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Gautam Gambhir to pick selectors for Cricket Advisory Committee

CHENNAI: After much deliberation, the BCCI is set to form the Cricket Advisory Committee. It will include Madan Lal, Gautam Gambhir and Sulakshana Naik. A formal announcement is expected in the coming days. The committee is expected to get down to the business of picking the selection committee immediately.

The CAC, which originally comprised of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, was disbanded because of conflict of interest issues under the new BCCI constitution. Then Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy were named in an ad hoc panel, but eventually, they too had to step aside because of the conflict tangle.

The BCCI under president Sourav Ganguly had reached out to a few former players but none were willing to take up the job because of conflict complications. However, over the past week the BCCI approached a few more and of that lot Lal, Gambhir and Naik seem to have showed interest. Their names were discussed by the office-bearers in a meeting on Sunday and with a Supreme Court hearing scheduled for January 14, a formal announcement is expected in the next few of days. “The BCCI did contact me and I’ve expressed interest. But, haven’t heard from them formally about the appointment yet,” Lal, a World Cup winner in 1983, said.

Venkatesh Prasad in fray

The CAC will have its hands full. Apart from former India spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, former pacer Venkatesh Prasad has also thrown his hat in the ring to be the chairman of selectors and is understood to be having the backing of Ganguly.

Although the BCCI’s new constitution has done away with the zonal system, the board still wants to have representation from each zone, meaning only one of Sivaramakrishnan or Prasad can make it to the panel.
About Prasad, there are concerns in the BCCI whether he would be willing to take up the role given the salary. Prasad served as chairman of the junior selection committee from October 2015 to March 2018. Soon after the U-19 team won the World Cup in 2018, Prasad resigned citing personal reasons and took over as bowling coach of Kings XI Punjab.

That Prasad while being in the selection panel had applied for other posts in the BCCI — general manager (cricket operations), bowling coach of the men’s side and also at NCA — hasn’t gone unnoticed.

It is reliably learnt that Prasad, if offered the role, will be asked to commit to a long tenure as the BCCI is looking at a panel to be in charge till the 2023 World Cup. “We have to check availability before appointing. While the CAC will conduct the interview, it is important to get a few things cleared,” sources told this daily.

Sivaramakrishnan or Prasad, whoever gets the post, will become the chairman of the committee. Among the current panel, the terms of MSK Prasad and Gagan Khoda are over. Sarandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjpe and Devang Gandhi will continue for another year.