The BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Madan Lal, Rudra Pratap Singh, and former India women’s player Sulakshana Naik, announced that Chetan Sharma, Abey Kuruvilla, and Debashish Mohanty will take over the three vacant positions in the senior selection committee after the departure of Sarandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjape, and Devang Gandhi respectively.
They will join Sunil Joshi and Harvinder Singh to complete the five-man committee and it has also been announced that Chetan Sharma, being the most experienced cricketer in the committee, will be the chairman. Here is a lowdown on the new appointees who will be in the charge of steering the selections for the next year.
Chetan Sharma: Chairman of Selectors
Chetan Sharma was a lion-hearted cricketer who played his sport with utmost valor and spirit. The Ludhiana-born cricketer started his career with Haryana and made his international debut at the age of 17. Only the third Indian to take a wicket in his first over in Test cricket, Sharma dismissed Mohsin Khan with his fifth ball at the age of 18 to promise new dawn.
It sporadically appeared that he was there for a long run, especially when he took 14 wickets in three Tests in Sri Lanka in 1985, but great performances came far and few in between.
That (in)famous six – depending on the side you are on – against Javed Miandad made him the antagonist among the Indian fans, but his hat-trick against New Zealand in the 1987 World Cup was celebrated with equal vigor.
After playing his last ODI for India in 1994 against the Windies, he continued playing first-class and List A cricket for Bengal, where he teamed up with current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. He bowed out from the sport in 1996 but then became a popular TV commentator and panelist on Doordarshan and various other news channels.
The Indian version of Kyle Jamieson or Mohammed Irfan, Abey Kuruvilla was the tallest player to have represented India in international cricket. You look at him and you know he must be an express fast bowler but that was never the case. Kuruvilla had the ability to swing the ball both ways but never relied on his pace to get the cherry going.
After being called up to the Indian side in late 1996, Kuruvilla took a fifer in the second innings of the third Test in Bridgetown but the failure of the batsmen to capitalize on the same meant India losing way and in the process, the Test too. In ODIs, he remained a potent force as well, taking 25 wickets, with a best of 5 for 68 against West Indies in Barbados.
A stalwart for Mumbai cricket, Kuruvilla took 290 wickets for them in first-class cricket and retired at the end of the 1999-2000 season. He took over the charge of the All-India Junior Selection committee in 2011-12 when India went on to win the U-19 World Cup under the captaincy of Unmukt Chand.
The first cricketer from the state of Odisha to have played for the country, Debashish Mohanty was the beckon of hope for the Indian cricket when he dismissed Sanath Jayasuriya, Roshan Mahanama, Aravinda de Silva, and Ravindra Pushpakumara on debut but the tragic act of fate saw him play only one more Test after that. Mohanty, however, remained a force to be reckoned with in the unstable pace-bowling landscape of Indian limited-overs cricket.
The Bhubaneswar-born boy, who played his domestic cricket for Odisha all his life, picked 57 wickets in the ODIs from 45 games with Pakistan being the major victim of his willy bowling. The rise of Ajit Agarkar was a throne on the road for Mohanty, who lost his edge subsequently but he remained a stalwart in the East Zone.
After retiring from domestic cricket, he took over the coaching role with the Odisha Cricket team and later appointed as one of the Zonal coaches with the National Cricket Academy. He assumed the role of the selector for the Indian U-19 team and was responsible for unearthing many talented cricketers who took part in the 2020 U19 World Cup in South Africa.