Amarnath may be axed from selection panel

New Delhi: Speculation is rife that former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath may be replaced by Roger Binny as a selector and may lose out on becoming the chairman of the national selection committee, apparently following differences with incumbent chairman K Srikkanth.

Though no BCCI official is willing to come on record, it is reliably learnt that Amarnath may not get an extension in the committee following differences with Srikkanth on captaincy and selection issues.

Amarnath, who played for India in 69 Tests and 85 ODIs, joined the committee last year amid indications that he would take over from Srikkanth as the chairman in September.

However, instead of Amarnath, Roger Binny’s name is now doing the rounds as the next chairman of the selection committee.

A top BCCI source said that Amarnath did not appear to be on the same page with Srikkanth and some other selectors, particularly on the captaincy issue. He is said to be keen on replacing MS Dhoni as the Test captain after the debacle in England and Australia last year.

Amarnath, for his part, sought to scotch speculation over his differences with fellow selectors amid indications that he may be axed from the five-member panel during the Board’s upcoming AGM scheduled on September 14.

“I have had no problems in selection matters. I have absolutely no knowledge of speculation about my future in selection committee. I can tell you that there are certain things which are personal and should be kept that way,” Amarnath told PTI.

When specifically asked on Amarnath’s differences with selectors and BCCI, a top Board official said on condition of anonimity that selection matters are not brought out in public.

The name that is doing rounds in case Amarnath is replaced is that of former opener Chetan Chauhan.

If the Amarnath puzzle has kept the North zone states interested, the selectorial battle in East Zone is no less intriguing.

While former India glovesman Deep Dasgupta is still a front-runner, there are some decks that needs to be cleared before the 35-year-old player could be inducted into the panel.

Dasgupta’s closest rival is a little-known former all-rounder Arup Bhattacharya.

While former Bengal captain Dasgupta has played eight Tests and five ODIs, Bhattacharya has played only 48 first-class matches and is not even a big name in Bengal. But what can work in favour of Bhattacharya is that he is the brother-in-law of a West Bengal minister, Firhad Hakim, and is expected to have solid support from him.

In all likelihood, Bhattacharya’s name will come up, but Dasgupta, who is currently the chairman of state selection committee, is considered to be a more acceptable face.

Competition for places on the selection panel is stiffer now, given the fantastic salaries (Rs 40 lakh per annum for chairman and Rs 25 lakh for others) on offer, says a senior BCCI official. (PTI)

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