the oldest among the list of people to have applied, but also has the most Test caps (35). But Agarkar, 40, who has previously been chief selector of Mumbai, has the most international experience overall, having played 26 Tests, 191 ODIs and four T20Is.

The BCCI had put down a minimum qualification of seven Tests or 30 first-class matches or 10 ODIs and 20 first-class matches for the applicants. They should have also retired “at least five years previously”. The board also listed 60 as the age limit for the applicants. The shortlisted candidates will then be called for personal interviews for further evaluation.

The BCCI discontinued the zonal system of picking selectors in 2017, which potentially leaves the door open to having two selectors from the same region. However, it is yet unclear if the BCCI will adopt the policy. As such, Maninder and Sharma come from the North Zone, while Agarkar and Kuruvilla belong to West Zone.

Among those in the fray, Sharma and Maninder are second-time applicants, having already applied in January when the BCCI had previously invited applications to replace Prasad and Khoda.

The new committee will be in charge of picking India’s senior team for at least three ICC tournaments – two back-to-back T20 World Cups in 2021 (India) and 2022 (Australia), and the 50-over World Cup in 2023 (India). They will also have to pick squads for India A, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, tour games against visiting teams, Challenger Trophy and Rest of India.

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