File photo of ex-cricketer Sandip Patil. AFP
Former Indian cricketer Sandeep Patil was on Thursday appointed the Chairman of the national selection committee, while Mohinder Amarnath was sacked after serving just one year in the panel.
The 56-year-old Patil's appointment to the hot seat, replacing Kris Srikkanth, came as a surprise as his name was not even being talked about as a possible candidate prior to the Board's Annual General Meeting which finalised the panel here today.
Roger Binny (South), Vikram Rathore (North), Saba Karim (East) and Rajinder Singh Hans (Central) comprise the rest of the new panel which had no place for former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath who was dropped after just one year's term.
Chnadrakant Pandit, a wicketkeeper-batsman who played for India between 1986 and 1992, was named chairman of the junior selection committee.
The AGM also decided to raise the selectors' annual remuneration from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh, while for the junior selectors, it was raised from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 40 lakh.
The appointment of the panels put an end to the intense speculation in the media on who would succeed Srikkanth and the other selectors who completed their tenure of four years.
While Binny's name was doing the rounds as the next chairman, it was Patil, currently the National Cricket Academy Director, who was given the responsibility.
From East Zone, there were a number of contenders such as Debang Gandhi, Deep Dasgupta, Debashish Mohanty and Arup Bhattacharya but it was former India wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim who surprisingly got the nod.
Former paceman Abey Kuruvilla was being talked about as a strong contender from West Zone but he could not make it with Patil being preferred for the post.
Patil, a dashing batsman in his prime, played 29 Tests and 45 ODIs for India, scoring 1588 and 1005 runs in the respective formats.
Post-retirement, Patil became the India A coach before being at the helm of the senior team. With him in charge, the Indian team had made the finals of the 2003 50-over World Cup.
He later served as coach of the Kenyan national team as well.
Patil, in fact, ended up rubbing BCCI the wrong way when he served as one of the coaches in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League. He cut ties with the rebel league in 2009.
Binny played for India from 1979 to 1987. In his eight-year career, the all-rounder picked 47 wickets in 27 Tests and 77 wickets in 72 ODIS.
He was India's highest wicket-taker during the 1983 World Cup. The 57-year-old played for two states -- Goa and Karnataka -- in the domestic circuit.
BCCI's previous selection panel comprised of Srikkanth, Amarnath, Narendra Hirwani (Central Zone), Surendra Bhave (West Zone) and Raja Venkat (East Zone). Amarnath had replaced Yashpal Sharma last year.