Virender Sehwag has batted for Anil Kumble to be the next chairman of national selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The former India opener, who does not believe in mincing his words, has also advocated a hike in remuneration for the job.
BCCI needs to pay more for heading the selectors’ committee, Sehwag has said.
The current selection panel, led by MSK Prasad, has faced a lot of flak for it being a lightweight with a cumulative experience of 13 Tests.
“I think Anil Kumble could be the right candidate for the chairman of selectors post. He is someone who has interacted with Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav (Ganguly) and Rahul (Dravid) as a player and with youngsters as a coach,” Sehwag told reporters during launch of a new app ‘The Selector’.
“When I made a comeback (Australia series 2007-08), captain Kumble came to my room and said you will not be dropped for the next two series. That’s the kind of confidence a player needs,” said Sehwag.
However, Sehwag also said that he doesn’t think that Kumble will agree to do the job right now since the chairman gets (only) ₹1 crore per annum.
“BCCI needs to raise bar as far as pay is concerned. Then a lot of players will be interested,” said Sehwag.
Asked if he would also be interested in this post, Sehwag said that he didn’t like too many restrictions. “I write columns, appear on TV and being selector will mean a lot of restrictions. I don’t know whether I would like so many restrictions,” he added.
Sehwag, who had lost the race to be India’s coach in 2017 to Ravi Shastri, said that he did not apply this time. “In 2017, the BCCI secretary and (late) Dr MV Sridhar (GM Cricket Operations) asked me to apply so I applied. This time no one asked me, so I didn’t apply,” said Sehwag when asked if he was amused in the manner Shastri was re-appointed the coach.
Sehwag also said he finds it difficult to comprehend the conflict of interest rules.
“I can understand that I can’t run an academy if I am a selector but if I am the national coach I don’t understand why I can’t run an academy,” he said.
As the talk veered towards playing XI for the first Test against West Indies, Sehwag’s vote went to Ajinkya Rahane if India played five bowlers.
“Ajinkya Rahane has been batting at No 4 (No 5) so if it is a case of five bowlers then he should play. Rohit Sharma comes in only if you go with four bowlers,” Sehwag reasoned. He also felt that “Mahendra Singh Dhoni should have batted at number five” in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
“…players like Hardik Pandya, who can play big shots should have come in at number seven towards the end,” said the former India captain.
He also expressed his happiness at S Sreesanth’s life ban being reduced to seven years. “I am very happy for him. He now needs to play domestic cricket,” he said.
Sehwag was amused when he was asked about suggestions on wearing neck guards in the wake of Steve Smith recent injury. Smith took a blow from England pacer Jofra Archer in the first Ashes Test and has ruled out of the third Ashes Test due to concussion.
“Why do you need to show your neck to the bowler? You have a bat and you are wearing a helmet. In my entire career, I never used chest pads,” Sehwag said.
A member of NADA’s anti-doping appeals panel (ADAP), Sehwag said filling the whereabouts clause was a real problem that bothered the Indian cricketers.
“I have appeared for many dope tests. Even in domestic cricket when I was out of the team, during IPL. The problem with whereabouts is I can’t pinpoint where I will be at a specific hour of the day on a specific date. I may mention it initially and then I might have a change in plan,” he said.
BCCI recently agreed to be NADA-compliant after years of resistance.