Sandeep Patil in the hot seat

Skandan Sampath

Former Indian batsman Sandeep Patil replaced Krishnamachari Srikkanth as the chairman of the selection committee. The other members on the new-look panel included Roger Binny (South), Vikram Rathore (North), Saba Karim (East) and Rajinder Singh Hans (Central). Mohinder Amarnath was dropped who was eligible for a longer run, amidst reports that he was shown the door, after asking for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s removal as Indian captain.

Patil’s inclusion came as a surprise to most, as it was widely believed that Abey Kuruvilla would be brought in as the West Zone selector. The right-handed batsman who was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning side, was the coach of the Indian cricket team at one point, and was serving as the director of the National Cricket Academy.

The BCCI’s working committee announced a scheme worth Rs.70 crore, to be disbursed as a one-time benefit payment to former players. Applicable to those who retired before 2003-2004, players have been clubbed in seven categories, with retired Test players getting anywhere between Rs.35 lakh to Rs.1.5 crore, depending on the amount of experience.

Domestic players benefited as well, with cricketers in the 100+ games club, standing to gain as much as Rs.30 lakh. The funds for the scheme were generated from the playoff games in the IPL.

Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev put aside his differences with the BCCI, by informing the board that he had resigned from the ICL. The Board also released the one-time benefit of Rs. 1.5 crore, adding that he would also be eligible for the monthly pension worth Rs. 35,000, and his arrears too would be cleared. The 1983 World Cup-winning captain had been banned by the BCCI in 2007, after he joined the now defunct Indian Cricket League.