One question that has put cricket aficionados in a bind these days is: Who will be the five gentlemen controlling the fortunes of the country in their capacity as national selectors?

With four of the five selectors set to retire this month end, many names are doing the rounds for these coveted positions

Going by the indications available, Roger Binny, a member of the World Cup-winning team in 1983, is set to replace present chairman, Krish Srikkanth from Tamil Nadu, in South Zone.

Similarly, Abey Kuruvilla, chairman of the junior selection committee, which did a marvellous job by picking the right combination that won for India the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia recently, is a strong contender.

The former India speedster from Mumbai may, in all likelihood, come in for Surendra Bhave of Maharashtra from West Zone.

Narendra Hirwani of Madhya Pradesh from Central Zone and Raja Venkat of Bengal from the East Zone are also remitting office.

Another hero of 1983, Mohinder Amarnath, who once famously called the national selectors ‘a bunch of jokers’ and who replaced Yashpal Sharma last year, can stay in the post for two more years, provided he gets the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s nod at the Mumbai annual general meeting.

The Bangalore lobby, which is working overtime to make Binny the chairman, will find Amarnath a huge hurdle to its aspirations.

One should not be surprised if Amarnath is made a sacrificial lamb of Board politics and dropped from the committee altogether.

Dominant Bengal

East’s Raja Venkat will retire as a highly successful selector after being on the hot seat for four years. Who will step into his shoes, is the big question?

Bengal has always dominated the other East Zone States when it came to getting its nominee into the senior selection committee, leaving others to send in their representatives to the junior selection panel.

Three names are making rounds in the corridors of power to succeed Venkat — Bengal’s current chairman of selectors, Deep Dasgupta; former chairman Arup Bhattacharya and Devang Gandhi.

Both Dasgupta and Gandhi are former India players with eight and four Tests under their belts, respectively. Bhattacharya, who has played 48 first class matches for Bengal, is not in their league as far as reputation goes.

(This article was published on September 16, 2012)
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