Gagan Khoda to be pushed out of India selection committee based on number of Tests played
Indian cricket administration is set to undergo major changes in the near future, based on the Lodha committee recommendations, the first manifestation of which has already been seen with the resignation of veteran chief of Mumbai Cricket Association Sharad Pawar. According to recent reports, the selection committee for the Indian cricket team is also set to see some changes because of the new rules.
Central Zone selector Gagan Khoda’s role has come under the scanner due to the fact that he has never played Test cricket for India, only having two ODI caps from back in 1998/99.
As per Lodha Committee recommendations, "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 five years previously. The senior-most Test cap among the members of the Committee shall be appointed as the Chairperson."
From among current members of the selection committee, current chairman Sandeep Patil along with Vikram Rathour and Saba Karim see their four-year terms running out in September. Khoda and MSK Prasad of South Zone were appointed in 2015, and would have had terms running up to 2019 under previous circumstances.
While Khoda will most probably be given a six-month period to quit the committee, MSK Prasad is on safer ground, having played six Tests and 17 ODIs. Six months is the stipulated time having been given to the BCCI to set their house in order in accordance with the new rules of administration decided by the Lodha committee.
The new selection committee is expected to be a three-member panel.
Both Khoda and Prasad are scheduled to travel with the India 'A' team to Australia in August, following BCCI’s new rules of sending selectors on overseas tours.
Khoda had been one of the several openers tried out in the India team around the late 90s, and was one of the most impressive – his ODI average of 57.5 proof of this. His game was like the uncharismatic but fluent game of somebody like Faiz Fazal, the kind of batsmen who manage to play well through their entire careers without attracting too much attention. He retired from the domestic circuit in 2009, having played for Rajasthan since 1991/92.
The majority of the Lodha committee pointers have been warmly received by the Indian cricket fan, but it must be asked whether Khoda’s Test playing credentials are relevant to his post in the selection committee.