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Lodha recommendations: Selectors will struggle further, says Rajinder Singh Hans

Ex-selector Rajinder Singh Hans not in favour of Lodha panel's recommendation to trim selection panel from five to three as they find it difficult to watch all games

Among the slew of recommendations to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee yesterday included one about trimming down the selection panel for Team India.

Rajinder Singh Hans
Rajinder Singh Hans

Instead of the current five-member selection panel for senior and junior national teams, the Lodha committee recommended a three-member panel. The criterion set for the men's selection committee is: "only former Players who have represented the Senior National Team in Test Matches shall be eligible to be appointed to this Committee, provided that they have retired from the game at least 5 years previously. The senior most Test cap among the members of the Committee shall be appointed as the Chairperson."

For the junior selection panel, the criterion is: "only former Players who have played a minimum of 25 First Class games shall be eligible to be appointed to this Committee, provided that they have retired from the game at least 5 years previously." Justice RM Lodha, in his report, explained the reason behind having just three selectors. "Since the Cricket Talent Committee has been separately constituted, restricting the selectors to three members will also be more compact, and increase the authority of the selection committee and make it accountable for team performance," he said.

The criteria
However, former national selector Rajinder Singh Hans, who played 78 first-class matches, is not in favour of this recommendation being accepted. "It is fine to have some criteria for national selectors, but those who have played decent amount of cricket can also have a good cricketing brain. One should take into account that many cricketers in those days never got a Test cap despite a good domestic record because the competition was so intense. Like me, there are many spinners who never made it to the Indian team, but played good cricket. It is not necessary that only Test cricketers can become good selectors," Hans told mid-day.

Hans, who was part of the current Sandeep Patil-selection panel before he was dropped in the last Annual General Meeting of the BCCI in November, also did not like the idea of a three-member panel. "Five selectors are anyway not able to see all the matches that are being played. So, what Sandeep Patil would do is try and ensure that every selector at least watches two to three matches of a team. The three-member plan will be very difficult for the selectors to cover all the matches. I don't think the selection structure needs to change," said the former Uttar Pradesh spinner.

Former national selector Anil Deshpande, who quit on personal grounds in 2000, too did not agree with Lodha committee's recommendation for selectors. "Selection is all about having a vision. There are various instances where a national selector with just a decent first-class experience has made some wonderful selection decisions. Number of matches is not such an important part of being a selector," said Deshpande, who played 62 first-class matches for Vidarbha and Central Zone from 1970-71 to 1982-83.

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