Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that the chief selector’s pay must be on par with the head coach if the Board of Control for Cricket in India wants big names to take up the post.
According to reports, the chief selector of the senior men’s team is currently paid ₹1 crore per annum, while the other members of the selection committee get ₹90 lakh. Meanwhile, current head coach Rahul Dravid is said to be drawing a pay of over ₹7 crore.
In an Idea Exchange session of The Indian Express, Harbhajan Singh shared his thoughts on why the chief selector’s role is not considered lucrative enough by prominent former cricketers in the country. Giving the example of Virender Sehwag, he said:
“A man with stature, one that has played the game quite often, will solve a lot of issues at the selector level. But why wouldn’t they take up the opportunity? I’ll give the example of Virender Sehwag. If you ask Virender Sehwag to become the chief selector, then the salary of that post needs to be analysed. I don’t know how much the chief selector in India earns, but if Sehwag is in commentary or in other businesses around cricket, then it’s likely he is earning more money."
“If you want Sehwag, a player with stature, for the chief selector’s job, then spending money has to be key. If you don’t spend money, then you will have to choose selectors from players who may have only played a year and might not be that big a name. If a man like Rahul Dravid is made the coach, then the chief selector must have the same stature as well – jiski awaaz mein dum ho, jiske wajood mein dum ho (whose voice and stature carry weight).”
“If coach and selector are equally paid, then why not?” - Harbhajan Singh on taking up chief selector's post
Asked if he would be open to taking up the post of chief selector if it was offered to him, the former cricketer said that it would depend on pay. Harbhajan Singh said:
“Let’s see. If things shape up moving forward, and coach and selector are equally paid, then why not? The job of the coach is to stay with the team and plan around the team. But team selection is also an equally important job. You have to pick and select the best players, and if you don’t select players that are needed by the coach or captain, then the chief selector’s position doesn’t have value.”
Harbhajan Singh played 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is from 1998 to 2016.