BCCI have announced Ajit Agarkar as a new chief of selectors for the Indian cricket team

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have finally announced the new chairman of selectors for the Indian senior men’s cricket team, and that man is Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar, who has over 200 caps for India across all formats, takes up the spot vacated by Chetan Sharma, who had left his post after being caught up in a sting operation conducted by WION in which he revealed a number of secrets to an undercover reporter.

The Mumbai all-rounder has had stints as not only a selector for Mumbai in the domestic circuit but has also had a stint as a part of the coaching staff of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals.

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Interestingly, his appointment will ensure that there are two selectors from the West Zone as Salil Ankola is already a part of the selection committee.

However Ankola’s term will run out in 6 months’ time and the assumption is that, when he is done with the job, the new selector appointed will be from the North Zone – which is the zone represented by Chetan Sharma.

For now though, the appointment of Agarkar comes at a challenging time for two reasons – the fact that the ICC World Cup is only a few months away as well as the fact that there remains a feeling among fans that the chief selector will need to take a few harsh calls in the near future.

India have not won an ICC tournament in 10 years now, and given that they are hosting the World Cup this time around, there will be pressure to end that drought.

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There’s also the fact that, without a doubt, Indian cricket is in a stage of transition. The team’s best players are ageing, and there is a mini-crisis as far as injuries are concerned.

As such, the Agarkar-led committee will need to not only ensure the needs of the current team are met but also plan for the future of Indian cricket from the first selection meeting they chair.

The first major job they need to do is to select the T20I squad for the West Indies series – a key squad because, even though it is an ODI World Cup year, India have looked to younger players in the shortest format.

Fans wanted a former player with pedigree to get the job, and in Agarkar they have just that – but the challenge begins now.

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