Ajit Agarkar Appointed Chief Selector with Promised Salary Increase

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named Ajit Agarkar as the chairman of the Senior Men’s Selection Committee, bringing fresh leadership to the role. The BCCI made the announcement through a press release, revealing that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), consisting of Sulakshana Naik, Ashok Malhotra, and Jatin Paranjape, recommended Agarkar for the position.

This decision comes after the chief selector position was left vacant in February 2023, following the removal of Chetan Sharma due to a controversial sting operation where he allegedly made claims about Hardik Pandya’s frequent visits to his house. The CAC unanimously recommended Ajit Agarkar for the role, acknowledging his experience and expertise.

Former Indian all-rounder Agarkar takes over the position previously held by Chetan Sharma. The CAC also recommended Agarkar as the chairperson of the men’s selection committee based on seniority, considering the number of Test matches he played during his career. Agarkar, a former captain of Mumbai, represented India in 26 Tests, 191 ODIs, and four T20s. He was a part of the victorious 2007 ICC World T20 team led by MS Dhoni. The other members of the senior selection committee include Subroto Banerjee, Salil Ankola, Sridharan Sharath, and Shiv Sundar Das, who assumed the role of interim chairperson after Sharma’s departure.

The BCCI officials have contacted Agarkar, assuring him of an increased annual salary as the chief selector, currently set at Rs 1 crore. The other members of the selection panel receive Rs 90 lakh each per year. Encouraged by this promise, Agarkar decided to apply for the position and emerged as the prominent candidate. He recently resigned from his role as assistant coach of the IPL team Delhi Capitals. Notably, in 2020, Agarkar had applied for the selector’s post, but the BCCI did not select him at that time.

The decision to raise the selectors’ remuneration is expected to be officially addressed during the BCCI’s Apex Council meeting on Friday. According to the eligibility criteria, candidates applying for the selector’s role must have played a minimum of seven Test matches or 30 First-Class matches, or ten One-Day Internationals and 20 First-Class matches. Additionally, they should have retired from professional cricket at least five years prior. Individuals who have been part of any Cricket Committee for a cumulative period of five years, as defined in the Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of the BCCI, are not eligible to be members of the Men’s Selection Committee.

The reshuffling of the selection panel came after a sting operation by Zee News, which allegedly revealed Sharma making comments about Indian players using injections to stay fit. He also reportedly mentioned Hardik Pandya’s frequent visits to his home. Following Team India’s exit from the T20 World Cup in November, the BCCI revamped the entire selection panel but reinstated Sharma in January this year.

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