Mohinder Amarnath’s tenure as national selector was cut short early, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointing an all-new selection committee after its Annual General Meeting held in Mumbai on Thursday (September 27). The new chairman of the selection panel is Sandeep Patil, Amarnath’s teammate for many years who was also part of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning squad. Roger Binny, another member of that team, was also in the fray.
The previous Krishnamachari Srikkanth-led selection committee completed its tenure, and only Amarnath was eligible for an extension. It is understood that the decision to end Amarnath’s tenure was a mutual one, with the former allrounder and the BCCI agreeing to part ways.
Amarnath, 62, was the selector from North Zone and his place will be taken by Vikram Rathour, the former Punjab opener who played six Tests and seven One-Day Internationals for India in 1996-97. Patil represents West Zone, while Saba Karim is the nominee from East Zone. Abey Kuruvilla (West Zone), Deep Dasgupta and Devang Gandhi (East Zone) had also been in contention. Rajinder Singh Hans represents Central Zone, from where Sunil Chaturvedi and Praveen Amre were other contenders.
Hans is the only member of the new committee who hasn’t represented India at the international level. Playing for Uttar Pradesh, he picked up 340 first-class wickets with his left-arm spin between 1976 and 1987.
Patil scored a vital half-century in the semifinal win against England during that World Cup campaign, but is best remembered for a dashing 174 against Dennis Lillee and company at Adelaide in 1981. Rathour had been in contention to become a selector last year, but lost out to Amarnath. Karim represented India at the turn of the millennium before a freak eye injury cut short his career.
Binny, the South Zone selector, played 27 Tests and 72 ODIs for India, and was the highest wicket-taker when India won the World Cup. He was involved with the Asian Cricket Council in Kuala Lumpur, but has moved back to Bangalore and is part of the Karnataka State Cricket Association. He was the unanimous choice from South Zone.
The previous selection panel comprised Srikkanth (South Zone), Amarnath (North Zone), Narendra Hirwani (Central Zone), Surendra Bhave (West Zone) and Raja Venkat (East Zone). Amarnath had replaced Yashpal Sharma last year.