The BCCI on Friday sacked the entire four-member senior national selection committee led by Chetan Sharma after the Indian cricket team failed to reach the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
On Friday, the BCCI invited applications for the position of national selectors (senior men). The last date of application is Nov. 28.
That Sharma will be sacked was first reported by PTI on Oct. 18 after the BCCI AGM but it is learnt that his committee has not even been told about the sacking.
The new chairman’s job mandate has a description of “selecting captain in each format”, which suggests that BCCI might be moving towards split captaincy in near future.
Sharma (North zone), Harvinder Singh (Centra Zone), Sunil Joshi (South Zone) and Debasish Mohanty (East Zone) have had the shortest stint as senior national selectors in recent times.
Joshi and Harvinder were appointed national selectors in February 2020. After the AGM in January 2021, Sharma took over as chairman of selectors with Mohanty and Kuruvilla joining him.
A senior national selector normally gets a four-year term subject to extension. There was no selector from West Zone after Abbey Kuruvilla’s tenure ended.
Once India lost in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup, the writing was always on the wall that Sharma was on borrowed time.
During his tenure, India had also failed to reach knock-out stage in the 2021 edition of T20 World Cup and lost the World Test Championships final.
“For Chetan to save his job, India needed to win the T20 World Cup. Nothing less could have saved him. But once, he was asked to select four squads at one go (New Zealand and Bangladesh away series) which was unprecedented, one could read between the lines,” a BCCI insider, who has been tracking the developments, told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
There are multiple reasons that the BCCI mandarins were unhappy with Sharma and his committee’s shoddy performance.
It is believed that Chetan was never assertive when it came to certain decisions.
Some of the reasons believed to have led to his sacking are: not being able to have a settled squad, allowing eight international captains in just one year with some select seniors turning workload management into a joke, picking KL Rahul after a eight-month hiatus from T20 cricket, going on almost each and every India tour but not being able to create a decisive set of players in co-ordination with team management.
No tangible plan as to whether a 37-year-old senior like Shikhar Dhawan would be carried to 2023 World Cup when he would be above 38 is among the issues that has never been addressed.
Sharma and his team could never reward the domestic or IPL performers and pick specialists across two T20 World Cups. Theirs is a committee under whom India have lost two T20 World Cup games by 10 wickets, something that has never happened earlier.
That Sharma’s days were numbered was understood when he cut a lonely figure during the T20 World Cup in Australia. He never travelled with the team and would stand at a fair distance from head coach Rahul Dravid at the end of bowlers’ run-up at the nets.
The media in Australia never witnessed any major conversation between the duo.