Five good men

BCCI picks selectors through a process that is fair and is seen to be so too

For once the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can be spared the customary brickbats. In fact, it might even deserve a pat on the back for raising the bar in choosing the national selectors and not succumbing to narrow-minded regional pressures. With the BCCI hiking the selectors' annual pay package from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 60 lakh, close to 20 candidates pushed very hard to be on the five-member committee. In the end, though, the low-key heavyweights outran the undeserving networkers.

The panel, consisting of Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny, Vikram Rathour, Saba Karim and Rajinder Singh Hans, has more experience and expertise than the previous panel headed by Kris Srikkanth. Patil and Binny, both World Cup winners, have represented India with great distinction. Rathour and Karim too played a handful of Tests and ODIs in the 1990s. And despite being the only one without international experience, Hans has coached underdogs Uttar Pradesh for the Ranji title. Four of the members have coached domestic teams with Patil having been in charge of both India and Kenya in the past. Karim has been selector for Bihar. Besides refusing to buckle under pressure, the BCCI also managed to hold the cards close to its chest till the last moment a rare achievement for a body known to strenuously leak information.

The zonal system to pick selection committees has for long been riddled with allegations of bias and conspiracy. In BCCI president N. Srinivasan's words, the need for zonal representatives this time had to do with the geography of India and not with any clandestine policy of appeasement. Looking at the five good men the board's roped in, it's difficult to disagree with him.

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