Ajit Agarkar appointed chief selector with promise of pay rise

The five-member selection committee headed by Agarkar also comprises Shiv Sundar Das, Subroto Banerjee, Salil Ankola and Sridharan Sharath.

Ajit Agarkar BCCIAgarkar had recently parted ways with the Delhi Capitals after being the franchise’s assistant coach for the last two seasons. (File)

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Ajit Agarkar as the chairman of the Senior Men’s Selection Committee.

The BCCI, in a press release, announced that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sulakshana Naik, Ashok Malhotra and Jatin Paranjape has recommended Agarkar for the selector’s post in the men’s selection committee.

It was in February 2023 that the chief selector’s post was left open after Chetan Sharma was sacked in February this year following a controversial sting operation that saw him claim that Hardik Pandya, who had captained India in the T20 from the World T20 Cup, was a frequent visitor to his home.

“The three-member CAC has unanimously recommended Mr. Ajit Agarkar for the said post,” the release said.

Former India all-rounder Agarkar takes over the position left vacant when Chetan Sharma stepped down following a sting operation in February.

According to the press release, the CAC further recommended Agarkar for the role of chairman of the men’s selection committee based on seniority (number of Test matches played). Former Mumbai captain Agarkar played 26 Tests, 191 ODIs and four T20s for India. He was part of the team that won the 2007 ICC World T20 captained by MS Dhoni. The other members of the senior selection committee are Subroto Banerjee, Salil Ankola, Sridharan Sharath and Shiv Sundar Das, who took over as interim chairman after Sharma resigned.

The Indian Express understands that BCCI officials have approached Agarkar with the promise of increasing the chief selector’s annual salary, which is currently Rs 1 crore. The other members of the selection committee are paid 90 lakh each per annum.

Agarkar then decided to apply and was the only “big” name on the list of candidates. He stepped down from his role as assistant coach of IPL team Delhi Capitals on Thursday. Interestingly, in 2020, BCCI had not picked Agarkar when he had applied for the selector’s post.

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According to reports, the official decision to increase the selectors’ salaries will be taken during Friday’s Apex Council meeting.

To apply for the selector’s post, a candidate should have played at least 7 test matches or 30 first-class matches or 10 one-day internationals and 20 first-class matches. He should also have retired from the game at least five years earlier. No person who has been a member of any Cricket Committee (as defined in the Memorandum of Association and the BCCI Rules and Regulations) for a total of five years shall be eligible to be a member of the Men’s Selection Committee.

In a sting operation by Zee News, Sharma was allegedly heard saying that Indian players were taking injections to stay fit. He also allegedly claimed that Hardik Pandya, who has captained India in T20Is since the 2022 World Cup in the format, was a frequent visitor at his house. The BCCI changed the entire selection panel after Team India pulled out of the T20 World Cup in November, but Sharma was reappointed in January this year.

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